February second warmest on record
March 6 sees record high of 73 degrees
Monday the Benson area broke its sixth high temperature record of the year when the high hit 73 degrees. It broke the old record high for March 6 of 71 degrees set back in 2000.
Prior to Monday, the earliest the Benson area had seen the temperature hit 73 degrees was March 15 (2015 and 1968.)
Sunday’s high hit 66 degrees, and though it was 32 degrees above the average temperature for March 5 of 34 degrees, it fell 5 degrees short of the record high for the date. That record was set in 2000 when it reached 71 degrees.
In 2000, there were six consecutive days with record highs between March 3 and March 8 with three of those record highs at 71 degrees.
February 2017 went down as the second warmest on record for the Benson area and one of the warmest in the history of the State of Minnesota.
Five record high temperatures were broken during the month and three high low temperatures were either tied or broken.
Two years ago the Benson area had not seen a 60-degree temperature recorded in February based on daily records that go back to 1952. Then last year it hit 61 degrees Feb. 27 setting a record for the earliest 60-degree temperature on record.
February 2017 saw that record high tied three times and the earliest 60-degree day pushed another 10 days earlier in the month to Feb. 17. It also hit 61 degrees Feb. 19 and Feb. 21.
This past February’s mean temperature of 30.3 degrees fell behind the extraordinarily warm February of 1987 by 1.3 degrees.
February 1987’s record warmth was marked by above average temperatures that persisted throughout the month. The high hit 59 degrees Feb. 7. The coolest high temperature that February was 28 degrees Feb. 15 and 16. The low for the month was only 14 degrees. No other February has seen the coolest high only drop to 28 degrees or the coldest low only fall to 14. In fact, 1987 and 1992 are the only two years in which February has not seen a below zero low.
This past February we saw the low fall to a minus 2 degrees Feb. 8; it was the only below zero temperature of the month. The high that day was just 14 degrees.
So far this winter we’ve seen 21 days of below zero temperatures, 13 short of the average of 34. There are no below zero temperatures in the forecast, though the Benson area has seen a minus temperature as late as March 31 – in 1969 it fell to a minus 3 on the last day of the month....
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Pictured, top: Ice went off the small lakes in the area this week and could set records for going out early on larger lakes.