Publisher’s Perspective

By Tim Douglass, Publisher of the Pope County Tribune

Minnesota’s meteorological winter has come to a close.

The terms “meteorological winter” and “meteorological spring” signify the seasons by the calendar (December, January and February for winter and March, April and May for spring).

Did it even seem like winter?  There were a couple of times, but we mostly felt like we were in a perpetual autumn with some cold temperatures and very little snow.  For the most part, temperatures were very fall-like all “winter.”

Sure we have March in Minnesota, notorious for its blizzards, but even that seems far-fetched for this winter, or meteorological spring.

Of course, because the Twin Cities metro area has the most population and the most media, we always see weather comparisons that involve the Twin Cites.  Pope County is a bit further north, and of course west, but our winter has been remarkably similar here

Here’s the latest in a report from the metro area.

“It was the warmest winter on record, with 29.9 degrees as the average temperature,” said Tyler Hasenstein, meteorologist with the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service.

A caveat: Hasenstein is speaking of December, January and February — winter is not officially over yet. Although, it’s almost over. The spring equinox is March 19.

The winter record the area just broke was an old one:

“The previous record was 29.0 in 1877-1878,” Hasenstein says. That was 147 years ago.

Over the three months, the metro saw 18 days hit 50 or higher — a new record. There were also seven record daily highs and seven record daily lows, according to the Minnesota State Climatology Office.

The average temperature for meteorological winter in the Twin Cities is 19.6 degrees, which was exceeded by more than 10 degrees. The average for this winter was closer to the average for March (32.8 degrees) than it was averages for December (19.7 degrees), January (15.6 degrees) or February (20.8 degrees).

These numbers add up to fewer than two weeks of cold, winterlike weather.

While some may appreciate the warmer winters.  Many Minnesotans don’t.  I am in that camp.

I like ice fishing and who doesn’t like to experience a good Minnesota Blizzard from a safe, warm place.

Ice fishing was non-existent this year for many of us.  I never had the chance to get out on the ice for the first time in many years.   So, this year, I got my boat out of storage just last Friday and I’m preparing for open water.  It’s just the way its been this winter, er, fall, or was that spring?