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Extension > Mark Seeley's WeatherTalk > August 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Preliminary climate summary for August 2012

Preliminary climate summary for August 2012

The mean monthly temperature for August was very close to normal for most observers in Minnesota, often plus or minus 1 degrees F from the historical average. Extremes temperatures for the month ranged from 99 degrees F at several southern locations on August 30th to just 33 degrees F at Embarrass on the 17th. Minnesota reported the coldest temperature in the 48 contiguous states on August 10th with a reading of 38 degrees F at International Falls.

August continued with a drier than normal weather pattern as most observers reported below normal rainfall amounts for the month. There were a few exceptions as Morris (3.26 inches), Grand Marais (3.39 inches), Winsted (nearly 6 inches), and Grand Portage (3.78 inches) received above normal monthly amounts.

Crop maturation advanced very rapidly during August and by the end of the month some corn fields were nearly ready for harvest, and soybeans were yellowing and dropping leaves.

Invitation to the State Fair on Sept 2nd

Newscaster and radio host Phil Picardi and I will be at the Minnesota Public Radio Booth on the State Fair Grounds (corner of Judson and Nelson) at noon this Sunday, September 2nd to talk weather. It won't be a program to broadcast on FM91.1, but we will enjoy chatting with a live audience. We'll discuss the big weather happenings of this year and take questions from the audience. If you are in the area or plan to come to the State Fair anyway, please drop by at noon. I'd love to see you there.

Warm Wednesday and Thursday

A bubble of warm air brought some record-setting temperatures to the Dakotas and parts of Minnesota on Wednesday (Aug 29) and Thursday (Aug 30) this week. In the Dakotas Chamberlain, SD reported 112 degrees F, Pierre, SD had 111 degrees F, and Sioux Falls, SD reached a high of 100 degrees F, then hit a record 104 degrees F on Thursday, August 30th. The airport at Grand Forks, ND reported 97 degrees F, while Rochester, MN reached 92 degrees F tying the record for August 29th from 1945. Eau Claire, WI tied a record high with 97 degrees F on Thursday (Aug 30th), while La Crosse, WI set a new record with an identical reading of 97 degrees F. So many western communities reported daytime highs in the 90s F that several schools dismissed students early as their non-air conditioned classrooms heated up. Fortunately a cool front brought relief with lower temperatures and dewpoints by Thursday night.

August 23 tornado in Carver County confirmed

Todd Krause of the National Weather Service in Chanhassen confirmed this week that an EF-0 (winds 65-85 mph) tornado northeast of Plato in Carver County on August 23rd, damaging corn fields and trees, and destroying a barn. It was on the ground for 3.2 miles. The same relatively small but intense thunderstorm system brought 5.40 inches of rain to Winsted (McLeod County), 3.26 inches to Montrose (Wright County), 2.85 inches to Watertown (Carver County), and 1.76 inches to Jordan (Scott County). August is the fifth month this year to bring a tornado to Minnesota. There were also tornado reports in March, April, May, and June.

Crop condition holding steady and soil moisture reserves way down

The Weekly Weather and Crop Report for Minnesota showed just 17 percent of the state's corn acreage was in very poor to poor condition, and 12 percent of the state's soybean acreage was in similar conditions. That means that the balance of Minnesota's 15 plus million acres of corn and soybeans is in fair to excellent condition as the harvest season approaches. This is far better off than most states which were more adversely affected by drought this year.

With the lack of abundant rainfall in August, soil moisture conditions are extremely depleted. The University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) at Lamberton reports less than 2 inches of stored moisture in the top 5 feet of soil, while the Southern Minnesota ROC at Waseca reports just a little over 3 inches stored in their soil profile. Further north at the Northwestern ROC at Crookston, the stored soil moisture values are less than 1 inch in the top 5 feet. Obviously larger than normal amounts of rainfall are desperately needed to recharge soils this fall before winter freeze-up. Fortunately it looks like September may start out wetter than normal.

