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Top 5 weather-related events for Minnesota in 2012

A WISH FOR MERRY HOLIDAYS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MINNESOTA WEATHERTALK CONTRIBUTORS AND READERS! Top 5 weather-related events for Minnesota in 2012 The Minnesota State Climatology Office (Pete Boulay and Greg Spoden) put together the top 5 weather-related events for the year. The list includes:
1. Outrageously mild March, breaking the previous record warm March of 1910. Earliest 80 F temperature readings, earliest ice-out dates on many lakes, one of the earliest springs of all-time.
2. Northeastern Minnesota flood of June 19-20, concentrated in Carlton, St Louis, and Lake Counties where 8-10" of rain fell (Duluth). Severe damage to homes and infrastructure, FEMA declared disaster
3. Widespread drought, with over 83 percent of the Minnesota landscape in severe to extreme drought and most counties eligible for disaster assistance through USDA. Low flows and lake levels as well
4. Hot July, on a statewide basis the 2nd hottest of all-time (1936 is 1st), with Hea…

Heavy snow

Heavy snow Sunday, December 9th brought snow to much of the region, and some record-setting values to a few Minnesota communities. Among those with long-term climate histories reporting record snowfalls were: MSP-Airport with 10.5 inches; St Cloud Regional Airport with 11 inches; Montevideo with 12 inches; Milan with 10 inches; Chanhassen with 13.6 inches; Forest Lake with 13.5 inches; Marshall with 6 inches; and Hastings with 12 inches. According to Greg Spoden of the Minnesota State Climatology Office the 10.5 inches measured at MSP-Airport is the 4th largest daily amount for the month of December in history for the Twin Cities, trailing only 16.3 inches on December 11, 2010, 12 inches on December 28, 1982, and 10.8 inches on December 17, 1908. Many other observers reported amounts ranging from 8 to 17 inches. For some the liquid content of the snowfall was the greatest amount of moisture received in a single day since late July. Some of the record amounts of pre…

Mild Monday

Mild Monday Warm, moist air dominated southern Minnesota on Monday, December 3rd. Many observers reported daytime high temperatures in the 50s and 60s F (in the range of 20 to 30 degrees F above normal). Some observers reported new records for the date, including 63 degrees F at Preston, 62 degrees F at Rochester, Caledonia, Theilman, and Madison (tied record from 1941), 61 degrees F at Marshall, 59 degrees F at Austin, Grand Meadow, and 58 degrees F at Browns Valley. In addition, some observers reported record warm minimum temperatures for the date as well, before a cold front caused temperatures to plummet. Preston after setting a record high of 63 degrees F, fell to a low of only 14 degrees F the next day.

MSP airport reported a noontime dewpoint on December 3rd of 54 degrees F, breaking the record for the date of 52 degrees F set back in 1951. According to the State Climatology Office it was at least the 12th new daily dewpoint record set at MSP this year. Other…

Preliminary November climate summary

Preliminary November climate summary Most observers reported average monthly temperatures for November that ranged from 2 to 4 degrees F warmer than normal, with the larger positive departures in temperatures coming in southern counties. Extremes for the month ranged from -11 degrees F at Fosston (Polk County) on the 26th to 75 degrees F on the 10th at Rochester, Amboy, and Winnebago. The warm day on the 10th also brought extremely rare November tornadoes to the state. These storms were reported from Burnsville, Eagan, Mendota Heights and Mahtomedi, and were the 2nd latest autumn tornadoes in Minnesota history (there was a tornado near Maple Plain back on November 16, 1931).

Nearly all observers reported below normal precipitation for the month of November, except for a few spots in northeastern Minnesota where reports of 1.50 to 2.50 inches occurred. Grand Marais topped the list with 2.76 inches. Northern Minnesota observers also measured snowfall this month. Some…

Record warmth this week, then temperature crash

Record warmth this week, then temperature crash From Saturday, November 17th to Thanksgiving (Nov 23) temperatures averaged 12 to 25 degrees F warmer than normal around the state, with frequent sunny skies, similar to last year's spell of mild weather over November 23-26, 2011. Some new record high temperatures were reported around the state over Sunday through Thursday, including:

54 degrees F at Hibbing on November 18, 2012

53 degrees F at Hibbing on November 19, 2012
54 degrees F at International Falls on November 19, 2012
55 degrees F at Pokegama Dam (tied record), and Bigfork on November 19, 2012
56 degrees F at Cass Lake and Brainerd on November 19, 2012
57 degrees F at Grand Rapids on November 19, 2012

