Minnesota state climatologists say 2012 will tie 1931 as the warmest year on record in the Twin Cities.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports it had long appeared that 2012 would be the warmest year on record in the Twin Cities, but wintry weather since Dec. 21 has meant that temperatures have been mostly below normal.
On Monday, the state climatology office said that as a result, the average 2012 temperature in the Twin Cities will be 50.8 degrees -- the same as the 50.8 degrees recorded in 1931 during the Dust Bowl era.
The average annual temperature during the most recent 30-year period from 1981-2010 is 46.3 degrees, so 2012 will finish 4.5 degrees above that normal.
So far, 2013 is off to a frigid start -- but that didn't stop hundreds of people from taking a plunge into Lake Minnetonka despite temperatures barely topping zero.
In fact, the air temperature was below zero when the 23rd annual Alarc Jump began, with the water temperature at 31.7 degrees. That didn't stop nearly 800 people from across the globe from taking a dip to welcome in the New Year.
Organizers said the actual temperature was just 9 degrees when the divers took to the water at 8:30 a.m. near the Bay Side Event Center in Excelsior, Minn.
Some of the participants traveled from Italy, Brazil, Thailand and elsewhere. A total of 21 were given a "shark" status for completing 10 years of dives. Three others were recognized for 20 years of participation.
Several local charities benefit from the annual plunge.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.