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Friday, June 27, 2014

Preliminary June Climate Summary: June 27, 2014 Commentary

In this edition of WeatherTalk

  • Preliminary June Climate Summary
  • Weekly Weather Potpourri
  • MPR Listener Question
  • Almanac for June 27th
  • Past Weather 
  • Outlook

Preliminary June Climate Summary

Most observers report a mean monthly June temperature that is close to normal. Extremes for the month ranged from 90 degrees F at Marshall on the 20th and Madison on the 21st to just 30 degrees F at Crane Lake on the 13th.

Though June temperatures around the state were near normal, rainfall was far from it, in fact record-setting for many communities. On a statewide basis the average rainfall for June so far has been about 7.29 inches, just behind the all-time wettest June of 1914 when the statewide average was 7.32 inches, a record likely to be broken by next Monday. Flooding has been widespread on many Minnesota watersheds as a result of the heavy rains.

Many observers reported measurable rainfall on over half of the days during the month of June, and several reported record-setting daily values including: Luverne with 3.39 inches on the 1st and 3.57 inches on the 15th; Redwood Falls with 3.41 inches on the 1st and 5.10 inches on the 19th; Gaylord with 4.87 inches on the 19th and 2.92 inches on the 20th; Lake Wilson with 5.20 inches on the 15th; Redwing with 4.41 inches on the 15th; Rushford with 2.95 inches on the 26th; and MSP with 4.13 inches on the 19th (largest June daily rainfall in history).

Those already setting records for the wettest June include:
  • Ada 8.56 inches
  • Littlefork 9.14 inches
  • International Falls 9.93 inches
  • Kabetogama 10.46 inches
  • Dawson 8.27 inches
  • Chaska 13.22 inches
  • Glencoe 14.15 inches
  • Lakefield 10.92 inches
  • Luverne 13.44 inches
  • Redwood Falls 14.22 inches
  • Springfield 10.88 inches
  • Waseca 12.31 inches

The acknowledged statewide June rainfall record from the Cooperative Observer network in Minnesota is 15.63 inches at Delano in 2002. This may be threatened or broken by month's end next Monday. MSP with climate records all the way back to 1871 shows 10.85 inches of rain for June so far, trailing only 11.67 inches in 1874. This record too may be broken by next Monday.

Peak wind speeds on the 15th and 16th exceeded 50 mph in many places, causing some tree damage.

Final June climate summaries will be available on our website early next week.

Weekly Weather Potpourri

Dennis Todey, South Dakota State Climatologist reported this week that the Canton, SD cooperative observer just south of Sioux Falls reports 18.75 inches of rainfall so far in June, a new statewide record for the month, breaking the old record by more than 2.5 inches.

In the Southern Hemisphere, where it is winter, portions of New South Wales and Victoria in Australia were blanketed by the season's first heavy snowfall this week, up to 20 inches reported by some observers. Ski resorts opened for business, but strong winds contributed to travel difficulties and power outages in some areas. Winds over 60 mph were also reported, producing blizzard conditions in some areas.

On Tuesday, June 24th Environment Canada reported the 6th tornado of the season in Ontario Province. The storm was classified as an EF1 (winds 86-110 mph) and was on the ground for about 4 miles near Laurel Station. About 17 tornadoes are reported each year across the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

A report released by NASA this week revealed the air pollution over major US cities has been improving in recent years, at least as measured by the sensors aboard the Aqua satellite system. There has been a reduction in nitrogen dioxide in many areas. Read more about this report.

MPR Listener Question

"I have your 'Minnesota Weather Almanac' as a reference for all the state daily climate records. I note that maximum daily rainfalls exceeding 10 inches have occurred around the state in July and August, but not in June. Didn't the great June flash flood in Duluth, Cloquet, and Two Harbors bring a daily rainfall of 10 inches back in 2012?"

Answer: Indeed you are correct. The observer at Two Harbors reported 10.45 inches on June 20, 2012, setting a new statewide record for daily rainfall in June. Also Two Harbors reported their wettest June in history back to 1894 with a total of 13.86 inches in June of 2012.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 27th

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 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 27th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 104 degrees F in 1934; lowest daily maximum temperature of 61 degrees F in 1888 and 1911; lowest daily minimum temperature is 44 degrees F in 1925; highest daily minimum temperature of 79 F in 1933; record precipitation of 2.00 inches in 1953; and there has been no snow on this date.

Average dew point for June 27th is 59 degrees F, with a maximum of 76 degrees F in 1959 and a minimum of 36 degrees F in 1925.

All-time state records for June 27th

The state record high temperature for this date is 108 degrees F at New London (Kandiyohi County) in 1934. The state record low temperature for this date is 29 degrees F at Sawbill Camp (Cook County) in 1940. State record precipitation for this date is 6.46 inches at Zumbrota (Goodhue County) in 1998; and no measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.

Past Weather Features

June 27, 1894 brought the largest outbreak of tornadoes of the 19th Century in Minnesota. Between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm at least 12 different tornadoes formed and moved southwestern and central Minnesota. The most long lived tornado was on the ground for 30 miles across Meeker and Stearns Counties, destroying dozens of farms and killing two people. One of the last tornadoes of the day passed across Lake Harriet in Minneapolis where some homes were destroyed.

