Minnesota Winters Really Were Worse in the 70s & 80s.
This just seems like Winter was worse when I was a kid than it is now. But it's the actual truth. I remember being a little kid in the 70s and seeing the blizzards that we used to get. Seeing drifts that would be as high as the backside of our garage. My older brother would make giant snow forts outside just using the drifts that would be around from the snow and wind. Not from someone plowing out the driveway and creating a huge mound of snow, although that would happen as well. Some people have said that it just seemed that way because I was a kid and things seemed bigger and badder just because I was a little kid. Not so! I did some research and found out that it's not my imagination. Winter was snowier and colder back then.
It's also rainier now too. At least the downpours that we get are worse now than they used to be. More on that coming up.
The average temperature has been rising. It's only like a tenth to a half a degree every decade which doesn't seem like a lot, but that's the average, and it's rising more rapidly in recent years.
Winters are warming more quickly as well. Again, it's only a degree on average every decade since the 70s, but it adds up. I know we are experiencing the deep freeze right now, but that will change. And it usually happens a lot earlier than mid-February. And we do have Spring right around the corner, so this polar plunge will be short lived. It seems long just because it's really cold, but in the big picture, it's not that long of a time considering how long winter is.
Climatologists have taken readings from 3 different places in Minnesota. North- Cloquet, Mid- Milan and South- Rochester.
Changes in climate are measured over big areas and many years. But here are three Minnesota examples of rising average minimum January temperatures. Thirty-year averages are important measures for climatologists, and they are re-calculated at the end of each decade.
If you look at Summer, it rains a lot more too. This I am not a fan of. We have enough of not really going out very much during the Winter months, and now we can't enjoy the outdoors as much in the Summer either because of inclement weather. This is not a win-win. And it creates more mosquitos, let's be honest.
Measurements get complicated, but far more really big storms -- defined as those in which at least 6 inches of rain fall over an area of 1,000 or more square miles and the core of the storm generates at least 8 inches of rain -- have hit in recent years.
Bottom line, it's not your imagination. It was colder and snowier in the 70s and 80s, and it rains a lot more with heavier downpours now than it used to.
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