December 5, 2001
The Twin Cities maximum air temperature reached 63 degrees on December 5. This temperature was reported at both the 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM observations. A 63 degree maximum temperature obliterates the previous December 5 record of 54 degrees set in 1941 and again in 1998. Only once before in the modern record (1891-present) has the Twin Cities temperature reached 60 degrees this late in the year. A 63 degree temperature was reported on December 6, 1939.
According to Mark Seeley, the previous record December 5 high temperature for ANY community in Minnesota was 61 degrees set on this date at Canby (Yellow Medicine county) in 1939. The Twin Cities topped this threshold, as did southeastern Minnesota communities such as Red Wing, Winona, Austin, and Dodge Center.
The December 5 dewpoint temperature of 58 degree F at 11:00 AM also smashed a modern day record for the Twin Cities. The previous high dewpoint temperature record for December 5 was 49 degrees set in 1960. Never before in the modern record has the dewpoint temperature topped 50 degrees this late in the year. A 58 dewpoint is well above the record for ANY date in December. The previous December dewpoint record for the Twin Cities was 53 degrees on December 2, 1982. A 58 degree dewpoint is approximately 40 degrees above the average for this time of year. The December 5 dewpoint temperature was a significant anomaly, but has two winter-time counterparts in terms of its rareness. The dewpoint temperature on January 25, 1944 reached 48 degrees, and the dewpoint climbed to 52 degrees on February 21, 1930. In both cases, these records are more than 10 degrees above the record dewpoints for adjacent days in the calendar.
Dewpoint temperature were no doubt set in many southern Minnesota communities. However, long-term dewpoint temperature data are unavailable for most locations.