Yesterday we shared with you that the beginning of March looks to bring below-normal temperatures. Going along with that, the Duluth office of the National Weather Service shared this afternoon that as of yesterday (February 25), Duluth has now entered the top 20 list of stretches of consecutive days below 32 degrees.

Our sub-freezing temperature trend started back at the beginning of January, when we saw our last 32 degree day. It was back on January 8, a whole 49 days ago (as of 2/26), that we last saw a temperature of at least 32 degrees. While temperatures on Saturday threatened to go over the freezing mark, they didn't spike above 31 at the National Weather Service Office in Duluth, keeping the streak going.

For those that like cheering on weather records like this, it appears likely that this streak will continue. Colder than average temperatures are expected to continue into a time frame around March 10. The 10-day forecast shows daytime high temperatures getting no warmer than 23 degrees (on Thursday). If that holds, it would put us at a total of 57 days straight below 32 degrees. That's good for 6th place all time.

If we extend beyond that (as is anticipated by the long-range forecast), we could potentially land in the top 3 all-time sub-freezing streaks. All we need is a total of 59 days to tie with 3rd place, and a total of 60 days to break that tie and claim the #3 spot outright.

If you're hoping to get really crazy and go for one of the top two spots, we're going to need a lot of cold weather ahead, which gets tough as you get into mid-March. To tie the #2 spot, we'd need to go through March 21 for a total of 72 days; and to tie the top spot all-time, we'd need to go sub-freezing through March 25. It isn't impossible, but it gets more unlikely as we get close to April.

Here are breakdowns of the top 5 longest streaks of days below 32 degrees:

  1. 76 days - longest streak, set in 1875
  2. 72 days - 2nd longest streak, set in 1979
  3. 59 days - (tie) 3rd longest streak 1929
  4. 59 days - (tie) 3rd longest streak 1971
  5. 59 days - (tie) 3rd longest streak 1994

Here is what it would take to get to these marks:

  • 59 days (tie for 3rd) - We'd need to go through March 8 without hitting 32 degrees
  • 60 days (claim 3rd all-time) - We'd need to go through March 9 without hitting 32 degrees
  • 72 days (tie for 2nd) - We'd need to go through March 21 without hitting 32 degrees
  • 73 days (claim 2nd all-time) - We'd need to go through March 22 without hitting 32 degrees
  • 76 days (tie for 1st) - We'd need to go through March 25 without hitting 32 degrees
  • 77 days (claim 1st all-time) - We'd need to go through March 25 without hitting 32 degrees

As you can see in the chart below, stretches around 50 days in length are pretty common in the top-20 all-time consecutive stretches. The ongoing cold in the forecast could put us in rare territory.