Minnesota DNR: Rochester’s In a ‘Mild’ Winter… So Far
When it comes to winter weather, so far here in 2020 we've been pretty lucky-- so much so that the DNR says this winter is mild... so far.
Here in Minnesota, we're proud of our ability to endure our long, cold winters. What's that? The overnight low is going to drop to 30 degrees below zero? No problem, right? But even for us-- those extremely cold nights and never-ending snowstorms can make life kinda miserable, even if we'd never admit that to those living outside Minnesota!
Which is why the Minnesota DNR publishes a 'Misery Index,' each year, so we can try to objectively say whether our not we're in a tough winter. And, yeah, this winter is still technically classed as not-so-bad. Mild, even, one might say. As the DNR does in this Twin Cities Snow and Cold Index report about our winter so far.
It's a little tough to remember, but our December WAS pretty mild. We had one storm that dumped about 7 or 8 inches of snow on us early in the month, then it pretty much didn't snow again until January.
And, it warmed up into the low 40s right after Christmas-- heck, it even rained most of the day on December 27th. So, overall, yeah, it hasn't been as bad as some winter seasons have been in the past.
In its report (which you can read HERE), the DNR assigns our winter season different points based on how cold it's been and how much snow we've received. So far this year, we're at 37 points-- still 'mild', and still under the 'moderate' category, which kicks in at 54. Last year at this time, we were at 52-- and that was BEFORE all that snow fell in February.
In fact, last year, with all that record-setting snow and 30-below zero temps before that, put us firmly in the 'severe' category. This year, though, not so much. Even the Midwest Regional Climate Center classes our winter here in Rochester as 'average'-- so far.
It was early February last year, though, when things changed and Old Man Winter started dumping all that snow on us. So while it's been fairly quiet so far-- and doesn't show signs of that changing in the next week or so-- will that hold out for the rest of the season too?