(An A to Z Challenge entry)
Minnesotans are notorious using the weather as common small talk conversation. I am sure other people elsewhere use it too, but not nearly as much or as often as Minnesotans. And the reason I say that is because how many places do you know can change 50-70 degrees overnight? It is actually a regular occurrence here, and it happens year round.
And this winter was no different. We had our worst and coldest Minnesotan winter in 35 years. Here are some stats according to the Minnesota DNR:
The winter of 2013-14 from December-February in the Twin Cities was the coldest Meteorological Winter in 35 years. It also points out that February 2014 wound up being in a three-way tie for the 7th coldest and was also the 6th snowiest.
Coldest Winters in the Twin Cities: 1872-73 to 2013-14
Winter Avg Temp (F) Rank
1874-1875 4.0 1 1886-1887 5.7 2 1935-1936 7.3 3 1872-1873 7.9 4 1903-1904 8.4 5 1916-1917 8.5 6 1882-1883 9.2 7 1978-1979 9.4 8 2013-2014 9.7 9 1887-1888 10.0 10
Here are some photos shared with the local news station during our blizzard on February 20th.Thanks to the four Minnesotans who submitted these photos to WCCO to share (and now I am borrowing to use!).
These photos do a good job of showing how much snow we got on that particular blizzard, but is also a good representation of how much snow we have gotten in several of the other blizzards this winter. Here is a graph to show just how much snow we have gotten (recorded at the MSP International Airport). It does a good job of comparing our snowfalls this year to last year, as well as comparing it to the long term snowfall average.
And every time it snowed, Minnesotans got crankier and crankier. I felt bad for Jak because he has to shovel the apartment complexes’ sidewalks and one of the buildings is on a corner lot, which means twice as many paths.
But worse than the snow were the temperatures. We spent 53 days this winter (December – February) at 0°F or colder, making this winter tied at 5th on the books for coldest winters. We spent 17 days straight (January 26 – February 11) below zero. That is a long ass time. And while those are the minimum temperatures for any given day, when you have a -20 to -30 windchill, it really doesn’t matter that the temperature is in reality.Windchill (for those who live in balmy weather and never experience such cold temperatures where this term is used) is what the air temperature feels like to the body, especially exposed skin. Windchill, like its name implies, it determined when wind or other factors involved makes the temperature feel chillier than what the thermometer reads.
So yeah, this winter has been brutal. I would use “was”, but I have learned in my 28 years living in Minnesota, to not count your chickens before they hatch. Last year we had a snowstorm the first week of May, and just last week we have a blizzard that dumped 6-18 inches of snow on us (depending where you live). I want to believe this treacherous winter is behind us, but until we have more than three days at 55-60°+F in a row, I won’t speak too loudly.
How are the winters where you are from? Have you ever experienced a Minnesota Winter?