New AMS statement on climate change

Given the building body of scientific evidence about the Earth climate system and how it is changing, the American Meteorological Society earlier this month issued a new statement on climate change and a new statement on climate services. These are carefully crafted statements to reflect scientific assessment, value of the data, and implications for our future. If you are interested in reading these statements I encourage you to view their web site.

Weekly Weather potpourri

Earlier this week the NOAA National Ice Center reported the lowest amount of Arctic Sea Ice observed since satellite observations began in 1979. The report on August 26th showed 1.58 million square miles of ice cover in the Arctic Sea, breaking the record low from 2007 of 1.61 million square miles. You can read more about this at these links.

http://www.natice.noaa.gov/products/products_on_demand.html
http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/article/2012/arctic-sea-ice-breaks-2007-record-low

Additionally in western and central sections of Lake Superior this week surface water temperatures were ranging as high as 73-74 degrees F, not bad for swimming in some places. Even around Isle Royal National Park water temperatures were ranging from 65 to 68 degrees F.

Following a path taken by Typhoon Bolaven last weekend, Tropical Storm Tembin was headed for South Korea this week with heavy rains, high seas, and winds over 50 mph. This long-lived storm which tormented Taiwan earlier was expected to dissipate by the weekend. Tropical Storm Ileana was spinning off the southwest coast of Baja California, but it was not a threat to land. Tropical Storm Kirk was in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean and posing no threat either, while another tropical storm was expected to develop over the weekend in the central North Atlantic Ocean as well.

The BBC Weather Center in London reports that the United Kingdom is recording one of its wettest summers in history, with a country-wide mean total rainfall of over 12 inches since June 1st. Despite this near historical wetness the weather abated during most of the Olympic Games and did not cause as much disruption as once anticipated.

MPR listener question


I heard that the all-time high temperature record for the Minnesota State Fair was changed this week, due to the variable historical dates that the State Fair has been hosted at the Fairgrounds. What is the new temperature record?

Answer: Yes, that is correct. When I studied the history of State Fair weather earlier and published this my book Minnesota Weather Almanac I thought the record high temperature was 97 degrees F on September 1, 1913, and tied on August 24, 2003. Recent research by the Minnesota State Climatology Office shows that in 1931 (warmest year in Minnesota history) the State Fair was held from September 5-12 (an 8 day run). On September 10th the daytime high was 104 degrees F, which is now the record high for the State Fair, and also the record highest September temperature ever measured in the Twin Cities. You can read more about State Fair weather records here.

MPR listener question

What positive purpose does nature have in mind for hurricanes to form?

Answer: Hurricanes are one of nature's mechanism for balancing out disparities in moisture and heat within the Earth climate system. They help redistribute the excess heat and moisture that accumulate in tropical latitudes and disperse this to higher latitude positions. Additionally they are the major supplier of moisture (rainfall) to many landscapes such as Mexico and Japan which receives over half of its annual rainfall from typhoons. Hurricanes sculpt the landscape in terms of reshaping dunes and inland waterways, and they periodically rearrange coral reefs. They have also been the savior of certain civilizations as on more than one occasion historically China attempted to invade Japan only to lose most of their fleet of ships to a typhoon.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 31st

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 78 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 58 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 31st

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 94 degrees F in 1898 and 1907; lowest daily maximum temperature of 56 degrees F in 1944; lowest daily minimum temperature of 40 F in 1974; highest daily minimum temperature of 75 F in 1898 and 1961; and record precipitation of 1.50 inches in 1914.
 
Average dew point for August 31st is 57 degrees F, with a maximum of 75 degrees F in 1960 and a minimum of 34 degrees F in 1949.

All-time state records for August 24th

The state record high temperature for this date is 100 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) and New London (Kandiyohi County) in 1898. The state record low temperature for this date is 23 degrees F at Cotton (St Louis County) in 1970. State record precipitation for this date is 5.85 inches at Crookston (Polk County) in 1908; and there was a trace of snowfall at Duluth on this date in 1949, earliest ever.

Past Weather Features:

Probably the hottest August 31st in state history was in 1898 when over three dozen Minnesota communities reported daytime highs of 90 degrees F or higher. Actually August 31st that year was the middle of a five-day Heat Wave that plagued much of the state. Relief finally came with five consecutive days of rain in early September.

