Record Warm Spring: 2012

Spring 2012 is the warmest Spring on record over central and southern Minnesota and is in the top five warmest over northern Minnesota.

Meteorological Spring (March-May) will finish with an estimate of 54.0 degrees at the Twin Cities International Airport. This will make 2012 the warmest spring on record since modern record keeping began in 1873. The old record was 52.5 degrees in 1977. In addition, 2012 is the warmest Spring on record for other locations across central and southern Minnesota, including St. Cloud and Rochester. Farther to the north, Duluth tied the warmest spring on record and International Falls had the 4th warmest spring.

The warm spring was helped out enormously by the warmest March recorded in Minnesota's history. The average temperature in the Twin Cities was 48.3 degrees, 15.5 degrees above normal. April followed with 50.0 degrees, 2.5 degrees above normal and May 2012 (though May 30) had 63.9 degrees, 4.9 degrees above normal.

It was also a wet spring as well. The total precipitation in the Twin Cities from March to May 2012 was 13.78 inches, 5.87 inches above normal. This was enough to finish in second place for the wettest meteorological Spring back to 1871. The wettest Spring on record is 1965 with 16.13 inches of precipitation.

Top Three Average Spring (March-May) Average Temperatures for Select Locations
(All are in Degrees F)

Twin Cities (1981-2010 Normal: 46.6 degrees)

Rank Ave Temp Year
------------------
1.   54.0     2012
2.   52.5     1977
3.   52.2     2010

St. Cloud (1981-2010 Normal: 43.5 degrees)

Rank Ave Temp Year
------------------
1.   50.6     2012
2.   50.0     1977
3.   49.3     1910

Rochester (1981-2010 Normal: 45.7 degrees)

Rank Ave Temp Year
------------------
1.   53.9     2012
2.   52.1     1977
3.   50.1     2010

Duluth (1981-2010 Normal: 39.0 degrees)

Rank Ave Temp Year
------------------
1.   45.6     2012
2.   45.6     2010 (tie)
3.   44.4     1977

International Falls (1981-2010 Normal: 38.2 degrees)

Rank Ave Temp Year
------------------
1.   44.5     1977
2.   44.4     1987
3.   44.4     2010 (tie)
4.   43.6     2012

 

Last modified: May 31, 2012 Pete Boulay, DNR Climatologist
For more information contact: climate@umn.edu