Record cloudiness in January set the stage for a mild winter, but then heavy snows fell in April. Tropical Depression Cristobal caused mudslides in southeastern areas of Minnesota, and was the state's first known direct encounter with a tropical cyclone.
A tornado near Dalton, Minn., was the most violent since 2010. Damaging winds and hailstorms struck repeatedly during late summer. A massive downpour hit parts of eight counties with at least six inches of rain.
Record October snows and cold were followed by temperatures climbing from the single digits to the 70s and 80s in many areas between Oct. 27 and Nov. 4. A combination of the snow and high winds on Dec. 23 brought blizzard warnings in 70 of the state's 87 counties.
Precipitation and snowfall
Four months in 2020 had higher-than-normal precipitation levels and we were only 2 inches above normal for snowfall.
High, low and in between
Eight months in 2020 were warmer than the 30-year average. Overall, the average temperature for the year was a little over 1.5 degrees warmer than normal.
Gloomy: Normally clear and crisp, this month had less solar radiation than any January since records began at the U of M Climate Observatory in 1963.
Normal: Temperatures were near (or within one degree of) historical averages across the state, making it an unusually "normal" month for Minnesota.
Gentle start: March started with many sunny days, little precipitation and temperatures averaging 6 to 10 degrees warmer than normal.
All things equal: This month saw an equal mixture of warmer-than-normal and colder-than- normal days, with the greatest departures on the cool side.
Record rainfall: The 17th brought a nearly all-day "soaker" rainfall with 2 to 4 inches of rainfall to many parts of Minnesota.
Tropical cyclone: On the 9th, Minnesota had its first known direct encounter with a tropical cyclone.
Deadly tornado: Mega rain storms, hail and a deadly tornado near Dalton, Minn.
Tornadoes: A total of 25 tornadoes touched down in Minnesota on the 14th. There also were many reports of wind damage and flooding.
Hazy skies: Smoke from wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington spread over Minnesota. The smoke was thickest from Sept. 13 to 15.
Winter comes early: One of the coldest and snowiest Octobers in history. The average temperature was 6 to 7 degrees cooler than normal. Two-thirds of daytime temps were cooler than normal.
Warm election day: The 3rd through 9th was one of the warmest November starts on record, although the month as a whole was only the 16th warmest in state history.
White Christmas: After a warm and snowless start, a blizzard on Dec. 23 guaranteed a snowy Christmas Day across much of the state.
Download previous years' weather poster