The way above normal temperatures we experienced most of 2012 most likely meant St. James just experienced one of it’s hottest years on record if not the hottest year on record.
October was the only month that had a meaningful below normal average temperature in 2012.
August was a fraction of a degree below average, but the rest of the year 2012 was well above average.
According to the website Weather.com November was 5.27 degrees F. above the daily average high that St. James would usually see.
Even the blast of cold we had the last ten days of December couldn’t prevent the average daily high of the month from averaging 31.4 degrees F. when the historic average is 27 degrees F.
That data suggests 2012 is one of, if not the warmest year, on record for St. James is that the National Weather Service out of the Twin Cities has the average 2012 temp for The Cities tied with the warmest year on record. That year was the Dust Bowl year of 1931.
National Weather Service data had 2012 the warmest year on record for Rochester, the second warmest for Fargo and the third warmest on record for La Crosse and Sioux Falls.
The website ClimateCentral has crunched the numbers for the nation and concluded 2012 is the hottest year on record for the lower 48 states of the U.S.
ClimateCentral also has computed information that has Minnesota as the third fastest warming state in the lower 48 over the last 40 years.
The other major climatic issue for us in 2012 was the drought. The area began experiencing below normal rainfall in the last half of 2011.
The first four months of 2012 produced way below normal rainfall and the county was in a condition of extreme drought as of the first of May.
Then the heavens opened up and approximately 200 percent of the average rainfall for May fell that month.
This rain carried most of the farmers through the first half of the summer. Some farmers got ‘million dollar rains’ the time the corn tasseled, and this helped those farmers produce excellent corn and bean yields.
However, from June though November, rainfall remained below normal and Watonwan County and much of southern Minnesota returned to a condition of extreme drought. Almost all of Minnesota was in some condition of drought as 2012 ended.
For Watonwan County, December had a fraction more than the average precipitation for the month. The average is 0.99 inches and we received 1.14 inches of precipitation according to weather.com.
Page 2 of 2 - The next ten days are forecast to have seasonal temperatures that may work out to be above average and we also may experience below average precipitation.