Minnesota's Warmest January on Record:
2006

A preliminary look at this month's temperature data indicates that Minnesota has experienced the warmest January of the modern era. Minnesota state-averaged temperature data exist back to 1895. The long-term (1895-2005) average January temperature is 8.0 degrees Fahrenheit. It appears that the state-averaged mean monthly temperature for January 2006 will be approximately 25 degrees. Therefore, January will finish an astounding 17 degrees above the long-term average.

The 17 degree deviation from the long-term average marks the largest positive monthly temperature departure found in the state-averaged data set (for any month). Here's a list of the largest monthly temperature deviations from average on record:

Minnesota state-averaged monthly temperature - positive departures from the long-term average
month/year     mean   departure
January 2006   25.0   +17.0
February 1998  29.0   +16.2     
March 1910     40.6   +14.8

Minnesota state-averaged monthly temperature - negative departures from the long-term average
month/year     mean   departure
February 1936  -6.5   -19.3
January 1912   -8.3   -16.3
December 1983  -0.4   -14.8

... read on only if talk of statistics does not make your eyes glaze over ... In winter months with their large year-to-year temperature variability, we expect larger deviations away from the means than the summer months. An analytical look at the degree of "unusualness" (yes, it is a word) takes into account a measure of variation (standard deviation) around the common measure of central tendency (mean). Expressed terms of the greatest number of standard deviations away from the mean, here's a list of the most "anomalous" mean monthly temperatures on record:

Minnesota state-averaged monthly temperature - positive departures from the long-term average
month/year     mean   # of standard deviations  departure 
July 1936      76.2          2.87                +7.0
June 1933      72.0          2.84                +7.9     
March 1910     40.6          2.81               +14.8

Minnesota state-averaged monthly temperature - negative departures from the long-term average
month/year     mean   # of standard deviations  departure
October 1925   34.2          3.11               -11.5
February 1936  -6.5          3.01               -19.3
September 1965 49.3          2.92                -8.2
The Midwest Climate Center has a regional recap of the January warmth.

National Weather Service Offices across the region issued statements on the record warm January.


RECORD EVENT REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA/GRAND FORKS 1005 AM CST WED FEB 1 2006

...RECORD JANUARY TEMPERATURES IN THE VALLEY REGION...
JANUARY 2006 WAS THE WARMEST JANUARY ON RECORD AT HECTOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT...FARGO NORTH DAKOTA. 
THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE WAS 23.5 DEGREES OR 16.7 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL FOR 2006. THIS ECLIPSED 
THE PREVIOUS RECORD BY 1.7 DEGREES. THE PREVIOUS WARMEST JANUARY OCCURRED IN 1990...WHICH AVERAGED 
21.8 DEGREES. RECORD FOR FARGO DATE BACK TO 1881. THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE WAS 40 DEGREES SET ON THE 
23RD AND 26TH...THE COLDEST WAS 3 BELOW ZERO SET ON THE 21ST.

JANUARY 2006 WAS ALSO THE WARMEST JANUARY ON RECORD FOR THE GRAND FORKS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. 
THE AVERAGE MONTHLY TEMPERATURE WAS 21.3 DEGREES OR 16.0 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL AT THE GRAND FORKS 
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FOR 2006. THIS ECLIPSED THE PREVIOUS RECORD BY 2.6 DEGREES. THE PREVIOUS 
WARMEST JANUARY AT THE GRAND FORKS AIRPORT ALSO OCCURRED IN 1990 AND THAT YEAR IT AVERAGED 
18.7 DEGREES. RECORDS FOR THE GRAND FORKS AIRPORT DATE BACK TO 1941. THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE 
WAS 39 DEGREES SET ON THE 23RD...THE COLDEST WAS 5 BELOW ZERO SET ON THE 20TH.
FINALLY...JANUARY 2006 WAS ALSO THE WARMEST JANUARY ON RECORD FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH 
DAKOTA/NWS CLIMATE SITE. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 22.5 DEGREES WAS 18.3 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. 
THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 20.1 DEGREES...ALSO SET IN 1990. THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE WAS 40 DEGREES 
SET ON THE 23RD AND THE COLDEST WAS ZERO SET ON THE 20TH AND 21ST.

THE TEMPERATURE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA/NWS CLIMATE SITE DID NOT GO BELOW ZERO IN 
JANUARY 2006. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT THERE WAS NOT A BELOW ZERO TEMPERATURE IN JANUARY 
FOR THIS SITE. RECORDS FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA/NWS CLIMATE SITE DATE BACK TO 1885.
NOTE: THE PERIOD 1971-2000 IS USED AS THE CLIMATOLOGICAL NORMAL FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE SITES.

RECORD EVENT REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
832 AM CST WED FEB 1 2006

...WARMEST JANUARY EVER RECORDED IN ROCHESTER MINNESOTA...
THE AVERAGE JANUARY 2006 TEMPERATURE AT ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WAS 28.1 DEGREES. 
THIS WAS THE WARMEST JANUARY EVER RECORDED IN ROCHESTER MINNESOTA...AND IT SURPASSED THE 
PREVIOUS RECORD OF 25.8 DEGREES ESTABLISHED IN 1990. MONTHLY TEMPERATURES RECORDS FOR 
ROCHESTER EXTEND BACK TO 1886. 
NORMALLY IN JANUARY...ROCHESTER HAS AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 11.8 DEGREES.


RECORD EVENT REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
849 AM CST WED FEB 1 2006

...LEAST SNOW EVER RECORDED IN ROCHESTER MINNESOTA...
DURING JANUARY 2006...ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT RECEIVED ONLY 0.8 INCHES OF SNOW. 
THIS WAS THE LEAST SNOW EVER REPORTED IN A JANUARY...AND IT SURPASSED THE PREVIOUS RECORD 
OF 1.7 INCHES ESTABLISHED IN 1961. MONTHLY SNOWFALL RECORDS FOR ROCHESTER EXTEND
BACK TO 1886.

NORMALLY IN JANUARY...ROCHESTER RECEIVES 11.1 INCHES OF SNOW.

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URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/record_january0601.htm
Last modified: February 2, 2006