Present Climate Conditions


Historic Warm Streak Reaches 20 Months

Graph of April 2017 temperatures and departures in the Twin Cities
April 2017 temperatures and departures in the Twin Cities

 

April may have started warm and ended cool, but the for the 20th month in a row in the Twin Cities (and some other locations), the above-normal temperatures prevailed.

March 2017 was a close call, barely finishing warm, but April's warmth was somewhat more convincing, though not in the same manner as February (as just one example). Twenty of the first 25 days of the month were warmer than average in many locations, and the five days that were not instead were only slightly cooler than average. Temperatures plummeted behind a cold front towards the end of the month, which ended on a markedly chilly note, but the cold air was too little, too late. Every airport with long-term records finished warmer than 1981-2010 normals, generally by 2-3 degrees F.

In the Twin Cities, the average monthly temperature has now been above the 1981-2010 normal for 20 months in a row, meaning that MSP airport has not recorded average below-normal monthly temperatures since August 2015. This is also true for St. Cloud. For both stations, this is the longest above-average monthly temperature streak of any kind on record, though it is worth noting that the "normals" refresh every 10 years, and procedures for calculating them have changed over time. As of this writing, only five months out of the last 35 (back to June 2014) have been below normal in the Twin Cities. The second longest streak on record was 16 months, from June 2011 through September 2012.

This climatological decade (beginning January 2011), over 70% of months have been above the 1981-2010 normals. In the previous climatological decade, 68% of months were above the 1971-2000 normals, and the Twin Cities has not had a string of 10 or more cool months since 1964-65. Indeed, the whole of Minnesota has been warming rapidly since about 1970, making above-normal temperatures more likely than below-normal ones, even as the baseline values are updated to reflect the warmer conditions.  

Twin Cities Average Monthly Temperatures

                Avg    Dept. from
Month     Year  Temp   1981-2010 Normal
---------------------------------------------
September 2015  67.9   + 5.9
October   2015  52.1   + 3.2
November  2015  41.3   + 7.6
December  2015  30.2   +10.5
January   2016  17.6   + 2.0
February  2016  24.9   + 4.0
March     2016  41.3   + 8.5
April     2016  48.1   + 0.6
May       2016  61.3   + 2.2
June      2016  71.3   + 2.4
July      2016  75.2   + 1.4
August    2016  73.4   + 2.2
September 2016  66.1   + 4.1
October   2016  52.9   + 4.0
November  2016  44.1   +10.4
December  2016  20.9   + 1.2
January   2017  20.9   + 5.3
February  2017  31.2   +10.3
March     2017  34.0   + 1.2
April     2017  50.5   + 3.0

Last modified: May 2, 2017
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