Days of at or Below Zero in the Twin Cities

Winter Misery Index chart

The memorable winter of 2013-14 continues with the mercury dipping to zero or below 53 times this winter so far, the most since the winter of 1977-78 when there were also 53 counts of at or below zero.

How does the winter of 2013-14 stack up for counts of minimum temperatures at or below zero in the Twin Cities? As of March 3, there have been 53 minimum temperatures of zero or colder: 13 in December, 20 in January, 17 in February and 3 in March. The highest number of at or below zero temperatures in an entire winter is 68 for the winter of 1874-75.

Also noteworthy was the streak of at or below zero minimum temperatures in the Twin Cities. There were 17 days from January 26 to February 11, 2014 and was enough to tie for the eighth longest streak. Duluth set its record for the longest streak of 23 days this winter. St. Cloud has had 32 days as of March 3, and the record there is 69 days that was set during the winters of 1964-65 and 1978-79.

Ranking of at or Below Temperatures in the Twin Cities
(Year listed is the winter ending year)
1981-2010 Normal: 24

Rank	Year	Total
---------------------
1	1875	68
2	1887	58
3	1888	57
4	1873	56
5	1978	53
        2014    53
7	1917	51
8	1936	50
9	1884	49
 	1965	49
There was also a stretch of at or below zero minimum temperature 
days from January 26 to February 11 of 17 days. This ties the 
eighth longest stretch of at or below zero temperatures in the Twin Cities.
Twin Cities area streaks of 12 or more consecutive days of
 minimum temp <= 0 degrees F
(temperature record begins 10/1/1872)

Rank Beginning and End   # of Days
----------------------------------
1.  1936-01-18 to 1936-02-22  36 
2.  1874-12-28 to 1875-01-20  24 
3.  1976-12-28 to 1977-01-19  23 
4.  1888-01-07 to 1888-01-27  21 
    1963-01-11 to 1963-01-31  21 
5.  1966-01-16 to 1966-02-04  20 
6.  1899-01-26 to 1899-02-13  19 
7.  1895-01-26 to 1895-02-11  17 
8.  1911-12-31 to 1912-01-16  17 
    2014-01-26 to 2014-02-11  17* 
10. 1875-02-03 to 1875-02-18  16 
    1924-12-16 to 1924-12-31  16 
    1973-12-29 to 1974-01-13  16

* present streak

 

Last modified: March 3, 2014
For more information contact: climate@umn.edu