Before you grumble about the latest cold front, try and keep things in perspective. Tonight will be the 10th night below zero at MSP. During an average winter the metro picks up 23 nights below zero.
Heating degree data from NOAA confirms we’ve all saved 17 percent on heating bills, compared to average. Since Dec. 1, meteorological winter is the 11th-warmest since 1872, to date. By historical standards, this winter has been fairly tame, with only one real snowstorm (9 inches on Groundhog Day).
The last time we came out of a major El Niño was 1998. The spring that followed was wild: an EF-4 tornado in Comfrey, 57 tornadoes overall — with nearly $2 billion in hail and wind damage statewide. Every El Niño is different, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an active severe season in 2016.
After waking up to a refreshing 10F Saturday morning and trudging through a couple inches of fresh snow Sunday, the mercury rebounds next week. We could see March-like 40s and a little rain one week from today.
I’ll discuss the El Niño on TPT’s “Almanac” at 7 p.m. Friday.