How did Albert Lea’s weather rank this year?

Published 9:06 pm Friday, December 6, 2019

Despite eventful year, A.L. didn’t break weather records

Though Albert Lea had a more eventful year of weather than in many years past, the city did not break any records in temperatures or precipitation, according to the National Weather Service.

Chris O’Brien, meteorologist with the Chanhassen office of the National Weather Service, said the area got off to a late start for the 2018-19 winter, but then in January “the bottom fell out,” bringing lots of cold and snow.

In January, Albert Lea saw temperatures fall as low as 32 degrees below zero, which was the fourth coldest temperature on record for the city, according to the weather agency. It was only 3 degrees warmer than the coldest temperature ever recorded for Albert Lea, which was in January 1912 at 35 degrees below zero. January 1904 recorded a -34 degree day, and February 1996 saw a day with 33 degrees below zero temperatures.

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Despite heavy snowfall in January and February, Albert Lea came close but did not surpass both monthly and seasonal records for snowfall.

The city saw 68.9 inches of snow for the 2018-19 winter season, which is about 6 inches less than the snowiest season on record in 1928-29 when there was 75 inches in Albert Lea.

Total precipitation is also not likely to break a record this year.

The year with the most annual precipitation, which includes both rainfall and melted snow, was in 1993, when Albert Lea received 50.67 inches of precipitation, O’Brien said.

So far this year, Albert Lea has received 38.59 inches.

The next top two wettest years were in 2016, when Albert Lea saw 48.08 inches of precipitation, and 1968, when it saw 45.23 inches.

When the temperatures heated up, the hottest temperature the city saw in 2019 was 92 degrees. The hottest temperature recorded for the city came in July 1894 and 1940 at 104 degrees.

O’Brien said it looks like it is going to be a long winter with snowfall starting in October, but so far the Climate Prediction Center indicates it will likely be a neutral year.

“We will have to see how it plays out,” he said.


Top 10 years of precipitation in A.L.

1. 1993: 50.67 inches

2. 2016: 48.08 inches

3. 1968: 45.23 inches

4. 2004: 45.13 inches

5. 1973: 44.20 inches

6. 2018: 43.72 inches

7. 2015: 42.97 inches

8. 1902: 41.93 inches

9. 2007: 41.73 inches

10. 2013: 41.73 inches

— Information from the National Weather Service