MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s not just in your head, Minnesota is warmer than it used to be.

In fact, the state is warming faster than almost any other in the U.S. The winters are getting warmer than they used to be, and there’s new local data to back that up.

A climatologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources came up with the graph.  It shows how the number of -35 or below in Grand Rapids has decreased greatly in the past few decades.

(credit: CBS)

Kenny Blumenfeld is the climatologist who came up with this data, showing the decrease in extreme temps.

“We’re warming a lot faster than other parts of the country. We’re warming rapidly but especially in the winter and then especially at night,” Blumenfeld said. “Our climate is changing, it is true. We do go through cycles where our climate is warming and they get cold, but we also have a trend and when you look at the reason for this trend, what’s making us warm, the No. 1 driver is that there’s more greenhouse gases.”

Some of the most famous victims of climate change in other parts of the world are the polar bears. The ones at the Como Zoo are just fine, but they stir up an interesting conversation.

Native Minnesotan Ashton Franko and her family came to check out the bears Wednesday.

“I guess it doesn’t get as cold as it used to. We don’t get as much snow as we used to, like when I was a little kid,” Franko said.

Lashiya McKinzy and her family were also at the exhibit. They are first-time visitors from Kansas City.

“You hear in Minnesota it’s supposed to snow a lot. I hear the snow is supposed to start in September but it’s still pretty warm,” McKinzy said.

And even though it’s hard to think of the trademark cold with fondness, good does come from it.

“As much as we get annoyed by them, those really cold conditions also prevent certain species from living here and those might be species that are hostile to the forests,” Blumenfeld said.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

  1. Nikki Zech says:

    A totally bogus bar graph, what does it actually mean? Total number of days -35 F or colder, for the decade, or average days per winter, per decade? Exactly what data set did he use? The Statement, by Mr Franko, “I guess it doesn’t get as cold as it used to. We don’t get as much snow as we used to, like when I was a little kid,” He must have a severe memory loss problem. The Winter of 13-14, was one of the Coldest on Record. The Great lakes froze over. The Winter of 2011 was the 4th Snowiest on record. 5 of the top snowiest records was in the last 36 years.The Holidays of 2017, were the coldest in 95 years. Last Spring, many were concerned that the lakes would not thaw out for the Opener. 2017-2018 Lake Minnetonka tied an all time record going back 161 years, for Ice out.