Very Wet Meteorological Winter (for Many)

precipitation graph
Graph of precipitation, December 2022 through February 2023, compared against normal precipitation and station record values for Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud, and the Twin Cities.
Image credit: MN State Climatology Office, using data from NOAA/National Weather Service

A pattern of persistent storminess left the eastern two-thirds of Minnesota with above-normal precipitation for the 2022-23, December through February meteorological winter.

Rochester had its wettest winter on record, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities had their second wettest winter, and Duluth had its third wettest winter on record. For the winter period, these stations were 93 to to 128 percent wetter than normal, and were representative of much of the state. In other words, it was common to have around two times the normal precipitation fall from December 1, 2022 through February 28, 2023.

Much of the state was also quite snowy during these three months. On the low end, Rochester received 8.1 inches (23%) more snowfall than would be normal for meteorological winter. Duluth was snowier than normal by 24.7 inches (49%), the Twin Cities airport was 25.7 inches (81%) above normal, and St. Cloud was 28.1 inches and 104% above normal.

However, it was not just the snow contributing the high precipitation totals. Rain rain fell multiple times during the meteorological winter across most of Minnesota. Duluth and St. Cloud received over an inch, the Twin Cities over two inches, and Rochester over three inches of rain from December through February. Rain accounted for 20 to over 50% of the meteorological winter precipitation totals across not just these stations, but the majority of stations across the state.

Indeed, it was a snowy and wet meteorological winter!

After a cold December, a warm January, and a slightly warm February, most stations ended the winter slightly warmer than 1991-2020 normals.

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