August 31, 1906 brought frost to many parts of northern Minnesota as areas from International Falls to Ely saw overnight lows drop to 27 to 31 degrees F. A similar and even more widespread cold snap occurred on August 31, 1970 when temperatures across the north ranged from 23 to 31 degrees F.
August 31, 1947 brought a F-3 tornado (winds 158-206 mph) to Le Sueur County. Between 8:00 and 8:30 pm the tornado moved 17 miles across the landscape south of Le Center, destroying rural homes and barns. One person was killed and eight were injured by this storm.

About 2:30 pm on August 31, 1975 an enormous F-2 tornado (winds 113-157 mph) moved 6 miles across Clay County northeast of Moorhead. At times this funnel was nearly one mile wide. Fortunately it traveled primarily over agricultural fields and destroyed only one barn.

August 31, 1989 brought severe thunderstorms and widespread large hail to many parts of the state. Hail as large as baseballs was observed in parts of McLeod and Wright Counties. Further north heavy rainfall amounts set records as well. Georgetown reported 5.57 inches of rain, Park Rapids 4.38 inches, and Deep Portage 4.29 inches. Record amounts of rainfall were also reported from Moose Lake (4.42 inches), Sandy Lake (4.23 inches), and Wright (3.80 inches).

Outlook

Warm over the weekend, with increasing chances for showers and thunderstorms by late Saturday and early Sunday, mostly in central and northern areas. Somewhat cooler on Monday (Labor Day) with more seasonable temperatures. Another chance for showers and thunderstorms by late Tuesday and Wednesday with closer to seasonable temperatures later in the week.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Drought holding status quo in Minnesota

Drought holding status quo in Minnesota

The U.S. Drought Monitor showed that the drought status in Minnesota this week remained about the same as the previous two weeks, with all or parts of 28 counties still affected by severe drought. Rainfall for the week ranged from 0.20 inches to over 2 inches around the state and remained very spotty in distribution. Most observers are reporting less than normal rainfall for the month. Some hail ranging from half to one inch in diameter was reported in central Minnesota communities on Wednesday this week, and on Thursday (Aug 23) the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for areas in Carver County (the first tornado warning in Minnesota since May). Strong winds were reported (62 mph near Hutchinson in some counties, along with intense rainfall amounts (2.85 inches at Watertown, 2.68 inches at New Prague, and 1.76 inches at Jordan). The outlook continues to favor above normal rainfall for the last part of August and first part of September. Fifty percent of the state's corn crop was already in the dent stage, and corn was maturing rapidly towards what will be an early harvest season.

See you at the State Fair

Though I am no longer broadcasting the Minnesota Weather Quiz from the State Fair on Minnesota Public Radio, I will be at the Fairgrounds MPR booth (Judson and Nelson Streets) on Sunday, September 2nd at noon with Morning Edition newscaster Phil Picardi. We will talk weather headlines from 2012 and take questions from the audience. If you are planning to attend the State Fair that day, please drop by for a chat. 

Early fall color in the cards this year?

With an early green-up this spring and a dry weather pattern prevailing in so many places around the state leaf color change may be early and somewhat accelerated this fall. In anticipation of this Minnesota citizens may want to start monitoring the fall leaf color reports on the DNR web site.

Typically the earliest leaf color changes are found in northeastern counties and Canadian border counties.

20th Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew

On August 24th, 1992 Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 storm (winds 157 mph or greater) struck Homestead, FL and crossed the Florida Peninsula, devastating much of the landscape. When all was said and done the storm accounted for 39 deaths and nearly $27 billion in damages, the costliest hurricane ever. The National Weather Service in Miami, FL has issued a narrative about this great storm which you can find on their web site.

Weekly Weather potpourri

Typhoon Bolaven, south of Japan in the Western Pacific is expected to gain strength over the next two days and become a super typhoon (winds over 130 mph). Peak wind gusts may exceed 160 mph, and sea wave heights already at 47 feet may exceed 50 feet. This large storm will bring rain to Kyoto in Japan and strong wind and storm surge to South Koreas by next week.

