January 2002 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

This Month's Daily Statistics

DATE: 1 February 2002
SUBJECT: Our Spring, I mean Mild Winter, Continues
                January 2002 St. Cloud weather summary
               The ridiculously warm weather of this non-winter continued
in January 2002. According to the statistics recorded at the Saint
Cloud Municipal Airport, the average January temperature was 21.2
degrees, 12.5 degrees above normal. This warm temperature tied 
January 1891 for the fourth warmest January in the 122 years of
Saint Cloud temperature records. January 2002 did fall 0.8 degrees short
of January 1990 which had an average temperature of 22.0 degrees. January
1990 was the second warmest January on record.
       There were only three days with below normal average temperatures
during the month: January 1, 2, and 18. There were also only 3 days with
below zero lows during the month. The normal is 16. It’s early, but we have
a chance to break the record for the fewest number of below zero lows. That
record is 16, set in 1997-1998. So far, we have had only 4 days with a low
below zero. In February, Saint Cloud averages 12 days with a below zero low;
the average for March is 3.5 days. So, just having near normal conditions
would bring us very close to this record, and we certainly haven’t been 
near normal so far this winter.
       January 2002 marked the third consecutive incredibly warm month.
November 2001 was the warmest November on record with an average temperature
12.1 degrees above normal. December 2001 was the thirteenth warmest on record
with an average temperature 9.8 degrees above normal. This sustained warmth
made the three-month period of November 1 through January 31 the warmest
November through January period on record in Saint Cloud. The average
temperature of 29.0 degrees beat November 1913 through January 1914
by 0.3 degrees. Our temperature for the past three months averaged 11.7
degrees above normal. 
        The warm weather came with very little snowfall. Only 3.5 inches
of snow fell in January 2002, the 19th lowest January snowfall total on
record. However, January 1990 was even browner. Only 0.1 inches of snow
fell during January 12 years ago, the lowest January snowfall on record.
Normally, January is the snowiest month of the year, averaging 10.1 inches
per month.
               The seasonal snowfall now stands at 18.6 inches. This is
not a record low, since we have had 5 years where the entire seasonal
snowfall was less than 18 inches. The most recent occurrence was 
the winter of 1986-1987 when 16.7 inches fell during the whole season.
The most recent relatively snow-less winter was in 1999-2000 when only
28.1 inches fell during the season. In a normal winter, we would double
our current seasonal snowfall by the end of April, but it certainly hasn’t
been normal.
               The melted precipitation for January 2002 totaled 0.28 inches, the
fourteenth lowest January precipitation on record. Again, January 1990
was drier, producing only 0.06 inches, the third lowest January total on
        The net result is that we are having our fourth mild winter
in the past five years. In addition, there are signs that El Nino, the
anomalous current of warm ocean water in the tropical Pacific, has
begun to rise. El Nino has nothing to do with this mild winter, but
could affect next winter’s weather. Two SCSU students, Tina Fischer and
, recently researched conditions in Minnesota during an El Nino year.
Both showed that an El Nino event strongly favors a mild winter. 
So, if this El Nino gets strong enough, the odds strongly favor another
mild winter in 2002-2003.
SUMMARY FOR JANUARY 2002               JAN 2002         NORMAL
Average high temperature (F)            30.0            18.6
Average low temperature (F)             12.3            -1.2
Average temperature (F)                 21.2             8.7
Warmest high for this month (F)          49 on the 8th (broke record;
                                                         see below)       
Coldest high for this month (F)          11 on the 18th
Mildest low for this month (F)           34 on the 9th (broke record;
                                                          see below)
Coldest low for this month (oF)           -9 on the 18th
Record temperatures (oF):
Daily record warm high:                   49 on the 8th (old record: 46 in 1990)
Daily record warm mean:                   35 on the 8th (old record: 34 in 1990)
                                          40 on the 9th (old record: 38 in 1900)                   
January                                   0.28           0.74
Greatest in 24 hours                       .17 on the 13th                                                    
January                                    3.5           10.1
Greatest in 24 hours                       2.2 on the 13th 
Season (2001-2002)                        18.6           26.3
                ST. CLOUD SNOWFALL(IN)
1999-2000  0.0  1.1  4.5 10.8  8.4    T  3.3  0.0   28.1
2001-2002  0.5 11.8  2.8  3.5                       18.6
NORMAL     0.5  6.8  8.9 10.1  7.0  9.8  2.3  0.1   45.5
     ST. CLOUD TEMPS--JANUARY   (122 YEARS; AVG =  9.1 F; SDEV =  6.6 F)
        WARMEST                          COLDEST
     22.8 F  1944                     -5.7 F  1912
     22.0 F  1990                     -4.8 F  1936
     21.8 F  1931                     -3.6 F  1887
     21.2 F  1891                     -3.5 F  1888
     21.2 F  2002        Tied for 4th      -3.1 F  1982
     20.4 F  1921   warmest ever      -2.5 F  1979
     19.6 F  1900                     -2.2 F  1977
     19.4 F  1919                     -1.5 F  1966
     18.8 F  1914                     -1.4 F  1929
     18.6 F  1942                     -0.4 F  1883
       29.0 F       2001-2002  Warmest on record
       28.7 F  1913-1914
       26.8 F  1918-1919
       25.9 F  1899-1900
       25.8 F  1890-1891
       25.5 F  1931-1932
       24.5 F  1930-1931
       24.2 F  1941-1942
       24.0 F  1881-1882
       23.8 F  1905-1906
       23.8 F  1999-2000


Historic temperature data provided courtesy of the Saint Cloud National Weather Service Office, and NOAA/NWS
National Weather Service logo NOAA logo

Send comments to:

Connect with SCSU