Weather in Minneapolis vs Boston

I’m just getting back from a conference in Minneapolis, which is an interesting city to go to in November. I’m from Boston so cold doesn’t bother me, but it did strike me as interesting how much colder it seemed to be this time of year.

I did a quick Google search and found the climate data for Minneapolis and Boston and decided to do a quick comparison.

The average high temps in both states are nearly identical (+/-4 degrees) from March to October. In November the average high drops 10 degrees lower in Minneapolis, then the gap widens to 12-14 degrees for Dec-Jan, then back to a 10 degree gap for February, then back to similar climates for the rest of the year. My guess is that’s some sort of ocean moderating effect.

The precipitation levels were even more interesting:

Note: the temperature axes are different on these graphs, with the Boston one starting at 10 degrees and going to 90, and Minneapolis going 0-90. Still, you see that Boston doesn’t get the same level of “dry winter air” that Minneapolis does. I felt that when I got my first nosebleed in years on day 3 there.

Always interesting to see the side by side.

8 thoughts on “Weather in Minneapolis vs Boston

  1. I’ve noticed that the winters seem to be colder than they were 30 years ago. That may possibly, just possibly, be due to my being 30 years older. Because I remember (from long ago) digging the car and my share of the street out from 30″ of snow, and on another occasion having a steering wheel crack from the cold.


  2. I grew up in Boston, but I have lived near Columbus, Ohio, since 1972. Columbus’ weather is much like Boston’s, although significantly drier. The scariest weather I ever experienced was the blizzard of 78 here in Columbus. The two worst winters in my life were spent in Schenectady, New York. Not only appalling cold, but it gets lake effect snow from Lake Erie 200 miles away. I went to Purdue in northwest Indiana. Those winters are very cold and very dry and very windy. Purdue had a football team in those days, and played Notre Dame every year. Scared them a lot, too.


    • Quite the winter resume you have there! I have much less variety. Probably why I never realized how dry it actually was, given that Boston is so consistent in its precipitation!


  3. Most of my life was spent about 250-350 miles south of Minneapolis. I think AVI is right about offsetting effects. Weather closer to the center of the continent is going to be more extreme because we lack the buffering effect of the ocean. We swung from cold+dry to cold+humid to hot+humid to hot+dry, depending on the season and various other factors.


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