Typhoon Tembin was over southernmost Taiwan and bringing heavy rains, winds up to 100 mph and sea waves approaching 40 feet. It was very slow moving and expected to remain a typhoon well into next week as it meanders around in the South China Sea.

The National Ice Center in Colorado reported this week that the extent of Arctic sea ice is expected to shrink next week to a new record low level, breaking the record of 1.66 million square miles of sea ice at the end of summer in 2007. The remarkable loss in Arctic sea ice this year is due to a very early spring warm up at high latitude, as well as a very warm summer. You can read more at the National Ice Center web site.

The NOAA Storm Prediction Center continues to report a very low number of tornadoes in the USA this month. Less than 20 reports have been filed so far, following a record low number of just 24 in the month of July. Widespread drought in the central USA has certainly suppressed the severe weather activity since June.

MPR listener question

Will Tropical Storm Isaac become a hurricane and threaten the Tampa, FL area next week while the GOP convention is going on?

Answer: There is such a threat, but the probability of this happening is uncertain still. If Isaac tracks into the Gulf of Mexico, both ocean temperature and winds aloft conditions appear to favor strengthening to hurricane status. As it moves north in the Gulf the track of the storm could bend to the east towards the Florida coastline. There will be much more certain information available on the track of Isaac by late Saturday and Sunday. You can follow the tracking forecasts, roughly every six hours at the NOAA National Hurricane Center web site.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 24th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 79 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 59 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 24th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1948; lowest daily maximum temperature of 56 degrees F in 1915; lowest daily minimum temperature of 43 F in 1887; highest daily minimum temperature of 76 F in 1948; and record precipitation of 4.08 inches in 1893.
 
Average dew point for August 24th is 58 degrees F, with a maximum of 75 degrees F in 1975 and 2011 and a minimum of 27 degrees F in 1934.

All-time state records for August 24th

The state record high temperature for this date is 107 degrees F at Worthington (Nobles County) and Pipestone in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 22 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1977. State record precipitation for this date is 5.96 inches at Windom (Cottonwood County) in 1940; and no snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather Features:

On August 24, 1893 strong thunderstorms brought heavy rain to the Twin Cities area. A number of observers reported 3-4 inches of rainfall.

August 24, 1940 brought heavy thunderstorms to southwestern and south-central counties of Minnesota as many observers reported 3 to 5 inches of rainfall, with flooded out roads and farm fields.

August 24, 1948 was probably the hottest in state history with over 80 communities reporting daytime temperatures of 90 F or higher. It was the middle of a six day heat wave for most, as day after day reached or exceeded 90 degrees F. In some places the overnight low did not fall below 80 degrees.

Outlook

Somewhat warm temperatures this weekend with a chance for showers and thunderstorms on Saturday. Continued warm into next week with another chance for showers by Wednesday.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Beneficial rainfall for some

Beneficial rainfall for some

The first half of August brought some significant rainfall to many areas of the state, and in somewhat heavy doses in places. Thunderstorms brought 1.56 inches to International Falls and 1.40 inches to Red Wing Dam on August 15th. Some areas south of the Twin Cities (New Prague, Farmington, Rosemount) also received over 1 inch from fast moving thunderstorms on the 15th. In addition some hail over 1 inch in diameter fell over western counties on the 15th.

Many observers have reported over 2 inches for the month so far, while some locations (Preston, Lanesboro, Caledonia, Grand Portage) have received over 3 inches, as much as 3.59 inches at Grand Portage and 3.57 inches at Caldonia. The rainfall so far this month has kept the Minnesota drought stricken area from expanding in size this month.

Temperatures are averaging from 1 to 3 degrees F cooler than normal so far this month. For six consecutive days over August 9-14 daily temperatures were cooler than normal, a stretch of cooler than normal weather not seen since June 22-28, 2011 (15 months ago). Many observers have already reported overnight lows in the 30s F this month. Meanwhile at the Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole (Antarctica) it was -77 degrees F this week.

