<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> December 2011 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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St. Cloud 2011 Year at a Glance

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(December 2011 Summary)




Saint Cloud Weather Summary for December 2011 and Annual Weather Summary for 2011

Warm, Brown December is Reversal from Last Three Decembers

The weather trend of the second half of the year continued in St. Cloud in December 2011 as another dry, relatively snowless, and mild month was recorded. The mild weather did end up producing the the 10th warmest December. The average December temperature of 25.1°F was 9.2°F warmer than normal.

Dabbling in the 40's Late in December

The warm weather has been dominated by the warm high temperatures. The average December high was 34.0°F, is 9.1°F warmer than average. That ranks as the 5th warmest December high temperature in St. Cloud records and the warmest average high since 1959.

The warm conditions included a record-breaking 47-degree high on December 18 and a record-breaking 49 degree high on December 26. Much of southern Minnesota reached into the 50's on the day after Christmas. There was even a 60-degree high in Madison. In St. Cloud recorded history, there have been 115 days from December 15 or later with a high of at least 40 degrees, including 4 days in 2006 and the 4 days noted this year. However, from the 18th on, there have been only 22 days with a high of at least 45 degrees, and only 7 days since 1940. The last December with two such days was in 1931. Only 1899 with three days has had more than we've seen this year. At this point, it doesn't look like December 31 will be added to the list, but we'll see.

Meanwhile, the lack of precipitation continued in December with only 2.8 inches of snow, 2.4 inches of which fell on the last two days of the month. That's 7.7 inches below the new December normal of 10.5 inches. That won't be low enough to crack the 10 brownest Decembers on record, but we will only record 1 day with a snow cover of one inch in December (December 31). Last year by the end of December, St. Cloud had been staring at snow on the ground for 39 days from November 22 on.

That snow melted to 0.40 inch, again not low enough to crack 10th lowest December precipitation totals, but 0.4 inch below the normal. That's with 0.29 inch falling on the 30th and 31st. The light snowfall broke a streak of three straight snowy Decembers, each of which produced at least 18 inches of snow and each of which placed in the 8 Snowiest Decembers.

Despite the forecasts of a La Nina winter, which would tend to produce colder than average conditions in the Northern Plains, the weather pattern that developed would be more typical of the opposite tropical Pacific pattern. A strong southern US storm track kept a series of wet and sometimes white storms well to the south of Minnesota. Meanwhile, the northern branch of the westerlies stayed in central Canada, locking what little really cold air got into the Northern Hemisphere into northern Canada and Greenland.


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and Minnesota Climatology Working Group, including the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office, University of Minnesota-Saint Paul Campus.

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Last updated: Sunday, January 1, 2012 9:48 AM
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