July Climate Summary and First Rains of August:Average temperatures for July from observers around the state were very close to normal, commonly about 0.5 to 1.0 degrees above normal. The hottest period during the month was over July 20-22 when daily Heat Index values soared above 100°F in several locations. The Twin Cities reported the highest temperature for the state on the 22nd with a reading of 97°F. The lowest temperature for the month was just 35°F at Embarrass (St Louis County) on the 1st. For the first 7 months of 2016 temperatures have consistently been warmer than normal in Minnesota, placing this period as the 5th warmest in state history.
The monthly total rainfall was above normal for most places in the state, except for a few northern communities which were drier than normal. Many climate observers reported total monthly rainfall that was 2-3 times normal, and on a statewide basis it was the 4th wettest July in history and wettest since 1993. For many communities it was the wettest July in history, including:
11.65 inches at Brainerd
10.02 inches at Mora
13.44 inches at Garrison
11.14 inches at Longville
9.92 inches at Bruno
9.88 inches at Morris
9.12 inches at St James
Severe weather plagued the state during the month on several occasions: On the 5th severe thunderstorms move across the central part of the state, bringing 2-4 inch rains along with 60-70 mph winds; east-central Minnesota counties were hit with 5-9 inches of rain over the 11th and 12th, producing widespread flash flooding, especially in Pine County. Three tornadoes were reported across Meeker and Stearns Counties. Over July 19-20 winds up to 70 mph along with large hail passed over sections of the northern Red River Valley and then caused some tree damage and power outages in Beltrami County. And finally overnight thunderstorms crossed northern counties on July 20-21 knocking down trees and powerlines, as a wide swath "derecho' caused damage from the Brainerd Lakes area into the BWCA. Many areas reported winds over 75 mph.
August 4th brought the first significant widespread rains of the month, unfortunately along with some damaging winds through central Minnesota counties. Many observers in northern Minnesota and around the Twin Cities Metro Area reported 1-2 inches of rain from these thunderstorms. Some climate stations reported new record daily values of rainfall for the date, including:
2.50 inches at Winsted
2.48 inches at Leech Lake
2.30 inches at Thief River Falls
2.07 inches at Winona
Quiet weather should prevail until next Tuesday and Wednesday when there will be another chance for thunderstorms.
Weekly Weather Potpourri:The American Meteorological Society has released the "State of the Climate in 2015" report. It makes for some interesting reading, and links many of the observed climate anomalies and events to climate change. And of course El Nino left its finger print on climate behavior during the year as well.
Minnesota Farmfest has been underway this week in Redwood County, where thousands have gathered to showcase what's new and exemplary in agriculture. The weather was uncomfortable the first few days with Heat Index values hovering in the mid to upper 90s °F during the day. This was brought to an end on Thursday (Aug 4) by strong thunderstorms which brought up to an inch of rain to the area, along with wind gusts up to 50 mph.
With the Summer Olympic Games opening this week in Rio, the BBC Weather Centre offers a guide to how the various sports venues may be affected by the weather in Brazil. This may be of interest to readers as they watch competitions in their favorite sports.
Tropical Storm Earl was bringing heavy rains to portions of Mexico west of the Yucatan Peninsula this week. It packed winds over 50 mph, but the real threat came from persist heavy rains.
I will be broadcasting the Minnesota Weather Quiz on MPR with Tom Weber again this year from Carousel Park at the State Fair. We are scheduled for the morning of September 2, 2016. Please stop by if you are in the area. We will be giving out prizes again.
MPR listener question:With all the heat, humidity, and storms so far this summer, I was wondering what is the record high daily temperature and rainfall for the month of August?
Answer:For the Twin Cities the August records are 103°F on August 15, 1936, and 7.28 inches of rainfall on August 30, 1977 (State Fair Record). On a statewide basis the records are 110°F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) on August 10, 1947 and at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) on August 1, 1988, and 15.10 inches of rainfall on August 19, 2007 at Hokah (Houston County).
Twin Cities Almanac for August 5th:The average MSP high temperature for this date is 82 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).
MSP Local Records for August 5th:
MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 100 degrees F in 1947; lowest daily maximum temperature of 67 degrees F in 1912; lowest daily minimum temperature is 48 degrees F in 1994; highest daily minimum temperature of 78 degrees F in 1947; record precipitation of 1.88 inches in 1898; and no snowfall has occurred on this date.
Average dew point for August 5th is 60 degrees F, with a maximum of 79 degrees F in 2001 and a minimum of 33 degrees F in 1910.
All-time state records for August 5th:The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at New Ulm (Brown County) in 1947. The state record low temperature for this date is 31 degrees F at Brimson (St Louis County) in 1994. State record precipitation for this date is 4.75 inches at Albert Lea (Freeborn County) in 1945; and no measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.
Past Weather Features:Widespread thunderstorms brought heavy rain to the state over August 5-7, 1898. Hardest hit areas were in western and central counties where many farm fields were flooded and small grain harvests were ruined in some areas. Many observers reported 3-4 inch amounts of rainfall.
August 5, 1947 was the hottest in history with 15 Minnesota communities reporting afternoon highs of 100°F or higher. Dew points were also high that day producing Heat Index values that ranged from 103°F to 113°F.
August 5, 1994 brought very cold weather to the state, especially to those camping in northern Minnesota, where lows dropped into the 30s F. It was 31 degrees F at Tower and Brimson, and just 35 degrees F at Cotton. As far south as Byron (Olmsted County0 the morning low dropped to just 39 degrees F.