Despite cooler than normal temperatures, crops are rapidly maturing well ahead of the normal calendar pace. Corn will be ready for early harvest, while sugar beets are already being lifted in some places.

Record cold in places

August 16th brought a record-tying low temperature to International Falls with a reading of 41 degrees F (tied 1958). But more significantly a strong Canadian high pressure ridge brought the coldest August 17th (Fri) since 1963 to many parts of the state. New record low temperatures were set at: Silver Bay (34 F); Hibbing (34 F); Crane Lake (36 F); Princeton (37 F); Austin (38 F); and Waseca (39 F). In addition many observers reported tying their record cold low temperatures on August 17th including, 36 degrees F at Fosston (tied 2007), 37 degrees F at Little Falls (tied 1999); 37 degrees F at Hallock (tied 1904); and 39 degrees F at Park Rapids (tied 1896). For many these were the coldest readings since May 16th last spring.

New Seasonal Climate Outlooks

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center issued new seasonal climate outlooks on Thursday (August 16th) covering the period from September to November. September is expected to be warmer than normal for much of the nation's midsection, following a trend of recent years. Over September to November Minnesota is expected to see above normal temperatures prevail, a pattern associated with a developing El Nino episode. The CPC sees equal chances for above or below normal precipitation across Minnesota during this period.

NOAA also released a new Drought Outlook this week, covering the period through November 30th. The outlook calls for drought improvement in Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, and northern Illinois. Unfortunately the outlook favors drought persistence in southwestern Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and southern Illinois.

Weekly Weather potpourri

Typhoon Kai-Tak located southeast of Hong Kong was being monitored carefully this week. It packed winds up to 90 mph, producing sea waves of 25 feet. Kai-Tak is expected to bring heavy rains to areas between Hong Kong and Hanoi this weekend.

Tropical Storm Gordon formed in the North Atlantic on August 16th east of Bermuda. It is expected to strengthen slightly and perhaps become a hurricane over the weekend as it head toward the Azores. Gordon is the 7th named storm of the North Atlantic Tropical Storm season. The National Hurricane Center was also monitoring a depression in the southern Gulf of Mexico which may become a tropical storm over the weekend.

A recent study published in the journal Geology documents a 7000 year history of climate in the Nile Delta of Egypt. Based on interpretations of pollen and charcoal records from river sediments researchers have found evidence for mega-droughts in the region at 5000 years ago, 4200 years ago, and 3000 years ago. The mega-drought 4200 years ago was associated with the collapse Egypt's Old Kingdom. You can read more about this study here.

On Thursday (Aug 16) parts of Siberia reported strong thunderstorms with heavy rain and large hail, some the size of hen's eggs. Hundreds of cars were damaged by the hailstones. Following the passage of the thunderstorm the temperature dropped from 90 degrees F to just 61 degrees F.

MPR listener question

Here in the Twin Cities we recorded daytime highs of 92 F and 90 F on August 1st and 2nd, but since then we have not seen 90 degrees F. How often does August produce no 90 F days in the Twin Cities climate record, and do you think we'll see another 90 F this month?

Answer: According to the Twin Cities climate record about 1 year in 9 August brings no days with temperatures of 90s degrees F or greater. In fact just last year was such an August. Given the present forecast for the balance of the month I see a very low probability for another 90 F day in the Twin Cities. However, bear in mind that about 40 percent of the time September brings at least one 90 F day to the Twin Cities.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 17th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 82 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 61 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 17th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 100 degrees F in 1947; lowest daily maximum temperature of 63 degrees F in 1997; lowest daily minimum temperature of 42 F in 1962; highest daily minimum temperature of 73 F in 1922, 1934, and 1972; and record precipitation of 1.62 inches in 1905.
 
Average dew point for August 17th is 59 degrees F, with a maximum of 80 degrees F in 2002 and a minimum of 42 degrees F in 1947.

