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Extension > Mark Seeley's WeatherTalk > 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

WeatherTalk will be back August 11

WeatherTalk will not be published Friday, July 28 or August 4. Mark Seeley will send the next WeatherTalk on Friday, August 11.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Heavy Thunderstorms in Southern Minnesota

Heavy Thunderstorms in Southern Minnesota:

Fast moving heavy thunderstorms crossed portions of central and southern Minnesota over July 19-20 this week. These storms also brought strong winds, with many reports of wind gusts over 60 mph. Fortunately little hail was associated with these storms. The only area to report large hail was Windom (Cottonwood County) where hail stones up to 1.5 inches in diameter were observed.

The heaviest rains occurred in southeastern Minnesota counties and in western Wisconsin, where widespread street flooding, and even mudslides were reported. Many observers reported new daily record rainfalls, including:
5.11 inches at Minnesota City (Winona County)
5.03 inches at Wabasha (Wabasha County)
4.75 inches at La Crescent (Winona County)
4.55 inches at Red Wing Dam (Goodhue County)
4.50 inches at Winona Dam (Winona County)
3.89 incheds at Hokah (Houston County)
6.37 inches at Alma Dam (Buffalo County, WI)
6.26 inches at La Crosse (La Crosse County, WI)
4.80 inches at Hillsboro (Vernon County, WI)

More information on these storms can be found at the Minnesota StateClimatology office web site. Despite the recent rains, many parts of western Minnesota remain drier than normal for the month, with less than 1 inch of total rainfall so far.

Additional heavy rains were affecting southern Minnesota on Friday, July 21st as well, but total amounts were not yet available for this blog.

Topping 100 Degrees F:


Earlier this week on Monday July 17th the climate observer at Browns Valley (Traverse County) reported an afternoon temperature of 101 degrees F, the highest measured so far this year in Minnesota. Elsewhere Canby, Wheaton and Marshall all hit 98 degrees F that day.

The statistics for the past 40 years (my time as Extension Climatologist) show that 80 percent of the time (32 years), a temperature of 100 degrees F or higher is measured somewhere in the state. More often such readings come from western or southern Minnesota counties. For example, 19 of the 40 years the highest temperature in the state was measured in Traverse, Lyon, Lac Qui Parle, or Redwood Counties. These statistics conform to those of our state climate history all the way back to the second half of the 19th Century. Most of the all-time daily high temperature records for the state come from climate stations in Big Stone, Traverse, Lac Qui Parle, and Yellow Medicine Counties. On rare occasions the state's highest daily temperature for a given year may come from southeastern Minnesota, as was the case in 1985 when Theilman (Wabasha County) reported 103 degrees F on June 10th.

Interestingly enough, both the earliest and latest dates for measuring a temperature of 100 degrees F in state history are held by the same climate station. At Ada (Norman County), along Highway 9 in the Red River Valley, the temperature has reached 100 degrees F as early as April 21 (1980), and as late as September 23 (1936). So, if you like hot weather that is the place to choose. On the other hand, Ada has been as cold as -53 degrees F in the winter (Feb 15, 1936), so have some warm clothes for that season.

Only 1986, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2002, 2010,2014, and 2015 have produced no daily high temperatures of 100 degrees F or greater.

Special Conference at Macalester College this week:

"Transition US National Gathering: Growinga Movement for Resilient Communities" will take place at Macalester College over July 27-August 1. There will be workshops and presentation sessions related to planning and building more resilient communities, lowering carbon emissions, mitigating impacts of climate change, and building on social community strengths. Check out the web link for more information.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Earlier this month NOAA scientists announced that the Greenhouse Gas Index based on a global network of measurements of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over oceans and land, has shown a rise of 40 percent since 1990. This is primarily based on a rise in carbon dioxide, although methane and nitrous oxide are some of the other important gases measured as well.

Also earlier this week NOAA scientists announced that the month of June 2017 on a global basis was the 3rd warmest of record going back to 1880. In addition the global average temperature for the first six months of 2017 was the 2nd highest ever for the same measured period (1880-20170, trailing only that of last year. You can read more at the NOAA News web site.

