Weather: Word for this winter is warm
This week's weather word is warm. Thursday's high in Bemidji was 46 - or about 30 degrees warmer than average. So far this winter there have only been three days with low temperatures below zero, and none since Dec. 10.
The average low temperature for the entire month of December is 3 degrees and for January the average low is 4 degrees below zero.
We're not alone in basking in abnormal warmth. Across the United States this week, 875 record high temperatures were recorded, including 115 on Thursday. Record high temperatures were recorded in nearly every state. Aberdeen, S.D., reached 63 Thursday, their warmest temperature ever recorded in January. In Minnesota, Marshall also recorded a high of 63 on Thursday. In Minnesota, high temperature records were also recorded in Duluth, Hibbing, International Falls and Brainerd, and North Dakota saw highs in Fargo and Grand Forks.
Other areas of the United States reported record cold. Temperatures fell below freezing in northern and central Florida this week, including lows of 18 in Tallahassee and 20 in Gainesville Wednesday morning.
Approximately 3 inches of snow fell across the north woods earlier this week. Much of that snow has since disappeared. So far this winter less than 8 inches of snow has fallen in the Bemidji area. Typically we'd have received around 20 inches by this point. Extended forecasts show little hope of any significant snowfall. Indications are pointing to an outbreak of colder air towards the middle of the month.
In the Lake Tahoe region of California, traditionally one of the snowiest areas of the county, mountain snowpacks are running at 20 percent of average. This represents the lowest levels since the mid 1980s. To add perspective as to how dry it has been this winter in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, consider that as of mid June last year, 94 inches of snow was reported still on the ground.
Siemers is the Pioneer's circulation director. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.