Friday, January 6, 2012

Minnesota Record Heat: First Ever 60° Temperature in First Week of January

The record heat of January 5 produced the first 60° temperatures ever observed in Minnesota during the first week of January. The Minnesota Climatology Working Group reports:
The highest temperature found so far from a National Weather Service Cooperative Station is 62 degrees at Marshall. Both Milan and Madison in southwestern Minnesota both saw 61 degrees. An automated station near Canby in Yellow Medicine County reached 63 degrees. Looking back to 1891 this is the first time a maximum temperature reached 60 degrees in the state for the first week of January. St. Cloud saw a record high of 53 degrees, breaking the old record of 43 degrees set in 1984. Clouds held the temperature down in the Twin Cities and "only" had a high of 45 degrees.

There has never been a 60 degree temperature recorded during the first week of January in Minnesota's modern climate record. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota during the first week of January is 59 degrees, occurring on January 7, 2003 in Amboy, MN. The warmest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota on January 5 is 57 degrees, recorded at Crookston in 1902.

How rare is it to have a temperature of 60 degrees or higher in January in Minnesota? Reaching 60 degrees ANY time ANYWHERE in January is quite rare, occurring in only 10 years of the 120 year modern record. The all-time record high temperature for any day in January is 69 degrees, occurring January 24, 1981 in Montevideo.
New Record High Temperatures January 5, 2012

City Max Temp Prev. Rec Year
Marshall 62 48 1958
Sioux Falls 62 49 1985
Milan 61 47 1958
Madison 61 49 1958
Redwood Falls 59 47 1958
St. Cloud 53 43 1984
Mankato 52 45 1958
The warm conditions caused a Target trailer which had veered off of highway I-94 near Monticello to plunge through the ice of a pond:
Semi driver crawls to safety as rig sinks in pond

Image (click to enlarge): A Target trailer stuck in ice after going off I-94 near Monticello, Minnesota, from Department of Public Safety, via

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