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Meteorological winter was second warmest

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The Chippewa River was ice free Monday and flowing at low spring levels. Last year at this time, the river was frozen and it would be more than five weeks before it opened up creating widespread flooding.

Meteorological winter, the period from Dec. 1 to Feb. 29, was the second warmest on record for the Benson area. Daily city records go back to 1952.
There is an asterisk, however, by the record meteorological winter of 1986-1987 because at that time weather records were kept in the City of Benson. They are now kept at the National Weather Service’s recording site at the Benson Municipal Airport.
In comparing temperatures recorded in the city and at the airport a few miles west of Benson, city temperatures average 1 to 2 degrees warmer. Lows are consistently a couple degrees below those kept in the city. Add just 1 degree to the meteorological winter of 2023-24 and it would hold the record as the warmest.
The meteorological winter of 2023-24 did set a record for the average warmest low temperatures at 17.04 degrees. The winter of 1997-98 had held the record with a low average of 16.84. However, the warm high average of the winter of 1986-87 was able to help that winter claim first place as the warmest.
This meteorological winter’s warm started in December, which was warmest on record for Minnesota and tied for the third warmest for the area.

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