Present Climate Conditions


Extended Periods of Below Zero in the Twin Cities

Minneapolis Times Headline from Feb 9, 1899
Minneapolis Times Headline from February 9, 1899
Courtesy: Minnesota State Climatology Office

 

The mercury has stayed at or below zero for at least four consecutive days on 27 occasions in the Twin Cities from 1873 to 2014. The longest streak is seven days from January 1-7, 1912.

For the number of consecutive hours that the temperature has stayed at or below zero, the 1912 stretch is the longest at 186 hours. The last time there was a stretch that lasted longer than 4 days was 142 hours in 1994. More recent stretches include 86 hours from 11pm January 12, 2009 to 1pm January 16, 2009 and 93 hours from 5pm January 31, 1996 to 1pm February 4, 1996.

How long would a stretch of zero or below weather be to make the top ten list? The mercury would have to stay at or below zero for at least FOUR full calendar days to have a chance of making the list.

 


Extended Periods Zero or Below (From 1873-2014)
For Minneapolis/St. Paul

Rank Time Began          Time End         Hours
-----------------------------------------------
1.   8pm  Dec 31 1911 to  1pm Jan 8  1912  186*
2.   9pm  Feb 5  1899 to  2pm Feb 12 1899  161**
3.   2am  Jan 18 1963 to  2pm Jan 24 1963  157
4.   12am Jan 23 1904 to  7am Jan 29 1904  151**
5.   4pm  Jan 21 1936 to  2pm Jan 27 1936  143
6.   3pm  Jan 13 1994 to  1pm Jan 19 1994  142
7.   7am  Jan 16 1970 to  2pm Jan 22 1970  140
8.   7pm  Feb 2  1895 to  2pm Feb  8 1895  138**  
9.   1am  Feb 14 1936 to  1pm Feb 19 1936  133
10.  9pm  Jan 22 1897 to  1pm Jan 28 1897  130**


*Note: If it weren't for 4 hours above zero the record would 
have been 311 hours from 8pm Dec 31 1911 to 10am Jan 13 1912.
** hourly readings estimated by nearby observer

Number of Consecutive Days of Zero or Below (From 1873-2014)
For Minneapolis/St. Paul


Rank Days Start              End
--------------------------------------
1    7   1912-01-01 through 1912-01-07
2    6   1904-01-23 through 1904-01-28
-    6   1899-02-06 through 1899-02-11
4    5   1994-01-14 through 1994-01-18
-    5   1970-01-17 through 1970-01-21
-    5   1963-01-19 through 1963-01-23
-    5   1936-01-22 through 1936-01-26
-    5   1897-01-23 through 1897-01-27
-    5   1895-02-03 through 1895-02-07
10   4   1989-12-19 through 1989-12-22
-    4   1977-01-09 through 1977-01-12
-    4   1972-01-25 through 1972-01-28
-    4   1963-12-18 through 1963-12-21
-    4   1962-01-17 through 1962-01-20
-    4   1943-01-17 through 1943-01-20
-    4   1942-01-04 through 1942-01-07
-    4   1936-02-15 through 1936-02-18
-    4   1935-01-20 through 1935-01-23
-    4   1927-12-30 through 1928-01-02
-    4   1917-02-01 through 1917-02-04
-    4   1916-12-18 through 1916-12-21
-    4   1912-01-09 through 1912-01-12
-    4   1905-02-10 through 1905-02-13
-    4   1888-01-18 through 1888-01-21
-    4   1886-01-08 through 1886-01-11
-    4   1885-01-16 through 1885-01-19
-    4   1883-01-20 through 1883-01-23

(For comparison, the record for International Falls is 14 days from Jan 2, 1912 to Jan 15, 1912)

Last modified: October 22, 2014

 

For more information contact: climate@umn.edu