NOAA: 2012 Was Warmest Year on Record

St. Paul, the closest spot to the Lake Minnetonka area in the agency’s report, had an average temperature of 50.8 degrees in 2012—the warmest ever for that location.

If you thought you bundled up a little less last year, it wasn’t in your imagination.

2012 was the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States and Minnesotans were not exempt from the heat wave, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report released Tuesday.

St. Paul—the closest location to Lake Minnetonka included in the NOAA report—recorded an average temperature of 50.8 degrees in 2012. That’s the warmest in the 74-year record for that location and 4.6 degrees more than the 1981-to-2010 average.

The record temperatures, coupled with persistent drought conditions, combined to help drop Lake Minnetonka's water level to some of the lowest in history last fall. Measurements recorded Oct. 17 indicated Lake Minnetonka's water level was 927.74 feet above sea level—down more than 18 inches off the summer's peak.

Additionally, last year’s ice-out on Lake Minnetonka was 24 days earlier than 2011 and is tied for the third-earliest ice-out in records going back to 1855.

Related posts:

  • Lake Minnetonka Water Level Drops to Lowest of 2012
  • Low Water Levels Prompt Conservation District to Take Unusual Action
  • Lake Minnetonka's Official Ice Out Declared

For Minnesota as a whole, 2012 was the third-warmest year in a 118-year record. Temperatures were 4.6 degrees above average, behind only 1931 and 1987.

Two seasons in 2012 also placed among the top 10 seasons highest above average. The 2011-12 winter was 9.6 degrees above average, fifth among the 471 seasons on record. The 2012 spring placed seventh at 7.9 degrees above average.

What do you think of the warm temperatures? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Minnesota 10 Warmest Years (1895-2012)

Year Above Average 1931 +5.1 1987 +5.0 2012 +4.6 1998 +4.5 2006 +3.8 1999 +3.3 2001 +2.5 2005 +2.4 1921 +2.4 2010 +2.3


Minnesota 10 Warmest Seasons (out of 471 seasons)

Season Above Average Winter 1997-98 +11.1 Winter 2001-02 +10.1 Winter 1986-87 +10.1 Winter 1930-31 +9.7 Winter 2011-12 +9.6 Winter 1991-92 +8.1 Spring 2012 +7.9 Spring 1977 +7.9 Winter 1982-83 +7.7 Winter 1999-00 +7.1


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