By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is a good chance we will break another weather record this year. The latest date we have had a subzero temperature is January 18. We are not expecting our first subzero this winter until this Saturday.

How much warmer are our winters? Good Question. Heather Brown stopped by Cherrywood Pointe in Roseville to find out.

Growing up in Eveleth, Marcia and Marshall Anderson easily recall how they met.

“Darn good looking,” Marcia Anderson said.

And what it was like outside.

“I don’t think they can imagine what it was like to be wrapped up in wool,” Marshall Anderson said. “It itched.”

Almost 200 miles south, it was the almost the same. So, were the winters really colder back in the day?

“Yes, without question,” said WCCO-TV Meteorologist Matt Brickman.

(credit: Minnesota Historical Society)

All the seasons have gotten warmer since 1970, but winter is doing it the fastest.

“Since the 1970s, it’s about five-degrees warmer, which is a huge change for a season here in Minnesota,” Brickman said.

We could also look at the number of subzero days each winter. In the 50s and 60s, we averaged 32 a year. Compare that to the last two decades, when we average 20 days.

“We’ll have outliers, the polar vortex year, we had 50 plus [subzero days], but that is becoming less and less common,” Brickman said.

“It’s easy to sit and back and say, ‘This is great,’” Marshall Anderson said. “But I have to look at it from the ecology. The fact of the matter is that it’s not going to be good for everybody.”

“This is how we’re going to see climate change manifest itself here in Minnesota. We’re going to see fewer subzero days. They’ll happen, but happening later in the year,” Brickman said. “And then it’s just simple math at that point. You have less days to get below zero.”

So the next time someone tells you it was colder in their day – they are right.

“It was not easy living, but we were kids and we loved it [laughs!” Marcia Anderson said.

Heather Brown