Weather: Mild temps continue
Yet another week of unusually warm weather has passed. High temperatures across the north woods were about 10 degrees above average and lows were about 15 degrees above average.
Several mornings featured freezing fog, also known by the unfortunate name hoarfrost, which coated pretty much everything. Ten-day outlooks show no significant storms or cold on the horizon.
The National Weather Service has released data showing that the period from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 was the warmest ever recorded for that time frame in the North Dakota cities of Fargo and Grand Forks. The average temperature for the period was 38.1 degrees in Fargo - nearly 2 degrees warmer than the previous record.
Such was not the case at this time in 1996. Record lows, which still stand, were recorded during six mornings in late January and early February in Bemidji. These included three straight mornings with lows between 45 and 47 below.
Notorious area cold spot Fosston, Minn., recorded a low of 51 below on Feb. 1, 1996. Still, these temperatures seem balmy when compared to Tower, where the temperature fell to 60 below on the morning of Feb. 2. Tower's low is the coldest temperature recorded in the contiguous 48 states since 1985 and ties for the fifth coldest temperature ever.
A major winter storm is passing us to the south.
Much of Nebraska and areas of central and southern Iowa, including the metropolitan areas of Omaha, Neb., and Des Moines, Iowa, are bracing for up to a foot of snow. The storm will likely barely brush Minnesota where light snow may dust the ground from Albert Lea to Winona.
Punxsutawney Phil, America's favorite weather prognosticating rodent, was yanked from his cage Thursday morning just long enough to see his shadow, thus predicting another six weeks of winter. Given what we have experienced to this point, I say bring it on.
TOM SIEMERS is the Pioneer's circulation director.