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December warmest, wettest on record

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Sand Lake (officially Lake Frovold) north of Benson, was open as December ended as the warmest on record. Many other lakes in the area, large and small, were fully or partially open. Colder temperatures are now bringing back the ice, but it is thin and unsafe.

Late December saw people water skiing on Green Lake, paddle boarding on Lake Minnewaska, and fishing on Artichoke Lake in Swift County in boats.
People riding bikes and scooters, and golfers traveling to the few remaining courses open in the area.
Grass was greening up with plenty of moisture falling as rain and persistently warm record temperatures making it feel more like mid-March at times.
Sound like a distant future when a warming climate has forever changed Minnesota winters? It’s not. It was December 2023. Don’t get your hopes up that all Decembers will be so mild. A very strong El Nino has contributed to the record warmth in the state this year.  However, climate scientists say a warming climate also played a role.

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