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Brain freeze

February 11, 2012

    Late Friday morning I felt “brain freeze” for the first time this winter.  The temperature was 8 above zero, but 17 mph winds created a wind chill temperature of 10 below zero.  Walking into the wind, my (uncovered) head felt like it was turning into an ice blob. It felt much better when I walked back the other way, and downright toasty when I returned to my car.

    We’ve had very few encounters with arctic air this winter.  You might remember that we didn’t drop below zero in the Twin Cities until the final hour of January 18th.  The following morning we hit our lowest temperature of the winter, at 11 below zero.  Our temperature has dropped below zero on only 3 days this winter.  Here is a list (compiled by the Minnesota State Climatology Office) of winters with the fewest days of below-zero low temperatures.

 Twin Cities Least Number of Below Zero Minimums in a Winter

(Twin Cities 1872-2012)
Rank   Year  Number of days below zero
 -------------------------------
1.)  2001-2002   2
2.)  2011-2012   3*
3.)  1877-1878   4
4.)  1930-1931   5
5.)  2005-2006   6
6.)  1881-1882   7
6.)  1986-1987   7
8.)  1982-1983   8
9.)  1920-1921   9
10.) 1997-1998  10
 *As of February 11

     Only the winter of 2001-02 had fewer dips below zero.  In case you’re wondering, we have an average of about 30 days per winter with a low temperature below zero. 

     This arctic dip won’t last very long. Temperatures start to rebound nicely Sunday afternoon, and another stretch of above-normal high temperatures should begin on Monday.

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