something about February
Of all the recent climate trends evident in monthly statistics for Minnesota, perhaps the most striking is for February. Eight of the past eleven Februarys have seen temperatures well above normal on a statewide basis. The past three consecutive Februarys rank in the ten warmest historically. Over a dozen February high temperature and dewpoint records were broken in the Twin Cities area alone in the past three years. The most recent February produced new dewpoint records in the 50s F statewide, something not seen in any of the historical records.
This trend has been economically beneficial from the standpoint of reduced residential and commercial heating costs, snowplowing costs, and overwinter construction delays. However, it has certainly produced some negative consequences as well including: a higher incidence of fog-related traffic accidents and transportation delays; problems for grain storage facilities in holding grain at constant temperature and moiture conditions; a shortening of the ice fishing season; shortening, cancellation, or postponement of a number of outdoor festivals (St Paul's Winter Carnival among others) skiing and dog sledding events; and an abbreviated season for snowmobiling.
It is not yet clear if this trend will continue, (it may be related to El Nino/La Nina Cycles, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, Global Climate Change, or all of the above), but it is certainly unprecedented in the historical climate records of Minnesota.
Listed below are the average temperatures recorded during February 2000 and their relative historical rank among the warmest....
Location, Temp (F), Rank
Twin Cities, 28.1, 5th