Minnesota’s unusual winter by the numbers

Minnesota’s unusual winter by the numbers

Minnesota’s unusual winter by the numbers

This year’s unusual winter has left Minnesotans using a wide variety of descriptors for it.

“Brilliant,” “very interesting,” “disconcerting,” “confusing” and “chaotic” were just some of the ways Minnesotans described the season to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. But they all have one theme: this winter was anything but normal.

“I would agree, it is quite unusual,” said Joe Calderone, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Twin Cities office.

Thursday marked the end of meteorological winter — Dec. 1 through Feb. 29 — and offered a good chance to break down the abnormal winter by the numbers.

“We had the warmest December on record and, as of now, we’ve had the warmest February on record,” Calderone said.

The average temperature of meteorological winter is 19.6 degrees; this year’s was 29.9 degrees, a significant difference.

Calderone also noted all of the winter weather activities Minnesotans weren’t able to take part in this year, which was impacted not only by mild temperatures but also by a lack of snowfall.

Since Dec. 1, less than a foot of snow has fallen across the Twin Cities.

“Normal should actually be 31 (inches), so 20 inches below normal just since December,” Calderone said.

If you go back before December, it gets even worse, as Calderone says that number rises to more than two feet below normal.

Yet, despite a lack of snowfall, the Twin Cities has enough rain to actually be in above-average territory for precipitation.

“Since December 1, just a tick over 3 inches but normal is 2.85, so that explains the more rainfall events versus the snow,” Calderone said.