The United Kingdom Met Office had an interesting discussion online this week about common folklore wisdom related to weather. They dissected the accuracy of this folklore wisdom and found some of it to be valid, and some not so valid. One of the beliefs that proved to be highly invalid was that cows lie down before a rain storm.

A recent paper by Norwegian scientists in the journal Environmental Research Letters describes the disparities in the average carbon footprint among households across the European Union. It is interesting to note that the highest carbon footprints are from the United Kingdom and Greece.

MPR listener question:

It seems that we have had a real rollercoaster ride with temperatures around the state this month. Here in Ely half of the days have brought colder than normal temperatures, and half brought warmer than normal temperatures so far this month. Has Minnesota reported the either coldest or warmest temperature in the nations so far in July?

Answer:

Indeed temperatures have been highly variable so far this month. We have not reported the nation's highest temperature on any day this month, and we rarely do. For example, earlier this week on July17th when Browns Valley reported a daytime high of 101 degrees F, hundreds of climate stations in western states were warmer than that, topped by 124 degrees F at Death Valley. On the cold side though, Crane Lake, MN did report the coldest temperature in the Nation on July 14th with a morning low of just 37 degrees F. That conforms to our national reputation.

MSP Local Records for July 21st:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 105 degrees F in 1934; lowest daily maximum temperature of 69 degrees F in 1927 and 1947; lowest daily minimum temperature of 49 degrees F in 1947; highest daily minimum temperature of 79 degrees F in 1983; record precipitation of 1.36 inches in 1951. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 21st is 61°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 78°F in 1983; and the minimum dew point on this date is 40°F in 1947.

All-time state records for July 21st:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 113 degrees F at Milan (Chippewa County) in 1934; the all-time state low for today's date is 34 degrees F at Angus (Polk County) in 1947. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 7.83 inches at Chaska (Carver County) in 1987. No snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather Features:


By far the warmest July 21st in state history was in 1934. Over 30 Minnesota communities reported an afternoon temperature of 100 degrees F or greater, topped by 113 degrees F at Milan (Chippewa County). The heat was compounded by widespread drought as well. Even the overnight temperature never fell below 80 degrees F at Beardsley, Montevideo, Albert Lea, and Zumbrota making for a very difficult night to sleep.

The coldest July 21st in state history was in 1947 when 15 Minnesota communities reported morning lows in the 30s F. Some mid-summer ground frost was reported from St Louis and Polk Counties in northern Minnesota. The afternoon high temperature at Two Harbors only reached 62 degrees F.

Severe thunderstorms dropped heavy rainfall across southeastern Minnesota on July 21, 1951. Many climate stations reported 3 to 6 inches of rainfall which washed out roads and flooded highways. Caledonia in Houston County reported a record 6.60 inches. Flooding of homes and businesses in the Rochester area was widespread, and the Zumbro River saw one of its highest every flood crests.

Outlook:

Partly cloudy with near normal temperatures for Saturday, and mostly dry conditions. Cooler with below normal temperatures for Sunday through Tuesday, and little chance for rain. Then warming for Wednesday and Thursday to near normal temperatures with a chance for showers and thunderstorms.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Great Variation in Rainfall this Month

Great Variation in Rainfall this Month:


So far this month the rains across the state have been very widely scattered and highly variable in amounts, including those of this week. This is especially true in western and southern counties. Across Otter Tail County total rainfall in July varies from less than a third of an inch to well over 2 inches; and across Blue Earth County rainfall for the month varies from less than a half inch to nearly 3.5 inches. Overall rainfall totals through the first 14 days of the month ranged from just trace amounts in portions of southwestern to nearly 3.5 inches in south-central Minnesota. Severe thunderstorms on Sunday, July 9th brought hail and high winds to many areas. Some very large hail (over 2 inch diameter) were reported, along with a tornado near Lake Crystal (Blue Earth County). Then another severe weather episode with dew points in the 70s F occurred across portions of central Minnesota over July 11-12, bringing hail and high winds to many areas. There was also a report of a tornado near Forest Lake. At one point, Xcel Energy reported over 56,000 customers without power because of high winds. The Minnesota State Climatology Office features more detailed descriptions of all of these storms so far this month.

