Some record cold temperaturesThe first few days of June started out following the trend of the past four months......cooler than normal. Many observers reported overnight lows in the 30s F over the first several days of the month. There were also a few new record daily low temperatures reported, including the following: on June 2nd 28 F at Crane Lake, 30 F at Orr and International Falls, and 31 F at Kabetogama; on June 3rd 28 F at Orr, 29 F at Kabetogama, and 31 degrees F at Grand Marais; and on June 7th 32 degrees F at Crane Lake and 33 degrees F at Babbitt (tied record low from 1934). Embarrass went down to 26 degrees F on June 3rd but it was not a record for them. Overall temperatures are averaging about 5 to 8 degrees F cooler than normal during the first week of the month.
Continued wet, wettest ever for someFollowing a wet spring June has started out that way as well. Thunderstorms brought over an inch of rain to Garrison, Brainerd, and Little Falls on Tuesday this week. For some observers each day has brought a bit of rainfall and kept farmers from finishing their planting. High humidity values have not permitted much field drying. Late planting is especially problematic for alfalfa growers who had to replant many fields because of winter injury (drought, ice-sheeting and lethal soil temperatures). Later planted alfalfa fields may only yield one or two cuttings of hay this season. MPR reporter Elizabeth Baier did an excellent story this week about the alfalfa crop. You can read it and listen here.
The National Weather Service also announced a record wet start to the year for Rochester, MN with 24.30 inches of precipitation since January 1, 2013. This is over 11 inches above normal. Other southeastern Minnesota observers reporting a record wet start to 2013 are: 25.29 inches at Minnesota City, 23.35 inches at Lanesboro, 23.82 inches at Preston, 24.90 inches at Spring Valley, 22.64 inches at Theilman, 22.10 inches at Austin, 27.46 inches at Grand Meadow, 22.41 inches at Harmony, and 24.12 inches at La Crescent. The precipitation at Grand Meadow (Mower County) so far in 2013 (27.46 inches) represents nearly 78 percent of the normal annual precipitation (35.42 inches) for that location, a remarkably high fraction for less than half a year.
Weekly Weather potpourriThe National Weather Service announced this week that the observer at Osage officially set a new May snowfall record for Iowa back on May 2-3 with 13 inches reported there. This surpassed the previous record for May of 10 inches at Le Mars in 1947.
The first Tropical Storm (Andrea) of the 2013 North Atlantic Hurricane Season was being tracked by the NOAA Hurricane Center this week. Andrea brought strong winds and heavy rainfall to parts of Florida, then moved up through the Carolinas bringing additional rains of 3-6 inches.
The United Kingdom Meteorological Office announced the creation of the Climate Services UK branch this week, a new organized effort to provide broader and more comprehensive climate services to support "climate-smart decision" in energy, food, and water management. You can read more about this effort here.
The USDA Drought Update this week offered the following highlights: Drought continued to shift west, as heavy rain in eastern portions of the primary drought area contrasted with increasingly hot, dry weather in the west. Overall U.S. drought coverage decreased slightly (-0.23%) to 44.11%, and has decreased during 28 of the last 36 weeks. Drought coverage is down nearly 17 percentage points since the beginning of 2013 and down 21.34 points from the record high of 65.45% on September 25, 2012. Exceptional drought remained firmly entrenched across the southern High Plains and central New Mexico. The sharp gradient between drought and non-drought areas has been verified by field reports as well as remote-sensing imagery. Further information can be found here.
The first week of June brought heavy rains and flooding to parts of Austria, Hungary, Germany, and the Czech Republic this week. Some areas received 8-9 inches of rainfall which brought many major rivers to flood stage. Large numbers of people along flood plains had to be evacuated. Some areas were expected to get yet more rainfall this weekend.
A recent study of the historic Irish Annals (431-1649) was published in Environmental Research Letters this week. It shows a relationship between 38 volcanic eruptions and 37 extreme cold weather and climate events in Irish history. These events played out as unusual snowfalls, frosts, and ice cover on lakes. You can read more about this study here.
MPR listener questionOur weather this month seems to be more like March or April than June. I wondered what has been the coldest month of June in Minnesota and what was it like?
Answer: On a statewide basis, the coldest June was in 1969, when the average temperature was less than 58 degrees F (the statewide average temperature for June is about 64 degrees F). In 1969, the month started off with snow up north and high temperatures just in the 40s F under mostly cloudy skies. Since June is a month of long days and high sun elevation, cool Junes are dominated by abundant and persistent cloud cover, which holds the daily maximum temperatures down. In 1969 overcast or partly cloudy skies dominated the weather, along with a higher than normal frequency of fog. Average percent possible sunshine was only 40 percent (compared to an average of 65 percent). June of 2013 has been dominated by cloud cover, rain, and fog so far causing temperatures to average 5 to 8 degrees F colder than normal, somewhat similar to the climate features of 1969. The first week of June has also seen the lowest amount of solar radiation ever measured for this time of year at the St Paul Campus Climate Observatory (records back to 1963).
Twin Cities Almanac for June 7thThe average MSP high temperature for this date is 75 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 55 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).
MSP Local Records for June 7thMSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 103 degrees F in 2011; lowest daily maximum temperature of 55 degrees F in 1901; lowest daily minimum temperature of 35 F in 1998; highest daily minimum temperature of 78 F in 2011; and record precipitation of 2.91 inches in 1984; No snow has been recorded on this date.
Average dew point for June 7th is 54 degrees F, with a maximum of 72 degrees F in 1914 and a minimum of 30 degrees F in 1938.
All-time state records for June 7thThe state record high temperature for this date is 103 degrees F at MSP Airport in 2011. The state record low temperature for this date is 22 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1897. State record precipitation for this date is 4.33 inches at Springfield (Brown County) in 1962; and no snow has fallen on this date.
Past Weather Features:Widespread frost damaged emerging crops on June 7, 1897. Many northern and western areas of the state reported overnight lows in the 20s F. As far south as Fairmont and Lake City the temperature dipped into the low 30s F causing some ground frost to be observed. Several corn fields had to be replanted due to frost damage.
June 5-7, 1941 brought consistent and substantial rainfall to many parts of the state, disrupting the first harvest of hay. In the Red River Valley rainfall exceeded 5 inches and flooded some farm fields.
Perhaps the wettest start to June occurred in 1968 when rainfall occurred on 8 consecutive days from June 4-11. Many observers reported 4-6 inches of rainfall over this period and there was virtually no opportunity for farmers to do any field work.
Between 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm on June 7, 2007 three tornadoes were spotted over western Minnesota, one in Wilkin County (near Foxhome), and two in Otter Tail County (near Elizabeth and Pelican Rapids). Fortunately these tornadoes were weak and did little damage. Associated thunderstorms brought 1-2 inches of rainfall and some hail to these areas.
A short 2-day Heat Wave prevailed across the state over June 6-7, 2011, bringing the hottest June 7th in state history. Over 90 communities reported temperatures into the 90s F, and several saw the thermometer reach or exceed 100 degrees F. Many observers also reported overnight lows that did not fall below 75 degrees F. Fortunately temperatures fell back into the 60s F by June 9th bringing some relief from the heat.