All-time state records for August 17th

The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at Campbell (Wilkin County) in 1988. The state record low temperature for this date is 29 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1981. State record precipitation for this date is 5.00 inches at Le Center (Le Sueur County) in 1948; and no snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather Features:

August 17, 1963 brought cold temperatures to parts of northern Minnesota. Frost was reported at Cook, Virginia and Bigfork. Temperatures rebounded to the mid-80s F by the 20th.

Another cold August 17 in 1981 when several northern communities reported frost. Cotton, Hoyt Lakes, Virginia, Meadowlands, Hibbing, and Tower reported frost on that date.

The hottest August 17th in history was probably 1988 when over 20 Minnesota communities reported afternoon temperatures of 100 degrees F or greater. Actually the August heat wave lasted from the 15th to the 17th, finally breaking with the passage of a cold front on the 18th which dropped daytime highs by 25 degrees F.

Outlook

Cooler than normal weekend under mostly sunny skies. Warming trend begins on Tuesday and will push temperatures back close to normal with another chance for showers and thunderstorms by Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lack of tornadoes in July

Lack of tornadoes in July

The dominance of heat and lack of rainfall across the USA had a silver lining......fewer severe storms and the smallest number of tornadoes reported in July during the modern era with just 24 nationwide. In fact according to Dr. Harold Brooks of NOAA the USA reported fewer July tornadoes than the Canadian province of Saskatchewan which had plenty of thunderstorms and tornadoes (nearly 30). You can read more about this at the Climate Central web site.

August bringing a respite from July heat and dryness

So far August has brought more seasonable temperatures to Minnesota, and thankfully moisture for some areas, including portions of some of the 28 Minnesota counties in severe drought status. Through the first ten days Halstad, Itasca State Park, Bemidji, Gull Lake, Cass Lake, Park Rapids, Ottertail, Redwood Falls, Worthington, Albert Lea, Owatonna, and La Crescent have received over 1.50 inches. A few areas have received over 2 inches including Spring Grove, Zumbrota, Lamberton, Morris, and Wheaton. Caledonia in Houston County already reports over 3 inches. August 4-5 brought the first back to back days with below normal temperatures since late June, and August 10th brought the coldest temperatures (39 F at Crane Lake, Big Fork, and Orr) and lowest dewpoints since June 13th.

For the first time in many months the NOAA Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a persistent spell of cooler and wetter than normal weather for Minnesota during the mid-August period. This will continue to bring welcome relief to Minnesota agriculture, though it may be too late to boost corn yields. It will likely help soybeans, pasture grasses, and alfalfa fields.

Bullet points from Farmfest 2012

-Severe drought prevails in 28 Minnesota counties, yet just 16 percent of the corn crop is in poor to very poor condition, and just 13 percent of soybeans, relatively small percentages when compared to the crop conditions in so many other states (IL, IA, MO, IN)
-Drought has pushed major commodity prices high (corn $8.29/bu, soybean $16.31/bu) and they may go higher yet. This may lead to higher food prices and higher costs for livestock feeding as the supply chain in these crops is suppressed by lower yield estimates.
-Congress left for recess with many pieces of legislation unsettled, including the new Farm Bill and other agricultural legislation.
-August weather is expected to bring some relief from stress in Minnesota's crops (with cooler and wetter conditions), but the same relief from the weather pattern may not prevail in other Midwestern states to the south.
-This is the 8th consecutive summer that severe drought has appeared somewhere on the Minnesota landscape (2005-2012), a persistence pattern than has not appeared since the Dust Bowl Era of the 1930s.

Weekly Weather potpourri

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack designated Rock County, Minnesota as a drought disaster this week, eligible for special federal program assistance. This will include the contiguous counties of Murray, Pipestone, and Nobles as well.

NOAA released an updated North Atlantic Tropical Storm Seasonal Outlook this week. They raised the expected numbers of tropical storms for the current season to a range of 12-17, and expected hurricanes to 5-8. There have already been 6 named storms this season the latest being Ernesto. You can read more at their web site.