Probably the coldest June 27th in state history was in 1925 when a cool and dry Canadian air mass settled over the state, dropping overnight lows into the 30s F, even at Beardsley, normally one of the hottest places in the state. Several communities reported frosts including, Cloquet, Pine River Dam, Meadowlands, Grand Rapids, and Warroad.

The hottest June 27th in state history occurred in 1934 when over 20 communities reported a daytime high of 100 degrees F or higher. A temperature of 90 degrees F was reported at Leech Lake, but over on the north shore of Lake Superior the high at Two Harbors only reached 60 degrees F.

June 26-27, 1998 brought severe weather to many parts of Minnesota. There were widespread reports of damaging winds (50-70 mph) and large hail (up to 1.75 inch diameter), especially in southeastern counties. Tornadoes were reported in seven counties and flash flooding occurred in a number of communities, particularly Jordan where over 6 inches of rain provoked historic flooding on Sandy Creek.


Mostly cloudy, warmer than normal temperatures into the weekend with a chance for showers and thunderstorms each day. Late Sunday may bring some strong thunderstorms to the state. Continued chance for showers on Monday, but with cooler temperatures. Drier by the middle of next week, with cooler than normal temperature going into the July 4th holiday on Friday.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Historic Heavy Rainfall: June 20, 2014 Commentary

In this edition of WeatherTalk

  • Historic Heavy Rainfall
  • New Seasonal Climate Outlook
  • Summer Solstice
  • Weekly Weather potpourri
  • MPR listener question
  • Almanac for June 20th
  • Past weather 
  • Outlook

Historic Heavy Rainfall

For the first time since July of 2011 there is no spot on the Minnesota landscape designated to be in drought! I think we all know why, another historically wet month of June is upon us. Four of the last five Junes have brought record setting rainfalls to some parts of the state. The most remarkable feature of this June is how widespread (geographically) these record-setting rainfalls have been.

Many of these record rains have occurred in the past week. A sampling of day to day values includes:
  • June 15: 5.20" at Lake Wilson; 4.41" at Red Wing; 3.73" at Worthington; 3.57" at Luverne; 3.34" at Tracy; 3.30" at Slayton; 3.29" at Springfield; 2.80" at Marshall; 2.33" at Hastings; 2.18" at Pipestone; 2.01" at Hawley; and 1.87" at Ada.
  • June 16: 2.00" at Amboy; 1.49" at Waskish; and 1.23" at Red Lake Falls
  • June 17: 3.70" at Winona; 3.29" at Lakefield; 3.29" at Austin; 2.95" at Grand Meadow; 2.95" at Minnesota City; 2.79" at Albert Lea; 2.64" at Spring Valley; 2.57" at Wells; 2.53" at Luverne; 2.37" at Sherburn; 2.13: at Blue Earth; and 2.02" at Winnebago.
  • June 18: 3.51" at North Mankato; 2.37" at Redwood Falls; and 2.14" at New Ulm.
  • June 19: 5.10: at Redwood Falls; 4.87" at Gaylord; 4.75" at Belle Plaine; 4.13" at MSP Airport; 3.50" at Springfield; 3.31" at Hawley; 3.22" at Chaska; 3.13" at Milan; 3.06" at Glencoe; 2.68" at Breckenridge; 2.20" at Bird Island; and 2.08" at Rosemount.

Daily reports from observers outside the National Weather Service Cooperative Network indicated additional daily rainfall amounts ranged from 5 to 6 inches in some places, but to the best of my knowledge no statewide daily rainfall records were broken. The associated effects of a historically wet week included uncomfortably high dewpoints (as high as 72 F in some southern counties), and widespread flood warnings for many of Minnesota's rivers including the Rock River in the SW where a record flood crest was observed, and the Rainy River along the Canadian Border, also where a record flood crest was observed.

Monthly totals for June rainfall already stand at record values for many observer locations, including: 13.69" at Redwood Falls, 13.20" at Chaska; 13.00" at Luverne; 12.23" at Waseca; 8.26" at Ada; 10.20" at Lakefield; and 9.62" at Kabetogama. The 10.76" of rain at MSP so far this June ranks 2nd historically to 11.67" which fell in 1874. Pending further additions to these remarkable June rainfall totals, this June will rank among the wettest of all-time on a statewide basis. The all-time state record June rainfall is 15.63" at Mapleton (Blue Earth County) in 2010, so some observers may yet approach this record before the end of the month. Governor Mark Dayton declared an emergency for 35 counties, bringing Minnesota National Guardsmen to help with flood relief and storm damage recovery efforts.

New Seasonal Climate Outlook

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center issued a series of new monthly and seasonal climate outlooks this week. Despite a projected warmer than normal start to the month of July, for the remainder of the growing season (July-September) their outlook favors cooler than normal temperature in our region, with wetter than normal conditions in western parts of Minnesota. Equal chances for above or below normal rainfall apply for the rest of the state.

