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A look at Thanksgiving weather extremes and Minnesota's fastest-warming season

Web extra: Thanksgiving weather extremes and Minnesota's fastest-warming season
Web extra: Thanksgiving weather extremes and Minnesota's fastest-warming season 02:36

MINNEAPOLIS — As we go through the next couple of days, we're looking at pretty average weather overall for most of Minnesota and Wisconsin, but there have been some extreme Thanksgivings.

NEXT Weather Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak looked into this extreme weather, two November records that could fall this month and how Thanksgiving and winter are warming faster than any other time of year.


Back in 2012 in Mankato, it was nearly 70 degrees. It's been warm so far this month (reaching the 60s six times), but not quite that warm. On the other hand, nine inches of snow fell in the city back in 1983. 

The trend over the past 50 years has been a warming one. This is the trend for November temperatures, warming over the past 50 years by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit due to climate change.


In Duluth, it's been a warming trend as well. It's 4 degrees warmer now versus on average where we were in 1970. The warmest Thanksgiving in Duluth was also in 2012, when we got to 52. Duluth got to 62 degrees on Nov. 16, so we easily could have set a warmest Thanksgiving had that happened a few weeks earlier, but we didn't. The snowiest was 8.1 inches back in 1981.

In the Twin Cities, we are also seeing a more significant warming trend in November — about 4.5 degrees warmer during the past 50 years. The warmest Thanksgiving Day happened back in 1922, when we were 62 degrees. The snowiest was 5 inches back in 1970.


This trend is part of one that continues right through the winter. In fact, winter is the fastest-warming season here in Minnesota. Minnesota and parts of northeastern U.S. lead the lower 48 states as the fastest-warming areas during winter.

Certainly this November, we have felt that in the Twin Cities. The only days below average were the first two days of the month. Since then, we've been on quite a run that has brought the month to 6.2 degrees above average.

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The month has also been really dry. The least amount of precipitation we've ever had in the Twin Cities in November was 0.02" back in 1939, the same amount that has fallen to date in November 2023. There is very little chance for any additional significant precipitation coming up through the end of the month, so we could end up tying that record.

Also, there has been no snow so far here in the Twin Cities. If we continue on this trend, we will beat the current record for the least November snowfall — a trace — which happened in 1928, 1939, 1963, and 2009.

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