NOAA also stated that July of 2012 was the warmest month in history for the USA surpassing July of 1936. Persistence of hot temperatures was the signature climate pattern in July with little respite of the heat, except for the odd day or two. As a marker of this persistence 15 nights in the Twin Cities area never dropped below 70 degrees F during the month. NOAA also noted that 63 percent of the nation's landscape was in drought during July, and over 2 million acres had been consumed by wildfires. Find out more here.

Persistent heavy rains from a series of tropical storms brought flooding rains to portions of the Philippines this week, including the Manila area. Rivers flowed out of their banks and some dams overflowed displacing much of the population. The flooding caused at least 43 deaths.

The Brazilian Weather Service has sent representatives to the London Olympics to study how the United Kingdom Meteorological Service has monitored and forecasted weather for the Olympic Games venues. They will learn as much as they can to take home and prepare for their responsibilities of forecasting for the next Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

Heat prevailed in the southwestern sections of the USA this week. On Wednesday, August 8th Tucson, AZ reported 108 degrees F, Las Vegas, NV 110 degrees F, Phoenix, AZ 114 degrees F, Thermal, CA 115 degrees F, Needle, CA 118 degrees F, and Death Valley, CA 127 degrees F. In many of these areas the overnight low temperature remained in the 90s F.

MPR listener question

I know that you said July was the 10th month in a row with above normal mean temperature, but the forecast shows we are in for a spell of below normal temperatures in August. When was the last time the August mean temperature was below normal?

Answer: The last time August mean temperature was below normal was in 2009, and just barely. That August 15 of the 31 days brought below normal temperatures. Of the top 10 coldest months of August in the Twin Cities climate record only two (1992 and 2004) are of recent vintage. See list below:

Coldest Mean Temperatures in August from the Twin Cities Climate Record (1871-2011)
65.0 F in 1890
65.1 F in 1903
65.5 F in 1915
65.9 F in 1992
66.1 F in 1977
66.2 F in 1967
66.3 F in 2004
66.3 F in 1904
66.5 F in 1902
66.5 F in 1885

So far through the first 9 days of the month the mean temperature is about 74 degrees F, so we would have to see considerably colder weather prevail for the balance of the month to make the top ten coldest.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 10th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 81 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 61 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 10th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 101 degrees F in 1947; lowest daily maximum temperature of 59 degrees F in 1888 and 2004; lowest daily minimum temperature of 46 F in 1904; highest daily minimum temperature of 80 F in 1944; and record precipitation of 2.47 inches in 2010.
 
Average dew point for August 10th is 58 degrees F, with a maximum of 75 degrees F in 1938 and 2010 and a minimum of 37 degrees F in 1982.

All-time state records for August 10th

The state record high temperature for this date is 110 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1947. The state record low temperature for this date is 27 degrees F at Duluth Experiment Station (St Louis County) in 1923. State record precipitation for this date is 7.72 inches at Mankato (Blue Earth County) in 1948; and no snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather Features:

Probably the hottest August 10th in Minnesota history was 1947 when 24 communities reported afternoon temperatures of 100 degrees F or higher. As far north as Detroit Lakes the mercury hit 100 degrees F. The heat wave lasted from August 8-11 with little respite. The overnight low at Beardsley on the 10th was a very uncomfortable 82 degrees F. Finally on the 12th temperatures dropped by 20 to 30 degrees F and brought relief.

The next year, August 9-10, 1948 brought intense thunderstorms to parts of central Minnesota. Buffalo, Cokato, and Le Sueur received over 4 inches of rainfall, while Faribault, Mankato, and Winsted reported over 7 inches, still a record amount today.

Intense thunderstorms brought heavy rains, high winds, and flash flooding to southwestern and south-central Minnesota on August 10, 1994. Mankato, New Ulm, Owatonna, St Peter, Worthington, and Lake Wilson reported over 4 inches of rain. Minnesota, Redwood Falls, and Windom reported over 5 inches, while Marshall and Vesta reported over 6 inches.

Outlook

Seasonable temperatures over the weekend with a chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms late Saturday and early Sunday. Near normal to slightly below normal temperatures next week, with a chance for showers and thunderstorms again by Wednesday and Thursday.
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