Coldest Winter in Three Decades

The last time we had this cold of a start to Meteorological Winter (Dec. 1 - Feb. 28) was the Winter of 1983/1984.  Let's take a look at some of the impressive numbers.

We're 2/3rds of the way through winter.  We've averaged a temperature of 10.0°.  The climatological normal is 17.1°.  Only nine other seasons have started colder.  The coldest being the winter of 1976/77 where the average temperature was a frigid 3.9°.  The last time it was this cold... you guessed it, 1983/84.

So far this winter we have hit subzero marks in 31 days.  The average total for an ENTIRE winter is 27!  This is the most subzero days up to this point since... you guessed it, 1983/84.  The record is 52 days set in 1977/78.

Looking at January alone, we'll break it down hour by hour. (sans the last couple of hours as I write this)  We've spent 270 hours below the 0° mark.  That's over 11 full days of 31 we've spent subzero!

So, what does all this mean?  Well you don't need me to say it.  It's cold.  And if you don't like it, you better get used to it.  The long range doesn't point to a pattern to shift this cold air out of here.  The outlook in the month of February is pointing to below normal Temperatures.

Statistics shown above are for Rochester Intl Airport, the official climate station of SE Minnesota.  Data goes back to the winter of 1885/86.

Special thanks to National Weather Service - La Crosse for digging up some of this data.  A lot more can be found by visiting this link.

Storm Tracker 6 Chief Meteorologist
Chris Kuball