Ranking Up There With Some Heavy-Hitting Winters

February 25, 2014 0 Comments

SnowMiser

2/25/14
Before we get to spring (and already, in many cases), we’ll be in the top 10 record rankings for a) the season, b) meteorological winter (Dec-Feb), c) February, and d) astronomical winter in a number of ways. A tip of the hat to NWS La Crosse for compiling climate data and their friendliness in answering e-mails.

We’ll be into the record books in some form or another in Rochester for:
-Coldest Average temperature
-Snowfall
-Duration of snow depth 1″ or >
-Duration of snow depth 10″ or >
-Number of sub-zero days

While we haven’t made it yet, it appears likely this February will end up the 4th coldest on record behind 1936, 1979, and 1917. Meteorological winter (Dec-Feb) of 2013-14 will end up tying for 4th coldest with 1977-78 or ending up with either sole possession or just barely into 5th place. We’ll have to see exactly how the next few days pan out.

The only meteorological winters colder than this one will be 1978-79, 1886-87, and 1935-36.

February 2014 snowfall is at 17.2″, putting us in 7th place for snowiest February. Seasonal ranking for snowfall? Not terribly impressive at this point, but what’s fallen this winter hasn’t really gone anywhere.

We are currently low in the rankings for consecutive days with snow depth of 1″ or greater, but we have a snow depth of 21″ and, I’m sorry to say, it isn’t going to be disappearing very quickly (understatement) and there’s no significant warm up in sight in March.

We are currently in 12th place for consecutive days with 10″ of snow or more at 36 days. 1st place is 78 days. Safe to say we’ll make the top 10, and we’ll give 1st place a good run.

Number of sub-zero days is a big one, and we’re going to rank right up there with some of the winters of lore for Minnesotans. As of today, February 25th, we’ve had 45 sub-zero days this winter. Only 6 other winters have had more, those being:
1977-78: 52
1978-79: 51
1886-87: 51
1976-77: 50
1935-36: 50
1892-93: 46

If you’ve checked the forecast, you’ll see we’re well on our way to climbing toward the top of the list from today through the 1st week of March.

Sources:
Rochester Record Temperatures
Rochester Snowfall Records
2013-14 Winter Rankings (occasionally updated, sometimes daily)
Rochester Winter Climate Records

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