Nineteen months. That's how long the above-normal temperature streak has been going on in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, the National Weather Service said Monday.
The Minnesota DNR says all but one Minnesota airport that has long-term records finished warmer than the 1981-2010 normal for March – though only by about 2 degrees, sometimes even less. Rochester International Airport was that one exception.
For the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, the monthly temperature was just 1.2 degrees above normal for the month of March, the National Weather Service says.
Here's a look at temperatures over the past 19 months in the Twin Cities, and how different they are from "normal":
The streak almost ended
Many Minnesota cities were pretty close to breaking the monthslong streak. The DNR says March "eked out" an above-normal average monthly temperature, after experiencing temps 10-20 degrees below average in the middle of the month.
Overall, the temperature in the Twin Cities was above average 19 of the 31 days (see graph below), the DNR says.
This 19-month streak is the longest above-average monthly temperature streak on record in the Twin Cities, the DNR says. The second-longest streak on record was 16 months; it lasted from June 2011 to September 2012.
Since January 2011 (this climatological decade), more than 70 percent of months have been above the 1981-2010 normals. In the decade before, 68 percent of months were above the 1971-2000 normals.
The DNR says Minnesota "has been warming rapidly" since about 1970, so above-normal temperatures are more likely than below-normal temps. And every 10 years, what's considered "normal" is updated to reflect warmer conditions.
How does April look?
It looks like some places in Minnesota have a pretty good chance of extending their above-average monthly temperature streak to 20 months. The Climate Prediction Center's monthly outlook shows most of the state has a 33-40 percent chance of seeing above-average temperatures.
Meanwhile, northern Minnesota could also see above-average precipitation for the month, the Climate Prediction Center's website shows.
The average monthly temperature for the Twin Cities is 47.5 degrees, with 2.66 inches of precipitation. Meanwhile in Duluth the average temperature for the month is 39.6 degrees, and 2.43 inches of precipitation.