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Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeEditorial2023 Was Warmer Than Normal, but February Hopes to Dial Down Nature’s...

2023 Was Warmer Than Normal, but February Hopes to Dial Down Nature’s Thermostat a Bit

By Northern News Now meteorologist Dave Anderson

The statistics for 2023 have been finalized by the fine folks at National Weather Service Du­luth. 2023 turned out to be 1.9 degrees warmer than nor­mal. The year had two normal months, three colder than nor­mal months, and seven warm­er than normal months. “Nor­mal” is our region’s average annual mean temperature of 39 degrees. Normal climate variability is two percent plus or minus that number. So, we can wobble from minus 0.8 degrees to plus 0.8 degrees and still be in the proper zone.

Now, here’s a look at the prior five years: 2022 was mi­nus 1.9 degrees, 2021 was plus 2.5 degrees, 2020 was plus 1.6 degrees, 2019 was plus 0.2 de­gree and 2018 was 0.4 degree. So, of the last six years, one was cooler than normal, two were normal and three were warmer than normal. The av­erage of the six years gives us plus 0.8 degree from the mean — the upper border of what is considered normal.

For this February, long-range forecasters think we’ll go way below normal for temps — four degrees cooler than average! They also think snow totals will be perking up, and the normal monthly total going ten inches with another ten on top of that. This is due to El Nino fading in its ten­dency to bring warm weather and the polar vortex set up to deliver us more cold from the north.

The first to twelfth of Feb­ruary should be cold with scat­tered snow showers. The 9th to 13th should be warmer, but with only flurries, the 19th to 22nd should be clear and cold but the 23rd to 29th should be cool and snowy.

I personally hope the snow pays off this month. Win­ter sports enthusiasts haven’t had much fun this winter and the clock is already ticking to­ward spring.

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