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Good Question: Are Snowy Novembers Melting Away?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the kind of November where the downtown workers shed their coats, and the Uptown dogs frolic in the sunshine.

The thin ice warnings are already happening — is the snowy Minnesota November starting to melt away?

“We launch into the 40s this weekend, even into the 50s on Monday,” said chief meteorologist Chris Shaffer.

Shaffer analyzed Novembers in the Twin Cities going back to 2007.

The 30-year Twin Cities average for snowfall in November is 9.3 inches.

This year, so far, it’s 0.8 inches. Last year was 3 inches. In 2009 and 2007 it was virtually nothing — 2008 was 4.3 inches.

Only 2010 was slightly above average; 9.8 inches of snow in November.

“Living here, and growing up here my whole life, I do remember trips to grandma and grandpa for Thanksgiving in the snow,” Shaffer said.

But not so much anymore.

The temperature story is the same. In the past six years, according to Shaffer’s analysis, Minnesota is nearly 2.5 degrees warmer than normal.

“Temperatures will be warmer because there is no snow,” he said.

Calculate the average November snowfall using the past six years and it’s 3.1 inches; not 9.3.

“If you look at four of the last five being warmer and less snow, that says something,” Shaffer said.

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