Record warmth, a dry fall and a heckuva lot of snow ends 2022
Long warm periods with four record highs, a November heat wave and unusually windy days were the trend in Twin Cities area weather in 2022.
Long warm periods with four record highs, a November heat wave and unusually windy days were the trend in Twin Cities weather in 2022. The metro had its longest-ever stretch of consecutive days above 70 degrees, breaking the previous record by 11 days.
The metro area saw severe to extreme drought by the fall, with less than half an inch of precipitation in September and October combined. Across the state, average wind speeds and frequency of wind gusts over 30 mph were the highest in over four decades, while two sub-zero cold snaps served as bookends for a strange year in weather.
Precipitation and snowfall
Although four months in 2022 had higher than normal precipitation, the Twin Cities saw next to nothing in September and October. Snowfall levels rose to 7 inches above normal for the year, led mostly by an incredibly snowy November and December — the most snow in those two months since 2010.
More windy days or better records?
The National Weather Service recorded more gusty days last year at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport than any other year in recent history. But changes in sensor technology may play some role in the increase.
Coldest of cold: Most areas of the state were a handful of degrees below normal in this coldest of all months, making it the coldest January in several years, but with below-average snowfall statewide.
Winter wonderland: Most places in the state received more than a foot of snow in February, totaling about twice a typical amount of precipitation, somewhat making up for a dry January.
Mean March: More cold and gusty winds were the story for March, and although overall precipitation around the state was on the low side again, the Arrowhead had plenty of snow.
Where's spring? Temps in April were several degrees below average, with many areas recording record lows. The rain (and sometimes snow) returned in abundance, especially in northern Minnesota. Parts of Voyageurs National Park and the BWCA were closed due to flooding from record precipitation that combined with abundant snowmelt runoff.
Severe weather: After a cold four months, warmth returned but brought with it an unusual amount of extreme weather: Six days around the state saw a combination of tornadoes (more than 70 warnings), large hail (up to baseball-sized in Albert Lea), and winds stronger than 74 mph, one of the most active months for severe thunderstorms in years.
Warmer, uneven rain: On the whole, June's temperatures were about average, but while some areas of the state went into moderate drought, others were hammered with thunderstorms. Adequate rainfall eventually returned to all of Minnesota and there were no signs of the long drought.
Hot, but average: A very usual July, with temperatures slightly above average and rainfall slightly below average. But there were more windy days, continuing a trend for the year.
More of the same: August echoed July in many ways, with most measures at or slightly above normal. Most areas with drought around Minnesota remained the same or shrank a little in August; despite this, crops managed a successful year.
The dry get drier: A few degrees hotter than average meant that most areas of the state — already suffering from drought — saw little rain, in some cases less than 2 inches.
Little rain: Very little rain throughout the state meant we remained stuck in moderate drought with little chance of getting out, even as the first few inches of snow floated down.
Warm fall, welcome winter: A very mild, albeit windy, start to the month quickly flipped to winter at the end, especially in northeastern Minnesota, which got more than a foot of snow. Meanwhile, the Twin Cities and southwestern Minnesota counties experienced severe to extreme drought, with rainfall deficiencies ranging from 10 to 15 inches.
A fast winter: December came with abundant snowfall (over 40 inches in northeastern Minnesota), blizzard warnings and windchill advisories, with readings as low as 30 to 45 degrees below zero.
Download previous years' weather poster