An abnormal overall year in Rochester brought relatively familiar weather in 2020, according to a climate summary by the National Weather Service.

The year, overall, was warmer as 54 percent of the days were above normal temperatures. The months varied in temperature compared to the normal for the area as January, March, November and December saw slight temperature increases in 2020, while February, April, May and October saw its temperatures slightly drop. The hottest month of the year was in June when the temperature reached above 90 degrees twice during the first week (the fourth warmest start to the month in Rochester on record).

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The lowest temperature drop came in February when it hit minus 24 degrees on Valentine's Day, five days after the largest snowfall of the year came with 9.6 inches on Feb. 9. However, there were not many below zero days in 2020 as only 16 days were recorded at zero degrees or below, which was tied for the eighth least on record in Rochester.

Snow on Easter

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Alvaro Gomez, left, a detail specialist with Southpoint Motors, and Dan Buhr, a sales consultant, clear snow from vehicles Monday, April 13, 2020, in Rochester after Sunday's winter storm. According to the National Weather Service, as much as 10 inches of snow fell on parts of southeast Minnesota Sunday. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Alvaro Gomez, left, a detail specialist with Southpoint Motors, and Dan Buhr, a sales consultant, clear snow from vehicles Monday, April 13, 2020, in Rochester after Sunday's winter storm. According to the National Weather Service, as much as 10 inches of snow fell on parts of southeast Minnesota Sunday. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

Southeastern Minnesota was delivered a winter storm on Easter this past year when large amounts of snow were dumped over the entire region. Rochester saw 7.5 inches of snow on April 12, breaking the previous record held on the day and making it the fourth snowiest day in Rochester history.

"A normal snowfall in Rochester in April is 3.3 inches," La Crosse National Weather Service Meteorologist Michael Kurz said. "That's fairly unusual to have a substantial late winter storm like that."

June tornadoes and hail in SE Minnesota

Large pieces of hail were found throughout Winona during a storm in early June. (credit: D. Fakler)
Large pieces of hail were found throughout Winona during a storm in early June. (credit: D. Fakler)

The month of June started and ended roughly with severe storms on June 2, bringing damaging winds and large pieces of hail coming down in Winona. The month's end delivered a similar storm to the area with hail and 60 mph winds on June 28.

A small and brief tornado did appear later that night.

A not so snowy December

This year ended on a rather fitting note as December delivered some of its most unusual weather on record in Rochester. Temperatures were above normal on all but seven days of the month with two days reaching over 50 degrees, while only two days dropped below zero (the average is seven days).

The month saw a third of its normal snowfall and was the fifth driest December on record in the area.

"It was definitely unusual from such a lack of snow standpoint," Kurz said. "Only 3.9 inches of snow and the normal is almost over as foot by the end of December. In that respect, it definitely stood out for the lack of snow and the temperatures reaching over the 50s is quite unusual."