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When will we take the dip?

January 14, 2012

    It’s been an unusually warm winter. You don’t need me to tell you that. Our lack of snowcover, and the areas of thin ice and patchy open water on lakes are evidence that our average temperature in November, December and early January was well above normal.
   We still haven’t seen the temperature dip below zero in the Twin Cities. According to the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service and the MN State Climatology Office, we’ve never made it through a winter without seeing a below-zero temperature. The least number of below-zero days was two, in the winter of 2001-2002. A peek at the latest computer models shows that our first decent chance of dropping below zero in the Twin Cities is next Wednesday morning, January 18th. That would tie the record for latest initial dip below zero in the Twin Cities. Using data from the MN State Climatology Office website, I’ve updated the list below to include our current standing of 4th latest (and counting) initial below-zero temperature:

     Twin Cities First Below Zero Temperature: 1872-2012 Winters

 Rank,  Season,  First Below Zero date
1)  1888-89  January 18
1)  2001-02  January 18
3)  1954-55  January 16
4)  2011-12  January 15 (after today) Likely to reach at least third place
5)  1881-82  January 14
6)  1913-14  January 11
6)  1974-75  January 11
6)  2002-03  January 11
9)  1877-78  January 4
10) 1969-70  January 2


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