December 3, 2004
A couple of days ago, the Associated Press ran a story about Tower, MN and it’s reputation as one of the coldest places in the lower 48. The weather observer in Tower, MN for the past 30 years is retiring and a replacement is needed.
Without an observer, Tower’s weather related bragging rights are at stake. Mark Seeley, the climatologist for the University of Minnesota, explains the significance of Tower’s weather and why Tower needs to find a new observer to retain its’ weather-related prowess.
Located just SW of Lake Vermillion in northern St Louis County,
Tower’s daily climate observations were begun by the state’s
Forest Service staff in January of 1895. Since that time there
have been significant gaps in the data, but nevertheless Tower
has acquired the reputation as one of the coldest places in
Minnesota….indeed one of the coldest places in North America.
Minnesota’s national reputation for cold is heavily grounded in
the Tower historical data, which contain 47 separate state low
temperature records, including the state’s all-time coldest
reading of -60 degrees F on February 2, 1996. Tower also claims
two of the state’s record snowfall amounts, a remarkable 27 inches
on April 17, 1961, and 16 inches on November 24, 1983.
During this year Minnesota has reported the coldest temperature
in the contiguous 48 states on 42 dates, twelve of which are
attributable to the readings at Tower. It is important for the
National Weather Service to keep this unique climate station
operating into the future. Hopefully, they will find an observer
to carry on there.