Minnesota was a cool place to be in 2014. Very cool.
While the rest of the globe panted through what's likely to be the warmest year on record, "polar vortex" became a household term in Minnesota. Said vortex also shoved the state into its coldest year since 1996.
In the Twin Cities, the urban heat island became a tiki-torch ice bar, with the coldest winter in 34 years. (Remember those 53 days with below-zero readings?) Duluth, already well-known for its bone-chilling temps, suffered through the coldest winter in 141 years.
Summer was also cool, though comfortably cool, with only two days above 90 degrees in the Twin Cities.
Not so cool? A rain-soaked spring that caused widespread flash floods, loosened a mudslide on West River Parkway in Minneapolis and hampered shipping on the Mississippi River. It culminated in a June that was Minnesota's rainiest on record.
What's ahead for 2015? Climate scientists are starting to think a warmer atmosphere might actually be causing extremes to stall, even as cold did over Minnesota in 2014. But El Niño, now dithering in the equatorial Pacific, could bring us a mild late winter, an early spring and a wet summer.
If that doesn't help with your planning, here's one recommendation: Just be cool.