Winter temps finish below average...coldest December to February in 8 years

Minnesota just had its coldest winter in eight years.  (FOX 9)

Despite winters mild start, we still end up more than 3° below the 30-year climate average, finishing up the coldest season since the "Polar Vortex" winter of 2013-2014 in the Twin Cities. 

To separate the year into more "manageable seasons" for climate records, we use the full months of December, January, & February... instead of going from the winter solstice (Dec 20) to the spring equinox (Mar 20).

December 2021 temps

Temps in December were 3 degrees above average  (FOX 9)

It didn't start out that way though with December coming in almost 3 degrees above average here in Minnesota, and was nearly the warmest on record in the continental U.S., ending more than 5 degrees above average overall. Then winter finally got going around here with January coming in as the coldest overall month in 8 years here in Minnesota, followed by a significantly colder than average February, with both months finishing more than 5 degrees below average.

January cold

January 2022 was the coldest month in eight years.  (FOX 9)

February 2022

February 2022 was also well below historical averages. (FOX 9)

While we are starting to climb out of the cellar as we head into and through the month of March, don't expect suddenly "warm" conditions. Average temps start in the 30s and stretch into the 40s, but March has been trending cooler overall in the last decade and that trend may continue. Long range forecasts suggest the month has a higher likelihood to be below average.