June Storms:Storms late last week and earlier this week brought some damage reports due to hail, wind, and flooding. Over last Friday and Saturday (June 17-18), widespread large hail (1-1.5 inch diameter) was reported from 14 Minnesota western counties. Then on Sunday June 19th, large hail was reported from 10 northern Minnesota counties, including grape fruit size stones observed near Nisswa in Crow Wing County. Tornadoes were also reported that day from Wadena, Cass, and Itasca Counties, although all were brief touchdowns with relatively little damage associated. Strong thunderstorm winds (up to 70mph) knocked down trees and damaged cabins in Crow Wing and Itasca Counties, and a great deal of wind damage was reported from the Duncan Lake region of the BWCA, where some campers were injured and a man was killed by a falling tree. More details on these storms can be found at the State Climatology Office web site.
Continuing this weather trend, strong thunderstorms brought rain, hail, and high winds to portions of Rice, Steele, Goodhue, Dodge, and Scott Counties on Wednesday, June 22nd. A few places like Byron and grand Meadow received over an inch of rain from these storms. Over the past week thunderstorms brought new daily rainfall records to Redwood Falls, Montevideo, and Dawson in the west, and Cotton in the north, with amounts ranging from 1.50 to nearly 3 inches. So far 32 new daily rainfall records have been set this month in the Minnesota climate observing networks, and more may come from unsettled weather over the coming weekend.
Thanks to heavy rains from thunderstorms, many climate observers are reporting over 5 inches of rain for the month of June, and a handful like Hutchinson, Mankato, New Ulm, Redwood Falls, Preston, and La Crescent have received over 6 inches. Though many observers are reporting above normal rainfall for this month, some areas of west-central Minnesota, especially from Wilkin to Lac Qui Parle Counties, remain drier than normal with rainfall deficiencies ranging from 3-5 inches since May 1st.
Some farmers in Brown, Redwood, Renville, and Stearns Counties were assessing hail damage to corn and soybean fields. The University of Minnesota Extension has published some guidelines on assessing such damage for determining whether to replant fields. If you know someone in this situation please encourage them to check out these guidelines.
Weekly Weather Potpourri:
A hot June has prevailed in many western states, especially California, Nevada, and Arizona. Here are the average daily temperature departures and extreme values of temperature so far for selected western climate stations:
Las Vegas, NV, +6.0°F, with a high of 115°F
Phoenix, AZ, +4.0°F, with a high of 118°F
Needles, CA, +7.0°F, with a high of 125°F
Death Valley, CA, +6.0°F, with a high of 126°F
This June will rank historically very high if not record-setting with respect to temperature at many of these locations. More about this Heat Wave in the west can be found at the NOAA web site.
This week on NOAA Event Tracker there is an interesting feature on the flooding rains in France and Germany that occurred earlier this season. Some scientists link the unusual weather pattern that brought persistent heavy rains over these countries to climate change signals.
A recent paper in the International Journal of Climatology documents the climate characteristics of ice storms across the USA. It show that central and western Minnesota counties have a higher annual frequency of ice storms (quarter inch of deposition or greater) than most other states in the Midwest, but not quite as high as some northeastern states. Peak occurrence of such storms is in the months of January and March, with a secondary peak in December.
A recent paper from Columbia University published in the journal Environmental Health examines the expected change in frequency of Heat Waves for New York City due to global climate change by the year 2080. There is considerable interest in this topic by health professionals who serve urban populations which already suffer from city "heat islands" in the summer.
MPR listener question:My question relates to sleeping weather. We live in South Minneapolis in a home without air conditioning. Our habit is to leave the bedrooms windows open at night and capture the cool outside air. But that is not happening very frequently this month. How many nights has the nighttime temperature dropped below 60°F this month compared to average?
Answer:I'm with you, cool nights below 60F are great for sleeping. So far in the Twin Cities we have seen only 8 such nights this month, compared to a historical average of 15 or 16. Hopefully, we'll get a couple of more before the end of June. Such nighttime temperatures become pretty rare in July. In four of the past 7 Julys there have been no nights when the temperature dropped below 60°F.
Twin Cities Almanac for June 24th: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 62 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).
MSP Local Records for June 24th:
MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 101 degrees F in 1988; lowest daily maximum temperature of 59 degrees F in 1928; lowest daily minimum temperature is 44 degrees F in 1972; highest daily minimum temperature of 76 degrees F in 1954; record precipitation of 2.36 inches in 1911; and no snowfall has occurred on this date.
Average dew point for June 24th is 57 degrees F, with a maximum of 75 degrees F in 2003 and a minimum of 29 degrees F in 1972.
All-time state records for June 24th:The state record high temperature for this date is 106 degrees F at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County) in 1988. The state record low temperature for this date is 20 degrees F at Remer (Cass County) in 1985. State record precipitation for this date is 7.60 inches at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 2003 ; and no measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.
Past Weather Features:A high pressure system from Canada brought cool weather to Minnesota on June 24, 1985. Many climate stations reported record low temperatures in the 30s F, and a few stations in the north reported frosts with temperatures in the 20s F.
By far the hottest June 24th in state history was in 1988. Over 30 communities in the state reported afternoon temperatures of 100F or higher. The coolest spot in the state was Grand Marais with a temperature of 53F.
June 22-25, 2003 brought bouts of heavy rain, hail, strong winds, and even tornadoes to many parts of the state. Heavy rains totaling over 6 inches brought flooding to parts of Morrison, Aitkin, Renville, Sherburne, and Wright Counties. A tornado cause extensive property damage in Buffalo Lake (Wright County).