Minnesota Was Sweltering 10 Years Ago This Week
When it comes to weather in March here in Minnesota, we can expect both huge snowstorms AND summer-like warm temperatures. And with the forecast this week calling for high temperatures nearly 20 degrees warmer than our average high of 40 degrees, I was wondering if we were close to breaking a warm-weather record for the week of St. Patrick's Day.
As it turns out, nope. And, we're not even close. For the warmest St. Patrick's Day, you have to go back a decade, to March of 2012, when it was pretty warm in Minnesota. I mean, REALLY warm.
And not just for a day or two, either. In fact, the entire month of March 2012 was a warm one. The National Weather Service office in La Crosse noted that March 2012 is notable for "its record-breaking warmth, particularly across the Upper Midwest. Long stretches of record highs and record warm lows were set, a lot of them significantly (10 degrees or more), including all-time March records."
And that record warmth was felt here in Rochester as well. The NWS says we set new records for high temperatures on 8 different days in March of 2012, including on St. Patrick's Day, when the thermometer topped out at a whopping 81 degrees!
Do you remember that year? I sure do. My wife and I were busy making final preparations for our wedding-- we got married in Jamaica on March 23rd of that year-- and had stopped off for a green beer (or two) in St. Paul at Sweeny's Saloon, where we were holding our reception later that month.
And it was warm enough that day in St. Paul that we were able to sit out on their deck in short sleeve shirts and shorts and soak in the sun while we enjoyed our green beer. It's not often in Minnesota you get to do that on St. Patrick's Day!
So while we'll certainly take the degree highs forecast for this week, they're not quite expected to get as warm as they did a decade ago. But it's better than the alternative of a late-season snowstorm from Old Man Winter, right?
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