December cold bucks 2010 temp trend

Welcome to Decemberrrrr.

We’re almost a full week into the month, and so far December is bucking the trend of warmth in Minnesota in 2010. 7 of the past 8 months have featured above average temperatures in Minnesota. This month, temperatures in the Twin Cities are running a full 8 degrees below average!

It all began with the first snowless March on record for many Minnesota locations. Here’s the lowdown on monthly temperatures in the metro (which mirror most of Minnesota) this year.

2010 temps vs. average at MSP Airport (F)

January -0.1

February -0.4

March +8.9

April +8.3

May +1.4

June +0.8

July +3.1

August +6.4

September -0.8

October +5.3

November +2.8

December -8 (so far)

That makes 8 months above average, and 3 months within 1 degree below average this year so far. Even with a cold December, Minnesota will finish the year with well above average temperatures for 2010.

Mirrors global trend in 2010:

In spite of a cold December in much of the northern hemisphere, it looks like 2010 will go down as one of the warmest years on record globally. Here’s the data through October of 2010 from NOAA. (November data is due in next week)

“The combined global average land and ocean surface temperature for the January-October period tied with 1998 as the warmest such period on record. This value is 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average.”

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During October, warmth was most pronounced in Canada and the USA, and in Russia, the Middle East and Africa. Europe saw cooling as did the tropical Pacific, which reflects the growing La Nina.

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Overall the global warmth in 2010 marks yet another year that rivals the hottest year on record in 1998 and 2005. Even with a chilly December in much of the northern hemisphere, we remain at or near the warmest temperature levels in the past 131 years plus, with no sign of a “global cooling” trend according to NOAA data.

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Florida freeze continues:

Meanwhile the weather in Florida (and yes, there is a difference between climate and weather!) continues to bring freezing temperatures to critical citrus growing areas. (Can you say higher O.J. prices at the store soon?)

Locations such as Ocala in north central Florida dipped to 28 degrees this morning, and another frosty night is on tap tonight into Wednesday morning.

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While 28 degrees would be welcome to most Minnesotans this week, it’s a big deal in northern Florida, where citrus farmers scramble to deal with freezing weather.

Enjoy the rare sun today, and quiet but cold weather through Wednesday. I’m still keeping an eye on a clipper that may graze Minnesota Thursday.


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