MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Calling December 2015 mild is an understatement. Temperatures topped the 40 degree mark nearly a dozen times with the month winding up more than 10 degrees above average. It has been so warm in fact that many larger metro lakes are still not completely frozen over which will be the latest ever ice in, including Lake Calhoun and Harriet. Not only will this be the warmest December in more than 50 years, but will be one of the top 5 warmest ever, with records dating back to the 1870’s. We aren’t the only warm ones though; much of the eastern half of the country will have had their warmest December on record. Just look at where the Midwest ranks in the picture below.
Amazingly enough, MSP Airport still managed to record a little over 9 inches of snow for the month. The last time we were this warm in 1959, we had just 3.5” of snow. So does this mean we are going to get clobbered later in the season because we are “due” for a big storm? Nope, that is a myth. Just because we don’t see a whole lot of snow to start the season, doesn’t mean we will have a bunch later. In fact, one month has no direct implications on what comes the month after it. However, an El Nino year typically means above average temperatures which would make it harder for our area to receive snow.