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Last Month Was The Warmest December In Minnesota On Record

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Last month did not feel like December in Minnesota.

Most of the state missed a white Christmas, skaters and anglers couldn't venture out onto Minnesota's famous lakes, and winter sports enthusiasts were cooped up inside.

Officially, it was the warmest December on record for Minnesota, according to a report released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The data shows that the average temperature for the month was 24.8 degrees. That's nearly 12 degrees higher than the state's average temperature for December during the entire 20th Century.

Below is a graph showing deviations from average temperatures in Minnesota. As you can see, only three days last month were at or below average.

December Temperatures For 2015
(credit: CBS)

In the Twin Cities specifically, residents felt the second-warmest December in history, surpassed only by the December of 1877. Professor Mark Seeley of the Minnesota Climatology Working Group says only that two days brought colder than normal temperatures in the metro.

And Minnesotans weren't alone in experiencing a balmy end to 2015.

Twenty-nine states – basically the entire eastern half of the country – had record-warm Decembers. This contributed to December 2015 being the warmest on the books for the contiguous U.S.

Warm December NOAA
(credit: NOAA)

Two states bordering Minnesota also saw record precipitation last month. Both Wisconsin and Iowa saw their wettest Decembers on record, while basically the rest of the Midwest (including Minnesota) had higher than average rainfall.

Overall, 2015 was the second-warmest year recorded for the United States. Only 2012 was warmer.

Looking at the global picture, 2015 will likely break records, as the period from January 2015 to November 2015 was the warmest such period in the last 136 years.

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