The surprising warmth of Minnesota

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The number of days per year with the average high temperatures at MSP Airport in these 10 degree categories...

It’s human nature to dwell on the aspects of life we don’t like; Our teenage years, pimples, taxes, getting older--all things many of us don’t appreciate, and in some cases, absolutely dread.

For Minnesotans though, many of us dwell on winter and many non-Minnesotans think it’s cold here all year round when we all know that’s just not the case.

Well, here is a friendly reminder that we get a lot more warmth here in Minnesota than even we remember. Granted, the term “warmth” is relative, but for the sake of argument, we’ll classify warmth as anything above what’s considered to be room temperature.

The list above shows the number of daily average highs at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in our 10-degree categories. What you’ll notice is our temperature arc in Minnesota with a cold stretch of days in the heart of winter and a warm stretch of days in the heart of summer.

So from Dec. 8 to Feb. 16, the average daily high in the metro is in the 20s. That’s 71 consecutive days that you’d expect highs generally in the twenties. Now, clearly that doesn’t happen because the weather is rarely “average”. But when combining all the warmer and colder highs on each individual day for 30 years, you’ll generally get highs in the twenties. That is the most common high temperature here in Minnesota.

I know, I’m not helping my own case. But if you look up a little ways, you’ll notice that it’s actually highs in the eighties that are second most common, and not by much.

From June 17 to Aug. 23, the average daily high at MSP Airport is in the 80s. I think that would shock most people.

If you continue from there, the 70s and 60s are next in line with 59 and 50 days respectively. This means that on average, the metro gets 177 days above 60 degrees each year. That’s likely far better than many of us realize and in the last decade or so, it’s often been far more than that.

In fact, in three of the last four years, we’ve been well above that getting more than 190 days above 60 degrees. So before you continue your rant that it’s “never warm in Minnesota," I think I just proved you wrong. So go out and enjoy your 68 straight days of 80s!