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MPR News

How do you know it's a terrible winter?

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Shoveling snow
Dave Kleusch shoveled out after a winter storm dropped more than a foot of snow Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Duluth.
Derek Montgomery / For MPR News

Any (or every) Minnesotan can tell you that this has been a miserable winter. It takes a state climatologist to tell you how it rates on a Winter Misery Index.

Peter Boulay, assistant state climatologist at the DNR, developed the index decades ago. It takes into account low temperatures, high temperatures, snow depth and other factors, and produces a numerical score: 190. 

Misery Index
An index that purports to measure the misery generated by the winter.
Minnesota DNR

That score, though, just tells you what you already know: This has been a terrible winter. Paul Huttner, MPR News' chief meteorologist, offers a few of the dispiriting facts:

• 9th coldest winter on record in the Twin Cities
• 9.7 degrees average temp this meteorological winter at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (December-February) 
• 50 subzero days this winter, as of Monday morning

Boulay and Huttner join The Daily Circuit for more weather talk. Also joining the show is Mike Haeg, an artist and the mayor of Mt. Holly, Minn., population 4.