Above-normal temperatures set record of 44 days in a row

Warren Wolfe

Star Tribune

Published Dec 11 2001

Temperatures in the Twin Cities were above normal Monday for a record 44th day in a row. And the streak may continue through the weekend, forecasters say.

"Man, this is OK, and it sure is different from last year, when December was the third coldest on record," said Pete Boulay, assistant state climatologist.

Monday, for instance, the temperature topped out at 41 -- comfortably above the normal high of 27 and low of 13 -- and a far cry from last year's high of 26 and low of 6 below.

"Without snow cover, it's pretty hard to keep those temperatures down," Boulay said. Also helping has been air from the west and south instead of the Arctic north, he said.

The warm air -- above normal since Oct. 28 -- has been enough to warm the cockles of roofers, building construction crews and road-repair crews.

Good weather this fall has allowed the Hiawatha light-rail project to make good progress and to be ahead of schedule in some areas, said spokeswoman Karen Boothe.

The previous record stretch of above-normal temperatures was 42 days, tied in November-December 1999 and January-March 1987, according to the Minnesota State Climatologist's office at the University of Minnesota.

Temperatures haven't been just a little above normal, either.

The last four days of October averaged 7 degrees above normal; November was 13.2 degrees above normal -- the warmest November on record -- and December so far is 12.2 degrees above normal.

The National Weather Service says that unusually warm air should continue for the rest of the week, but by Monday there's a chance -- just a chance -- of temperatures falling to about normal -- a high of 25 and a low of 9 degrees.

-- Warren Wolfe is at wolfe@startribune.com .