Unprecedented: Minnesota’s warmest month ever vs. average?

+16.7 degrees vs. average at MSP Airport through March 26th

+15.1 degrees – warmest month ever vs. average in January 2006

(Looking at MN Climate Working Group data)

Warmest month ever vs. average? March 2012 is on pace to be the warmest month ever vs. average temp in 121 years of data

Windy Tuesday: Wind advisories flying for gusts to 40 mph today

80 by Sunday? Another May-June weekend ahead

12 march wxs.png

Source: Twin Cities NWS

Uncharted Waters: We’re #1?

We’ve sliced and diced our unreal (okay surreal) March “heat wave” a hundred different ways over the past two weeks. Here’s one more…and try this on for a while.

This may end up as the warmest month ever compared to average at MSP Airport!

Through Monday March temperatures are running +16.7 degrees at MSP Airport according to the Twin Cities NWS.

12 march climo.PNG

Source: NWS

So far this March our average monthly temp at MSP is 48.3 degrees.

If we hold near that level through Saturday (quite possible) we could close out the month at or above 15.1 degrees above average for March.

If you look at records for the 12 months of the year in the metro…the warmest month ever compared to average was January 2006, when temps soared to +15.1 degrees vs. average.

If we sustain that average, March 2012 could be the warmest month ever when compared to average in the past 121 years of data for the Twin Cities.

We’ll need to see where we end up this week, and wait for the climate gurus at MN Climate Working Group to crunch those numbers to confirm.

But this March is not just unreal, it may be the warmest month ever vs. average in Minnesota history.

More records fall:

I could bore you to death with the dozens of ways this month is blasting out records, but here are a select few that I think tell the story best.

(Courtesy of Twin Cities NWS)

Record Setting Weather For Temps and Moisture…Updated March 26th

“How unusual has the weather been across our area during mid-March? Here is a breakdown of the record conditions that have been noted from March 10th to present.

Record High Temperatures

Interesting statistics for the Twin Cities:

•As of March 23rd, the maximum temperature in the Twin Cities has reached or exceeded 70 degrees on 7 days, breaking the March record of 5 days set in 1910.

•The Twin Cities maximum temperature reached or exceeded 70 degrees for four consecutive days (March 16-19), breaking the previous record of three consecutive days which occurred on March 23-25, 1939 and March 22-24, 1945.

•When the Twin Cities temperature reached 80 degrees on March 17, it was the first 80 degree temperature since October 9, 2011. The span without 80 degree temperatures was 159 days, the fewest consecutive number of days without 80 degrees in the modern record.

•March 23 2011 through March 22 2012 was the warmest 365 day period on record, back to 1871, with an average temperature of 50.5 degrees.

•Temperatures in the Twin Cities haven’t dropped below the average high temperature since March 13th.

These charts show the high and low temperatures for the Twin Cities (measured at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport), St. Cloud, and Eau Claire, as well as the record temperatures. Several new temperature records have been set since March 10th, when the unprecedented warm up began.”

12 march recs graph.jpg

Source: NWS

Several Midwestern Cities are experiencing their warmest March on record including Milwaukee, Chicago, & St. Louis.

Is this the “new normal?”

Scientific American has a great piece on why some think this may be the new normal when it comes to our warming climate.

As we continue to melt critical ice sheets (48 cubic miles from the Greenland Ice sheet per year since the 1990s!)The lottery odds of the future may continue to favor extreme warmth such as we’ve seen this month.

By Nina Chestney

LONDON (Reuters) – “The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.

Scientific estimates differ but the world’s temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably.

As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests.

“This is the critical decade. If we don’t get the curves turned around this decade we will cross those lines,” said Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University’s climate change institute, speaking at a conference in London.”

Changeable week ahead:

Today’s winds will bring a warm up and a brief run at 70 (we’ll spend most of the day in the 60s), followed by a cool front that will drop highs back into the 50s Wednesday & Thursday.

Tuesday: Wind advsiory – SW gusts to 40 mph+ possible. High near 70, temps falling through the 60s late PM.

Wednesday: Bright sun. Cooler & less wind. High 54.

Thursday: Frosty start? Upper 30s early. Clouds & rain chances increase late PM & evening. High near 56.

12 mettyss.PNG

Source: ISU

Friday: AM showers ending PM. High near 60.

Saturday: Mostly sunny & milder breezes. High near 70.

Sunday April 1st: Sunny breezy warm & humid?? High near 82.

(No foolin’)

12 metty sun temps.PNG

Source: ISU



  • Lars

    Thanks Paul,

    Which month of the year has the greatest average variation in temperature? I would guess March or October.

  • Dan

    I would be enjoying the record-breaking warmth more if I wasn’t so concerned (scared?) that does constitute an early warning of the tipping point in global warming.