Benson area sees a record high temperature; DNR warns of dangerous ice conditions

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With last Tuesday’s record high of 59 for Nov. 23, golfers in the area got in their final round of the year. The old record high was 57 degrees set back in 2006.
That record high was 25 degrees above the average for the date of 34 degrees.
As of Dec. 1, the average high for the area is 30 degrees and the average low 14 degrees. But the end of the month, the average high falls to 20 degrees and the average low just 2 degrees above zero.
Monday’s high of 52 degrees was 3 degrees short of the record of 55 degrees set Nov. 29, 1998. Temperatures are supposed to remain above average for at least the next 10 days.
But it is late fall, and the weather can see wild swings in just a day or two. After the record high of Tuesday, Nov. 23, Wednesday, Nov. 24, brought blustery winds gusting to 40 mph. Those strong northerly winds brought an unexpected touch of winter as the temperature fell to 3 degrees Thanksgiving morning with the wind chill hitting a minus 12 degrees.
While quite chilly last Thursday morning’s 3-degree low was by no means close to a record. November 25’s record low was set in 1977 when it fell to a minus 15 degrees in Benson. That date also has the record coldest high temperature, which only rose to 1 degree above zero.
However, at this time of year, it can get very, very cold. The record low for the first week of December is a minus 22 degrees set back on Dec. 7, 1972. The record cold high temperature is a minus 4 degrees set on Dec. 6, 1972.
December averages 7.75 inches of snow but some years have seen much more. In December 1968, 29.5 inches of snow fell setting a record. It was followed by 24.1 inches in January for a two-month total of 53.6 inches. The area averages 41.4 inches of snow between the first now of October and the last snow of early May.
November, which averages 5.12 inches of snow, has only received 1.5 inches. That snow fell back on Nov. 12-13 and disappeared quickly.

Heaviest December snowfalls
Year    Snow
1968    29.50
2010    29.20
1969    26.90
2008    19.61
1984    17.90
1953    17.90
Average      7.45

Caution vital as open water begins to freeze

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