The Minnesota Winter That Wasn’t, 1877-1878
Imagine an almost snowless winter here in Minnesota where there is more mud on area roads than snow, salt, or sand. This actually happened here in Minnesota a long time ago, from November of 1877 to April of 1878 the average temp here in the #BoldNorth was 29 degrees.
According to the climate journal on the DNR's website, the winter of 1877-78 is the warmest winter on record for the Twin Cities with a December-February average temperature of 29 degrees. The next winter that compares is 1930-31 with an average temperature of 26.9 degrees. In 3rd place is the winter of 2001-02 with 26.8 degrees.
It was so warm that many rivers and lakes didn't ice over at all. Farmers near Minneapolis that winter reported to the Minneapolis Tribune that they were plowing fields until late December 1877.
It wasn't all above freezing here though, there were three days with subzero temperatures in early January 1878 that actually did cause the Mississippi River in Saint Paul to freeze over. That freeze over made it so the river was closed for navigation until the 28th of February.
Not much snow must have made getting around easier right? Nope, most roads were dirt, and the lack of snow made them nearly impossible with deep ruts from tires, and if they weren't rutted they were impossibly muddy.
You can see excerpts from a Twin Cities weather observer from the time here to get a feel for what that winter was like for most people at the time.
I guess with another round of snow on the way later this week, we should be ok with it as it could be worse, we could be living in 1877 where the lack of winter made everything else more difficult.