First half of 2017 is 6th warmest on record for MSP

- The first 6 months of the year were quite warm, now officially the 6th warmest start to a year on record in the metro and the 2nd warmest start nationally.  2012 is still the leader both here in the metro and across the U.S. with MSP Airport coming in more than 3° warmer on average just 5 years ago.  That may not sound like much, but the 70s in February and the 80s on St. Patty’s Day should certainly stand out… contributing to that astonishingly warm year. 

Unlike 2012, no major records have been broken so far this year, but it has certainly been mild.  Would have been higher on the list if the metro didn’t break our 18 consecutive months with above average temperatures in May, but even with that, we still managed to be over 3° above the 30 year average.

Clearly it was warm nationwide as well with much of the Carolinas, more than half of Georgia, and at least part of 15 other states having record warm starts.  While the metro has had its 6th warmest start to the year, Minnesota as a whole comes in at 13th warmest with precipitation about normal when averaging statewide.  However, southeastern Minnesota’s surplus is balancing out northwest Minnesota’s abnormally dry conditions.  The only cool spot across the Lower48 was parts of Washington and the Pacific Northwest, with just a few areas coming in below average.

On the Brightside though, the very warm conditions didn’t come with drought as is often thought.  In fact, it came with record rain AND snow in some areas from the Sierra Nevada’s in California to parts of Yellowstone National Park and the Snake River in Idaho, to the Great Lakes region with parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and western Pennsylvania coming in with record precipitation.  Idaho and Michigan as a whole came in with their wettest first 6 months on record… Wisconsin not far behind with their second wettest.  The only part of the country to really contend with dry conditions have been the Western High Plains of the Dakotas and Montana.  Parts of North Dakota and eastern Montana coming in with their record driest, and North Dakota as a whole coming in with their 4th driest start on record.

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