2016-2017 Meteorological Winter Among Warmest on Record
It is March first and that means it is the beginning of meteorological spring. Astronomical spring begins later this month on the 20th which is when the plane of earth’s equator passes through the center of the sun.
We have seen some interesting stats from this past winter with Duluth averaging a temperature of 18.1 degrees. That makes it the 15th warmest winter in recorded history of 143 dating back to 1874. The coldest winter was 1847-75 with an average temperature of 3.6 degrees. The warmest was 1877-78 with an average temperature of 28.1 degrees. The snowfall for the winter season was 50.9 inches from December 1st through March 1st. The total since the beginning of fall is 59.0” as snow did accumulate in November. We sit at 31st place out of 143rd. The snowiest was in 1968-69 with 87.5 inches and the lowest was 1894-95 with 14.4 inches of snow.
February was a warm month as well with an average temperature of 22.5 degrees. That is 7.4 degrees above normal making it the 9th warmest in history. The warmest day of the month was 52 degrees on the 17th and 18th. The coldest day was -11 on the 9th in Duluth. Precipitation was 1.80 inches for the month making it the 14th wettest. 14.1 inches of snow fell for the month and that was 1.7 inches higher than the 12.4 inch average.
Now in a new month our average high temperature starts at 29 degrees and then warms up to 41 degrees by march 31st. the average precipitation is 1.49 inches with 13.2 of snow out of that moisture. Sunlight continues to grow as gain one hour and 43 minutes going from 11 hours and seven minutes to twelve hours and 50 minutes. With such a warm winter, some may wonder if the march snowfall will be lackluster at best. Well we have seen snowfall averaging about 10-20 inches since 2011 so the potential is there for a late season snow storm.
-Meteorologist Gino Recchia