Skip to main content

2016 was America's 2nd warmest year on record, 2nd wettest in MN

The contiguous U.S.A had its second warmest year in 122 years of record-keeping.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Weather officials confirmed what had long been suspected, 2016 was an exceptionally warm year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday that 2016 was the second-warmest year on record in the contiguous United States, with an average temperature of 54.9 degrees, coming in 2.9 degrees above average.

It's the 20th year in a row that the country has experienced above annual average warmth. No part of the country had average- or below-average temperatures last year.

The warmest year on record remains 2012.

Among the other notable data released by the NOAA on Monday is that Minnesota and Wisconsin experienced their second wettest years on record. And the 40.32 inches that fell in the Twin Cities last year was about 9.71 inches above average, making it the wettest year on record there, weather officials said.

Temperatures in Minnesota have been above average for the past 16 months in a row. This map from the NOAA shows that the areas that experienced the highest above-average temperatures could be found in northern Minnesota and North Dakota.

NBC New York reports that information on the average global temperature for 2016 is expected to be released later this month.

Weather disasters on the rise

NOAA says that as well as being the second-warmest year on record, 2016 also saw the second-most "weather and climate disasters" experienced in a single year.

There were 15 weather or climate events that between them claimed 138 lives and caused $46 billion of damage.

These disasters include eight severe storms, a wildfire, a drought, four inland floods and Hurricane Matthew.

Although not severe enough to qualify as a disaster for NOAA's standards, Minnesota was hit by flooding in September that qualified the some counties for federal money to pay for damage from the floods.

Next Up


Hospital chiefs say nursing strike will come at 'worst possible time'

A nurses union announced an almost three-week strike to take place in the Twin Cities.


Sven Sundgaard: What's in store for MN's weather in December?

Sundgaard recaps Minnesota's fall and looks ahead to December.


Manure spill in Wisconsin leads to hours-long main street disruption

The spill was first reported just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.


Ice Cube to perform 2 nights at Mystic Lake Casino

The rapper hasn't performed in Minnesota since 2018.


Nicollet Mall's new Ties Lounge & Rooftop closes 'indefinitely'

The establishment aimed to reconnect the downtown community.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.15.44 AM

Chinese restaurant closing after 50 years in Columbia Heights

The beloved family-owned restaurant will close Dec. 24.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.43.40 AM

Kris Laudien leaving KARE 11 after four years on 'Sunrise'

KARE 11 announced the appointment of Jason Hackett to the morning show this week.


UN says 2016 will be the hottest year on record

Driven by greenhouse gases and the El Niño event of last winter, the United Nations says 2016 is almost certainly going to be the hottest year on record.

America just had its warmest winter on record

The spike in temperatures seen across Minnesota comes on the back of the warmest winter in U.S. history.

Bye, November – you were a hot one for us northerners

This November has been one of the warmest on record.

It's official: 2016 was the hottest year on record

It's a sign of a long-term warming trend.

Summer of 2012 was warmest on record in Duluth

There were no record-breaking hot days, but red thermometers steadily turned June through August of 2012 into the warmest season on the books in Duluth. Forecasters think a 14-month streak of above-normal temperatures will continue in September. As for rainfall, it's been pretty sparse since the deluge that flooded the region in late June.

Summer in Twin Cities 3rd warmest on record

The National Weather Service said Friday that the meteorological summer months of June, July and August in Minneapolis and St. Paul were the third warmest on record. During the period, the average temperature in the Twin Cities was 74.8 degrees, 3.5 degrees above average. Only the summers of 1988 and 1933 were warmer in the metro.