<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> February 2008 and Winter 2007-2008 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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Saint Cloud Has Actual Winter Temperatures for The Second Time in 11 Years

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for February 2008 and Winter 2007-2008

For only the second time since the winter of 1995-1996, Saint Cloud had colder than normal temperatures during the winter season (December 1-February 29). The average winter temperature, according to the statistics from the Saint Cloud Regional Airport was 10.5°F, 2.6°F colder than the normal Saint Cloud winter temperature of 13.1°F. While this temperature merely ranks as the 34th coldest out of 127 winters on record, it was the second coldest winter out of the past 11 years. Only the winter of 2000-2001 (8.7°F) has been colder in recent years.

February 2008 made the largest contribution to this cold winter. The average February 2008 temperature was 10.8°F, 5.2°F colder than normal. While January was colder, the February average temperature was the furthest below normal of any winter month. This February 2008 temperature only tied 1903 and 1905 as the 41st coldest out of the 128 Februaries in St. Cloud records, but it was the third coldest February since 1994. Only February 2001 (6.3°F) and February 2007 (10.7°F) have been colder during the past 14 Februaries.

After the first week of the month, February was dominated by a procession of arctic air masses that had remained in Alaska, the Yukon, and the Arctic Ocean for much of the winter. This pattern ensured that only 4 of the last 24 days in February had an above normal temperature. This cold weather pattern produced 12 days with a low of zero or below, one day that stayed below zero all day (February 20th), producing both a record cold high and a record cold average temperature, another low of -20°F on February 21st, and the coldest high temperature since January 30, 2004 (-7°F on February 10).

While these readings seemed severe compared to recent winters, February and this winter simply saw a reestablishment of a normal winter pattern. It was persistently cold, but came up short on the extremes. There have now been 43 days with a low of zero or below during this cold season, which is essentially the normal number (42.7 days). The four days with a high of zero or colder also rank as essentially normal (4.3 days in a cold season). The winter of 2007-2008 has produced 3 days with a low of at least -20°F, which is still short of the normal number of lows that cold (5.4 days in a normal cold season). And, there was only daily record low temperature set all winter (-15°F on December 5). In contrast, St. Cloud hasn't seen a high of -10°F or colder since January 29, 2004, no low of -30°F or colder since January 30, 2004, and no low of -40°F since February 2, 1996.

Similar to the past three winters, snowfall has been well short of normal. Actually, February 2008 ended up with 7.3 inches of snow, 0.1 inch above normal. However, the total seasonal snowfall through February 29 totaled 23.5 inches, more than a foot below the normal amount of 36 inches. We got off to a roaring start with two major snowstorms dropping 10.9 inches in the first 6 days in December. Since December 6, however, only 12.1 inches of snow has fallen, again more than 12 inches behind the normal total of 24.8 inches. This relatively snowless season continues a trend seen in the past 4 winters with well below normal snowfall. Last winter had even less snowfall going into late February (only 6.8 inches for the entire winter to February 22nd), but two major storms in late February and early March pushed the total over 30 inches. The big difference between this winter and recent winters is the persistent snow cover. Most of the snow that fell in early December has remained on the ground for the entire three months. That is in direct contrast to our recent mild winters. In fact, the only other cold winters were the ones with snow cover as persistent as we've had. Once again, this is more normal for St. Cloud; it's the mild years that have been unusual.

Cold Season Most Consecutive Days of Snow Cover
2000-2001 131 days
2001-2002 33 days
2002-2003 25 days
2003-2004 38 days
2004-2005 37 days
2005-2006 102 days
2006-2007 37 days
2007-2008 90 days and counting

 

Where has the snow been going? There has been more snowfall to our north with near normal snowfall in International Falls (60.2 inches for the year) and more snow in Duluth (51.3 inches), although this is more than 11 inches short of normal. However, Iowa and Wisconsin have been on the primary storm track all winter. Through the end of February, Des Moines, IA, has picked up 52.6 inches, Waterloo, IA, has had up 48.8 inches, and LaCrosse, WI, has picked up 59.2 inches of snow this cold season so far. Further into Wisconsin, several areas have exceeded 90 inches for the season. Green Bay, WI, has had nearly double the normal snowfall (77.8 inches). Madison has set an all-time record for seasonal snowfall with 89.8 inches, more than 13 1/2 inches higher than any previous winter. To put this into perspective, the highest snowfall season in St. Cloud was 87.9 inches in 1964-1965. 51.7 inches of that total came in March 1965, so we are not guaranteed to have a below normal snowfall year.

With the lack of snowfall, liquid equivalent precipitation has also been below normal. In February 2008, 0.54 inch of precipitation fell, which was 0.05 inch below normal. The winter total melted precipitation was 1.83 inches, about a third of an inch short of the normal 2.18 inch total. Ironically, February 2008 did produce a record-tying precipitation event. On February 29, the record for daily precipitation was tied. However, the record is 0.01 inch, an abnormal daily record because of the few occurrences of Leap Day.