60 degrees F at Sherburn, Chaska, and Wells on November 20, 2012
63 degrees F at Marshall on November 20, 2012
62 degrees F at Forest Lake on November 20, 2012
57 degrees F at Brainerd on November 20, 2012

Numerous high temperature records were set on November 21st, too many …

Roller coaster weekend

Roller coaster weekend A low pressure system brought strong southeastern winds to the state late Saturday, November 10th (Anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior in 1975), raising both temperatures and dewpoints to record-setting levels. MSP airport set a new high dewpoint record with a reading of 56 degrees F (breaking the form record of 55 degrees F in 1909) at 4:00 pm in the afternoon and also set a new high temperature record with a reading of 69 degrees F. It was the warmest November 10th since 1999. Several other Minnesota communities set record high temperatures that day as well including 75 degrees F at Rochester and Winnebago, 74 degrees F at Waseca, Fairmont (tied record), Albert Lea, and Wells, 72 degrees F at Zumbrota, Grand Meadow, and Preston, 71 degrees at Red Wing, 70 degrees F at Redwood Falls (tied record), 68 degrees F at Minnesota City, and 67 degrees F at La Crescent.

By evening thunderstorms had developed in many area…

Highlights of the Kuehnast Mini-Climate School

Highlights of the Kuehnast Mini-Climate School The 20th Anniversary Kuehnast Endowment Event was held at the St Paul Campus on Thursday, November 8th. The format was a "mini-climate school" with presentations on three important topics: Canada's Climate; Urban Climates; and Severe Weather in a Changing Climate. Some highlights are described below:

David Phillips from Environment Canada asked the critical question: "Is climate changing faster than we can adapt?" Certainly temperatures are changing across Canada: Western provinces are warming more significantly than eastern provinces, especially in winter and spring, while polar regions are warming remarkably in fall and winter. The number of unusually warm nights is increasing, and glaciers for the most part are retreating. Extreme weather is in evidence, especially in the variability of wet versus dry growing seasons for Canada's farmers. Episodes of very strong winds are increasing in …

Climate Trivia or Climate Change?

Climate Trivia or Climate Change? According to Pete Boulay of the Minnesota State Climatology Office for many southern climate stations in Minnesota, including the Twin Cities and Rochester this year produced a climate anomaly worth noting. For the first time in history the average temperature for March (2012) was warmer than the average temperature for October (2012). This is a statistical singularity, but with changes in the extent of polar ice, and changing upper air patterns over North America perhaps this will happen again.

October Climate Summary Most Minnesota observers reported mean October temperatures that were 1 to 2 degrees F cooler than normal, breaking a long string of months with above normal temperatures. Extremes for the month ranged from 87 degrees F at Wheaton on the 1st to just 8 degrees F at Babbitt on the 31st.

Precipitation for October was generally less than normal, except for some northern and southeastern counties where surplus precipitation…

Significant rains for some

Significant rains for some Small scale, but intense thunderstorms brought some heavy rainfall to parts of Minnesota early on Tuesday (Oct 23) this week. International Falls reported 1.07 inches, their heaviest rainfall since August 15th. Many others reported a quarter inch amounts or greater. Some of the largest amounts of rainfall were:

Champlin reported 2.11", Andover 1.64", Royalton 1.27", Maple Grove 1.69", Grand Marais 1.31", Waskish 1.16", and Little Falls 1.25"

The residual surface water vapor from the recent rainfall also contributed to dense fog advisories released by the National Weather Service this week.

Then over Wednesday night and Thursday additional persistent rains fell in southeastern Minnesota where Lanesboro and Harmony reported 2.15 inches, Spring Valley 1.77 inches, Winona 1.70 inches, Zumbro Falls 1.67 inches and Chatfield 1.30 inches. Elsewhere in eastern counties snow and snow flurries were widely reported …

Downward trend in temperature

Downward trend in temperature Many observers have reported below normal temperatures so far this month. In northern locations 9 of the first 11 days have been cooler than normal, with many chilly mornings in the 20s F. Friday morning, October 12th brought the coldest temperatures of the season so far to many areas. Many observers reported overnight lows in the teens F. Some of the lowest readings included 16 degrees F at Wadena and International Falls, 15 degrees at Brimson and Babbitt, and 14 degrees F at Hinckley and Embarrass. If this pattern persists we may see a significantly cooler than normal month in Minnesota for the first time since May of 2011. In addition shallow soil temperatures (4 inch depth) have fallen by 15-20 degrees F or more since the first of the month, and are now mostly in the 40s F.

Lake Superior surface water temperatures reached a maximum of 70 to 75 degrees F this summer, but have plummeted several degrees this month. Currently many area…