November 2001-January 2002: The Warmest November Through January in the Twin Cities

November 2001 through January 2002 finished as the warmest November through January on record in the Twin Cities. The preliminary average temperature for November 2001 through January 2002 is 32.9 degrees F. This tops the previous record November through January by over two degrees. The normal average temperature for November through January (1971-2000) is 22.4 F.

Here are the top ten November through January average temperatures from 1890 through 2002.

Rank   Year    Avg. Temp
1.)  2001-2002   32.9 F
2.)  1913-1914   30.6 F
3.)  1918-1919   29.4 F
4.)  1931-1932   29.3 F
5.)  1930-1931   28.6 F
6.)  1899-1900   27.8 F
7.)  1941-1942   27.7 F
8.)  1999-2000   27.6 F
9.)  1994-1995   26.8 F
10.) 1957-1958   26.7 F

This season's average temperatures were also compared to the pioneer record temperatures from Ft. Snelling and the St. Paul Signal Service Corps (1820-1890). The warmest November through January average temperature found before 1890 was 29.5 degrees F in the winter of 1877-1878. Thus, November 2001-January 2002 is the warmest November-January in the Twin Cities for 180 years!

"Meteorological Winter" is defined by the months of December, January and February. In order for 2001-2002 to be the warmest "Meteorological Winter", the average temperature for February 2002 will have to be one of the top five all-time warmest Februaries (greater than 28.5 degrees F). The warmest "Meteorological Winter" for 1890-2001 in the Twin Cities was 1930-1931, when the December through February average temperature was 26.8 degrees F. If November is included with the statistics, the winter of 2001-2002 has a better chance of being the warmest November through February period ever. February 2002 will have to be at least 19 degrees F or warmer to rank November 2001 to February 2002 as the warmest ever for those months. The record is 1930-1931 with 29.3 degrees F.

A scan of the database was done to see what Februaries were like following the warmest November through January periods. The Februaries ranged from the warmest ever (1931) to the 4th coldest ever (1914). Thus, having a very mild November through January doesn't necessarily have a bearing on what February will hold. There is still some hope for the folks who love winter out there!


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Last modified: February 1, 2002