TO: University Communications 

FROM: Bob Weisman, Earth Sciences

DATE: 1 March 2001

         2001 February and 2000-2001 Winter St. Cloud Weather Summary
 
      After a prolonged January thaw, the Yukon Express resumed over Saint
Cloud. The February 2001 average temperature at the Saint Cloud Airport only reached 6.3 degrees, eight degrees below
normal. This made February 2001 the 14th coldest February of the 120 years on record and the coldest February since 1989.
Three more mornings had lows of 20 or colder, bringing the cold season total to 5 days, the total of the previous three
winters combined.
       The extreme cold also provided plenty of snow, although the big blow on
February 23-25 was the result of a milder weather pattern. During February 2001,
Saint Cloud picked up 17.8 inches of snow, more than 10 inches above normal.
The large snowfall made February 2001 the eighth snowiest February of the 102 years on record and the snowiest February
since 1971 (the snowiest February
of all time with 21.6 inches). Three daily snowfall records were broken, including back-to-back days during the storm of
the 23-25.
        The melted precipitation at Saint Cloud Airport totaled 1.46 inches,
more than .8 inches above normal. Thus, February 2001 ranked as the ninth wettest February of the 110 years on record. This
was the wettest February since 1971. Again, the storm of February 23-25 played a huge role, accounting for 0.99 inch, more
than 2/3 of the total precipitation. The increasing moisture of the snowpack, in general, is of some concern for flooding
consequences, depending on the speed of the spring meltdown.
        The combination of a severely cold December, a mild January, and another cold month in February produced a winter
season (Dec. 1-Feb. 28) which was cold and snowy. The average winter 2000-2001 temperature was 8.9 degrees, more than 3
degrees below normal, and ranking as the 12th coldest winter of the 119 years on record. The last winter that was colder
was 20 years ago. The melted precipitation of 2.97 inches ranks as the 17th highest winter total. Similar precipitation
totals have been responsible for the flooding threat this spring. Also, the winter snowfall of 39.4 inches is about 50%
above normal for the season. Our total cold season snowfall has now hit 50.0 inches, almost 17 inches above normal and
March, April, and May are yet to come. Its hard to believe that the persistent snow cover was gone by this time last year.
===========================================================================
FEBRUARY 2001 STATISTICS        FEB 2001        NORMAL
TEMPERATURE
Average High                     17.6           24.8
Average Low                      -5.1            3.8
Average Temp                      6.3           14.3
Warmest high temperature          32 on the 24th
Coldest high temperature           1 on the 2nd
Mildest low temperature           18 on the 8th
Coldest low temperature          -24 on the 21st

MELTED PRECIP (in)               1.46+          0.63
Most in 24 hours                 0.66 on the 25th
+9th highest total on record (see below)



SNOWFALL (in)                     17.8*          7.0
Most in 24 hours                   5.8 on the 25th (record daily snowfall;
                                                    See below)
Seasonal Snowfall (Oct-Feb)       50.0          33.3
*8th highest snowfall on record; most since 1971
Daily record snowfall:            1.9 in on the 12th (old record: 1.0 in 1994)
                                  4.5 in on the 24th (old record: 4.5 in 1962)
                                  5.8 in on the 25th (old record: 2.3 in 1994)

WINTER STATISTICS               WINTER 2000-2001     NORMAL
Average High Temp                 18.2                22.1
Average Low Temp                  -0.4                 2.1
Average Temperature                8.9                12.1
Total Melted Precip(in)           2.97                2.20
Snowfall (in)                     39.4                26.0


     ST. CLOUD SNOWFALL--FEBRUARY  (102 YEARS; AVG =   7.1 IN; SDEV =   5.5 IN)

             SNOWIEST                           DRIEST

      21.6 IN  1970-1971                  0.0 IN  1920-1921
      21.5 IN  1908-1909                   TRACE  1900-1901
      20.6 IN  1921-1922                   TRACE  1901-1902
      20.0 IN  1961-1962                  0.5 IN  1963-1964
      19.9 IN  1918-1919                  0.5 IN  1998-1999
      19.5 IN  1938-1939                  0.6 IN  1997-1998
      18.8 IN  1936-1937                  1.0 IN  1911-1912
      17.8 IN  2000-2001 8th snowiest    1.0 IN  1959-1960
      16.5 IN  1952-1953   on record;     1.2 IN  1905-1906
      15.9 IN  1990-1991   snowiest in    1.5 IN  1986-1987
                           30 yrs


     ST. CLOUD PRECIP--FEBRUARY  (110 YEARS; AVG =  0.69 IN; SDEV =  0.56 IN)

         WETTEST                           DRIEST

      2.94 IN  1922                      0.00 IN  1894
      2.76 IN  1951                      0.00 IN  1921
      2.22 IN  1919                     TRACE     1901
      1.78 IN  1898                     TRACE     1902
      1.67 IN  1979                      0.04 IN  1964
      1.61 IN  1953                      0.05 IN  1934
      1.58 IN  1955                      0.07 IN  1999
      1.53 IN  1971                      0.09 IN  1960
      1.46 IN  2001  9th wettest on     0.10 IN  1912
      1.42 IN  1948  record; wettest     0.12 IN  1987
                     in 30 years

		 ST. CLOUD SNOWFALL(IN)
	     OCT  NOV  DEC  JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  TOTAL
1999-2000  0.0  1.1  4.5 10.8  8.4   T   3.3  0.0   28.1
2000-2001  0.0 10.6 16.2  5.4 17.8                  50.0
NORMAL     0.5  6.8  8.9 10.1  7.0  9.8  2.3  0.1   45.5



-

- Return to the Climate Journal

mcwg@soils.umn.edu
URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/stc0002.htm
Last modified: March 3, 2001