Summer Solstice

The summer solstice will occur on Saturday, June 21st as the midday sun stands over the Tropic of Cancer, 23.5 degrees north latitude, producing the longest day of the year for the 
northern hemisphere. Here in Minnesota that translates to a day length ranging from 15 hours and 20 minutes in southern counties to 16 hours and 10 minutes in Lake of the Woods. Looks like it will be an enjoyable sunny day.

Saturday is also the 38th running of Grandma's Marathon from Two Harbors to Duluth. Looks like the morning will start in the high 40s to low 50s F with only a slight chance for showers, then warm into to upper 50s F to near 60 F by afternoon with drier conditions prevailing. Winds will be light and off of Lake Superior for a cooling effect. Overall it should be good conditions for runners.

Weekly Weather Potpourri

It was reported this week in the LA Times newspaper that two California fish hatcheries are evacuating their rainbow trout, salmon, and steelhead to save the fish from rising water temperatures induced by the prolonged drought in the Sacramento Valley. It was estimated that the low water flows into the hatcheries would bring such warm water later in the summer, that it would be inhabitable for these fish species. Read more about this story.

The United Kingdom Meteorological Office reports that the weather for the start of the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament next Monday should be fine and dry, with comfortable temperatures and light winds prevailing during the first week.

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released by NOAA this week depicts no sign of drought left in Minnesota, and forecasts improvements to drought conditions for portions of NE, IA, MO, and KS. Drought is expected to persist throughout the summer in portions of Texas, Oklahoma and the far western states. Read more.

MPR listener question: Astute weather observer Dave Ruschy noted this week that Waseca reported three separate thunderstorms that each delivered over 2 inches of rainfall. He asked how often our climate history shows three separate thunderstorms of that magnitude in one week?

Answer: After scanning the state climate data base I cannot find another week when three separate thunderstorms have delivered 2 or more inches of rainfall to a location in Minnesota. There are many instances of two such storms during a week, and some instances of back to back days. So the degree of thunderstorm intensity from separate storms this week in Waseca, MN is indeed exceptional. The nearly 7 inches of rain that fell in 4 days (June 15-18) at Waseca this week has about a 1 in 50 year recurrence interval. In the context of their records (dating back to 1914), there has been only one year when their climate station recorded 5 separate thunderstorms that delivered 2 or more inches of rainfall (1991), yet so far this month they have already recorded 4 such storms.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 20th

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 59 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 20th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1933; lowest daily maximum temperature of 54 degrees F in 1946; lowest daily minimum temperature is 41 degrees F in 1992; highest daily minimum temperature of 75 F in 1943; record precipitation of 1.92 inches in 1927; and there has been no snow on this date.

Average dew point for June 20th is 55 degrees F, with a maximum of 78 degrees F in 1909 and a minimum of 31 degrees F in 1992.

All-time state records for June 20th

The state record high temperature for this date is 104 degrees F at Olivia (Renville County) in 1988. The state record low temperature for this date is 23 degrees F at Remer (Cass County) in 1985. State record precipitation for this date is 10.45 inches at Two Harbors (Lake County) in 2012; and no measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.

Past Weather Features

June 19-22, 1988 brought a Heat Wave to many parts of Minnesota. For many nighttime lows remained in the 70s F, while daytime highs soared well into the 90s F. Over 20 communities saw the thermometer rise above the century mark, setting a record daily maximum temperature.

June 20-21, 1992 brought the record summer solstice frost to many parts of Minnesota. Frost was observed as far south as Zumbrota, damaging a number of crop fields. This remains the only occurrence of widespread frost on the longest day of the year in Minnesota.

The flash flood of June 19-20, 2012 will long be remembered by many citizens of northern Minnesota. Much of the intense thunderstorm rain fell overnight, washing out roads, culverts, bridges, and hill slopes. Jay Cooke State Park was completely flooded and closed and damages were widespread in the cities of Duluth and Two Harbors. Some rainfall amounts were all-time records for the dates, including: 5.44" at Grand Rapids; 6.62" at Moose Lake; 6.61" at Floodwood; 7.25" at Duluth Airport; 7.63" at Island Lake; 8.35" at Cloquet; and 10.69" at Two Harbors.


Generally warmer than normal over the weekend (except for the north shore areas) with a chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms mostly on Sunday. Cooler with a chance for showers by Tuesday through Thursday of next week.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Commentary produced June 13, 2014

  • Above normal June rainfall already
  • Temperature comparison
  • Weekly weather potpourri
  • MPR listener question
  • Almanac for June 13th
  • Past weather 
  • Outlook

Above normal June rainfall already!

The Waskish observer reported a thunderstorm rainfall of 3.46 inches on June 12 (Thursday), a record for the date and the second greatest daily amount ever measured at that station in Beltrami County. Several observers have already reported heavy thunderstorms this month.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Commentary produced June 6, 2014

  • Wet start to June
  • Weekly weather potpourri
  • MPR listener question
  • Almanac for June 6th
  • Past weather 
  • Outlook

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