My New Year's resolutions are simple: a healthy right ankle, inventing new ice-proof shoes, having my wife walk the dog during the winter months and not blaming everything on El Niño.

December was the warmest and the second-wettest month on record in Minnesota, according to climatologist Mark Seeley. Statewide, 2015 was the 21st wettest year on record.

Second-warmest autumn, a glorious summer, interrupted by a few spasms of severe weather, including an epic straight-line wind event on July 12 at Gull Lake.

January is the coldest month of the year and there are signs that the AO (arctic oscillation) is going negative, meaning a better chance of polar air splashing into the U.S. We'll see our fair share of cold fronts this month, but it probably won't be as numbing as in recent years, thanks to El Niño.

The sun peeks out today with temps near 30 Saturday — maybe three days above 32 next week. A welcome January thaw may give way to a couple subzero nights in two weeks.

Faint echoes of muscular winters gone by.