The main weather-related event in central Minnesota for February was the air pollution episode of February 22-25. Pollution levels have become a significant problem in Minnesota in the past decade. Warming up the arctic air trapped some of the leftover cold air near the ground. Add in light winds and parts of Minnesota exceeded the unhealthy for sensitive groups level of the Air Quality Index for 4 days. St. Cloud had two February days with unhealthy air for sensitive groups, including the worst air quality index of the season (139) on February 25. The other major pollution outbreak this winter was a four-day period during December 18-21. Both the Twin Cities and Rochester have had 9 days in which the unhealthy for sensitive groups designation was reached.

 

February 2008 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
Feb 2008
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
20.5
25.7
Average Low Temperature (°F)
1.0
6.4
Mean Temperature for February (°F)
10.8*
16.0

*Tied with 1903, 1905 as 41st coldest February

3rd coldest February since 1994 (February 2001: 6.3°F; February 2007: 10.7°F)

   
February Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for Feb 2008 (°F)
36
Feb. 17th
Coldest High Temperature for Feb 2008 (°F)
-7**
Feb. 10th
Warmest Low Temperature for Feb 2008 (°F)
23
Feb. 4th
Coldest Low Temperature for Feb 2008 (°F)
-20
Feb. 21st
**Coldest High Temperature since January 30, 2004 (-8°F)
Record Temperatures in February 2008
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Cold High
2°F
February 20th
4°F set in 1939
Daily Record Cold Average
-8°F
February 20th
-7°F set in 1918
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
February 2008 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
24
February 2008 Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
2
0.8
February 2008 Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F
0
0.5
February 2008 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
28
27.8
February 2008 Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
14
12.2
February 2008 Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
1
2.9
February 2008 Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F
0
0.4
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
Feb 2008
Normal
February 2008 Saint Cloud Airport Melted Precipitation (in)
0.54
0.59
February 2008 SCSU Melted Precipitation (in)
1.16
0.62
February Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in February 2008
0.26 inch
Feb. 13th
Record Precipitation in February 2008
Precipitation (in)
Date
Old Record
Daily Record Melted Precipitation
0.01 (tied record)
February 29th
set in 1936, 1940, 1948
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
February 2008 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
5
5.7
February 2008 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
2
2.1
February 2008 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
1
0.8
February 2008 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
0
0.3
February 2008 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.0
Snowfall (in)
Feb. 2008
Normal
February 2008 Saint Cloud Airport Snowfall (in)
7.3
7.2
Snowfall Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
February 2008 Days with Measurable (>= 0.1 inch) Snowfall
8
8.7
February 2008 Days with >= 1.0 inch Snowfall
2
3.7
February 2008 Days with >= 2.0 inch Snowfall
2
1.7
February 2008 Days with >= 5.0 inch Snowfall
0
0.3
February Extremes
Snowfall (in)
Date
Most Daily Snowfall (in) in February 2008
3.0
February 13th
Record Snowfall (in) in February 2008
Snowfall (in)
Date
Old Record
No Snowfall Records Set

Winter (Dec 1-Feb 29) 2007-2008 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
Winter 2007-2008
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
19.8
22.5
Average Low Temperature (°F)
1.1
3.6
Mean Temperature for Winter (°F)
10.4
13.1

**34th coldest winter in St. Cloud Records

2nd coldest winter of the past 11 winters (2000-2001: 8.7°F)

Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
Cold Season 2007-2008
Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
85

Cold Season 2007-2008
Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F

2nd of past 11 Cold Seasons with at least 4 days (2004-2005; 5 days)

4
4.3

Cold Season 2007-2008
Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F

None since January 29, 2004

0
0.6

Cold Season 2007-2008
Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

130
170.4

Cold Season 2007-2008
Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F

First Cold Season With At Least Normal Number Since 2002-2003: 43 days

43
42.7

Cold Season 2007-2008
Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F

More than last two winters combined (1)

3
5.4

Cold Season 2007-2008
Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F

None since January 30, 2004

0
0.6
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
Winter 2006-2008
Normal
Saint Cloud Airport Winter Melted Precipitation (in)
1.83
2.18
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
Winter 2007-2008
Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
15
19.4
Winter 2007-2008
Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
6
6.5
Winter 2007-2008
Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
4
2.3
Winter 2007-2008
Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
1
0.6
Winter 2007-2008
Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
0.0
Snowfall (in)
Winter 2005-2006
Normal
Winter 2007-2008 Snowfall (in)
23.0
26.3
December 7, 2007-February 29, 2008 Snowfall (in)
12.1
24.8
Seasonal Snowfall (in) for Cold Season 2007-2008 (October 1, 2007-March 4, 2008)
23.5
36.0

Saint Cloud Cold Season Snowfall 2004-2008

Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar April May June Total
2004-2005
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.2
2.0
15.0
8.9
1.0
0.1
0.0
27.2
2005-2006
0.0
0.0
0.0
4.6
15.1
3.8
3.7
6.2
0.0
0.0
0.0
33.4
2006-2007
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.3
2.4
2.0
13.8
8.2
5.1
0.0
0.0
31.8
2007-2008
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.5
13.9
1.8
7.3
23.5
30-Year-Normals
(1971-2000)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.6
8.9
7.8
11.5
6.7
8.5
2.6
0.1
0.0
45.8
Historic Averages
(1899-2005)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.7
6.2
7.2
9.1
7.2
8.3
2.6
0.1
0.0
41.6



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Last updated: Monday 05-Jan-2009 2:54 PM
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