Protecting your home and community

How Bad is This Winter? Ask a Minnesotan!

A graph showing Minnesota's Winter Misery Index since 1900

Minnesota’s Winter Misery Index since 1900

Pete Boulay, of the Minnesota Climate Working Group, out of the Minnesota State Climatology Office, has developed what he calls a “Winter Misery Index,” which weights snowfall, temperature, and snow depth to create a numerical scale of winter unhappiness.

One point goes for each low temperature at or below zero and each high temperature 10 degrees or colder. There’s one point for a 1-inch snowfall gets, bonus points for snowfalls of four and eight inches. There’s also one point for every day that the snow depth is 12 inches or more.


W.C. Fields getting clobbered in a still from The Fatal Glass of Beer

T’aint a fit night out for man nor beast

Boulay says he got the idea from a daily report on the Pioneer Press called the Pain in the Posterior Index. As of Feb. 28, residents of the Twin Cities are currently at 180 points. That’s the highest Misery Index since the winter of 1983-84, but much lower than the winter of 1916-1917, where the index went to 305 points.

“Tain’t a fit night out for man nor beast!” W.C. Fields would understand.

What’s your area’s Winter Misery Index?

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