Present Climate Conditions


Extreme 24 Hour Temperature Change: January 29, 2008

24-hour temperature changes were about 40 to 50 degrees across much of Minnesota on Tuesday, January 29. Some of the largest calendar day changes occurred in southeast Minnesota where the warm air was still in place just after midnight on the 29th. At La Crosse, the temperature dropped 53 degrees from a high temperature from 43 degrees at 2:03am to -10 at 11:43pm. This tied the all time record of the largest temperature change in a calendar day. Rochester had a drop of 52 degrees and this was good enough for a three way tie for the 6th largest calender day temperature change.

Large swings of temperatures are part of Minnesota's climate. For instance, a 30 degree temperature change in a calendar day in the Twin Cities is fairly common, happening many times in the historical record. Somewhat less common are swings of 45 degrees or greater. These happen about once in a decade with the last 45 degree temperature change in a calendar day happening on April 18, 1985. The Twin Cities had a drop of 49 degrees on January 29 and this tied for the second largest temperature change from midnight to midnight. The record in the Twin Cities is 51 degrees on December 26, 1903. The temperature was -14 in the morning and rose to the low 30's in only 12 hours.

The largest 24 hour temperature change in Minnesota was 71 degrees on April 3, 1982 in Lamberton located in Redwood County. The high was 78 degrees and a vigorous cold front dropped the temperature to 7.

Largest Temperature Changes in a Calendar Day for the Twin Cities 1891-2008

 Rank Year  Month  Day   Precip Tmax Tmin change
 1.     1903  12    26   0.00   34  -17   51
 2.     1895   1    10   0.01   23  -26   49
        1967  12    21   0.00   51    2   49
        2008   1    29   0.00   36  -13   49
 5.     1913   3     2   0.01   31  -17   48 
 6.     1963   3    30   0.00   77   30   47 
        1963   4    14   0.00   73   26   47
 8.     1891   1    13   0.00   48    2   46
        1917  12    27   0.10   27  -19   46
 10.    1892   3     9   0.45   45    0   45
        1900   2     8   0.00   30  -15   45
        1911   1    10   0.00   41   -4   45
        1911   3    14   0.00   60   15   45
        1962   9    11   0.00   80   35   45
        1985   4    18   0.00   89   44   45

Below is more information for Rochester and La Crosse. Courtesy the La Crosse National Weather Service.

Temperature Drop on Tuesday Ties Record at La Crosse (6th Largest at Rochester)

An arctic cold front brought near record and record calendar day temperature changes 
to the area on Tuesday, January 30th. At La Crosse, the temperature plunged 53 
degrees from a high temperature of 43 degrees at 2:03 AM to a low temperature 
of -10 degrees at 11:43 PM Tuesday. This ties the all-time record of the 
largest temperature change during a calendar day in the history of La 
Crosse weather records. The last time time this occurred was on February 17, 1874.

In Rochester, a similar temperature drop of 52 degrees was officially recorded. 
Their high temperature of 40 degrees occurred at 1201 AM and their low 
temperature of -12 degrees occurred at 11:13 PM. This is the 6th largest
 calendar day drop tied with several other dates.

The tables below provide the top ten calendar day temperature changes
in both Rochester MN and La Crosse WI.

Rochester MN...

                  Largest Temperature
                Changes in a Calendar Day
                    in Rochester MN
                     1883 to 2008                    

                        Temperature
Rank     Date             Change
----     ----           -----------
  1   May 5 1909        58 degrees   (High 90 Low  32)
  2   February 12 1939  56 degrees   (High 38 Low -18)
  3   February 26 1940  55 degrees   (High 27 Low -28)
  4   February 11 1934  54 degrees   (High 34 Low -21)
  5   October 18 1939   53 degrees   (High 73 Low  20)
  6   January 20 1937   52 degrees   (High 32 Low -20)
      February 23 1918  52 degrees   (High 52 Low   0)
      January 29 2008   52 degrees   (High 40 Low -12)
  9   December 24 1949  51 degrees   (High 34 Low -17)
  10  February 27 1935  50 degrees   (High 28 Low -22)
      January 18 1996   50 degrees   (High 45 Low - 5)
      March 20 1934     50 degrees   (High 69 Low  19)
      May 2 1918        50 degrees   (High 78 Low  28)

La Crosse WI...

                   Largest Temperature
                Changes in a Calendar Day
                    in La Crosse WI
                     1872 to 2008    

                        Temperature
Rank     Date             Change
----     ----           -----------
  1   January 29 2008   53 degrees   (High 43 Low -10)
      February 17 1874  53 degrees   (High 42 Low -11)
  3   March 27 1921     51 degrees   (High 67 Low  16)
  4   January 28 1934   49 degrees   (High 41 Low - 8)
  5   January 18 1996   48 degrees   (High 50 Low   2)
  6   January 10 1980   48 degrees   (High 46 Low - 2)
  7   February 1 1976   47 degrees   (High 37 Low -10)
      February 16 1921  47 degrees   (High 60 Low  13)
  9   May 16 1997       46 degrees   (High 81 Low  35)
      January 28 1996   46 degrees   (High 27 Low -19)
      April 3 1995      46 degrees   (High 67 Low  21)
      April 18 1994     46 degrees   (High 87 Low  41)
      December 6 1991   46 degrees   (High 41 Low - 5)
      December 13 1926  46 degrees   (High 35 Low -11)
      December 5 1880   46 degrees   (High 41 Low - 5) 
Last modified: July 10, 2017
For more information contact: climate@umn.edu