Breaking Down A Record February In Warm Weather

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the last day of February, and it was a month to remember.

Mostly because of how mild it has been in the weather department. We had record-breaking warm temperatures, and almost nothing in the way of snow.

WCCO’s Molly Rosenblatt broke down the numbers.

That’s right, we say goodbye to a historically warm and record-breaking February. But what does our changing climate mean to future Minnesota winters?

While many Minnesotan’s enjoyed the mild month, for snow lovers, February was a no-go. So much for cross country skiing or sledding in the metro. We saw only three-tenths of an inch during what’s supposed to be our snowiest month, tying for the least snow in February on record.

“We have quite a run of above normal months in Minnesota, especially in the Twin Cities, and what we’ve seen for recent winters is we’ve taken the bottom off the winter,” Pete Boulay, a climatologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said. “We don’t get as cold as we do overnight in the winter anymore in this state.”

Boulay says climate change heightens these warm spikes. Temperature-wise, the numbers are in.

We ran above average 23 out of 28 days, two of which we made it into the 60s. There have only been four other days in history, dating back to 1873, where we made it into the 60s during February. All in all, this was the seventh warmest February on record.

“Obviously the winters we’ve had in the last 10 years, 15 years, have been nothing like what we had in the 90s and the 80s. And those winters were snowy,” Boulay said. “If you lose your cold nights, if you can’t keep your snow cover, that changes the whole theme of a winter. You wind up with a winter that maybe looks a lot like this one today.”

And while this warming is a trend we’re seeing, it doesn’t mean every winter is going to be like this. Remember 2000, 2001 and 2013 and 2014, we had a deep snowpack those years.

But, as we welcome in March, it’s not looking good for snow-lovers in the foreseeable future.

More from Molly Rosenblatt
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