Reporting Chris Simon
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With 12 days left in the year, we could be looking at a climate record. This year in Minnesota is wrapping up as one of the warmest years on record, according to Assistant State Climatologist Pete Boulay.
“Right now if you plug in the forecast from the National Weather Service through Christmas Eve and plug in climatology for the last week of December, we will have tied 1931 for the warmest year on record,” said Boulay.
Looking back at the year, Boulay said the temperature has not surged in Winter, but is consistent with the year round trend.
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“We’re looking at an average temperature of just over 50 degrees for the year,” Boulay said.
It is not exactly what winter snow bunnies and outdoor enthusiasts want to hear, but skeptics still believe this winter will redeem itself, and the warm start of the season is not exactly a testament to “global warming.” One such skeptic is Bloomington businessman Stuart Campbell, who helped develop the Buck Hill ski park back in the mid-1950s with Chuck Stone. He recalls the four snowless winters in the Twin Cities from 1956 through 1960.
“We opened Buck Hill in 1954 and we had two relatively good years with average operating days of about 45 to 50 days a year. Between 1956 and 1960, in those four days we were open a total of three days,” he said.
It says the weather is cyclical and everything comes back around. But just to be sure he is quick to add, Buck Hill made some improvements.
“Yeah, in 1961 we installed snow making equipment, and it’s been a profitable enterprise since,” said Campbell.
With two weeks left in the year, Boulay said it’s too early to say where we will end up.
“It will be a photo finish to see if this will be the warmest year on record, right now we’re neck and neck with 1931,” said Boulay, eager to point out an anticipated last minute rush of cold air between now and New Year’s Eve could drop 2012 to second place.
Globally, the National Weather Service reports that November 2012 was the fifth warmest November since record keeping began in 1880.