Following the warm and sultry weather which produced the thunderstorms a cold front brought morning lows in the 40s and 50s F on July 13th. Crane Lake dropped all the way down to 37 degrees F on July 14th. This is a typical Minnesota rollercoaster pattern on the thermometer readings.

Weather Potpourri:


NOAA scientists announced this week, that after a number of years with little or no rise in global methane (a powerful greenhouse gas), there is now a rising trend in global methane that has been evident in the data every year since 2007. This trend had been predicted to resume by global climate models.

Hurricane Fernanda, located many hundreds of miles southwest of Baja California is expected to intensify and perhaps become a Saffir Simpson Category 4 storm (winds 130-150 mph) over the weekend and early next week. But it will remain well out to sea in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and no threat to land.

Earlier this week an iceberg the size of the state of Delaware broke away from the West Antarctica Ice Shelf (called Larson C) and is now floating. This 2200 square mile iceberg, estimated to weigh over a trillion tons, is expected to occasional get stuck on the bottom of the Wendell Sea over the next months and years. The weekly Earth & Space Science News from AGU provides more detail and perspective on this topic.

MPR listener question:


When I listen to the weather forecast I get confused by the rainfall predictions when meteorologists use the terms isolated showers, widely scattered showers, scattered showers, and widespread showers. Can you explain the differences?

Answer:


This jargon issue has been written about over the years by many meteorologists, and there are certainly some geographic disparities in what these terms imply. For our region of the country they generally mean the following:

Isolated showers implies less than a 25 percent chance of occurrence anywhere in the forecast area.
Widely scattered showers implies a 30-40 percent chance.
Scattered showers implies a 40-60 percent chance.
Widespread showers implies over a 60 percent chance.
The bottom line is that when the terms isolated or widely are used, it is more likely to remain dry where you are located.

Twin Cities Almanac for July 14th:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 84 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 65 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 14th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 108 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily maximum temperature of 65 degrees F in 2014; lowest daily minimum temperature of 50 degrees F in 1930; highest daily minimum temperature of 79 degrees F in 1980; record precipitation of 3.17 inches in 1915. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 14th is 60 degrees F; the maximum dew point on this date is 76F in 1995; and the minimum dew point on this date is 40F in 1930.

All-time state records for July 14th:


The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 111 degrees F at New Ulm (Brown County) in 1936; the all-time state low for today's date is 30 degrees F at Alborn (St Louis County) in 1930. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 5.49 inches at Carlos (Douglas County) in 2011. No snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather Features:

Perhaps the coldest July 14 in state history came in 1930. At least 15 climate stations reported a morning low in the 30s F, and a few northern communities reported frost. The air was especially dry with humidity reported between 20 and 30 percent. For some northeastern climate stations the afternoon temperatures remained in the 60s F.

July 14, 1936 was the hottest in history with 50 Minnesota communities reporting an afternoon high temperature of 100 degrees F or greater. Overnight lows never cooled off close to normal and remained between 74 and 78 degrees F in most places. Many people slept outside or on their porches.

Strong thunderstorms passed over northern Minnesota July 14-15, 1937 delivering hail along with 3 to 6 inches of rainfall to many areas, including Baudette. In Baudette ended up with 12.50 inches for the month, recording the wettest July in history there.

Eight consecutive days with rain showers saturated southern Minnesota over July 9-16, 2011. Many climate stations reported 5 to 8 inches of rain over that period and some corn and soybean fields showed standing water.

Outlook:

Warm and humid on Saturday, with a slight chance of thunderstorms. Cooler on Sunday with temperatures falling back closer to normal. Temperatures warming again Monday and Tuesday to slightly above normal, with chances for showers and thunderstorms much of next week.














Friday, July 7, 2017

July Temperatures Following Trend

July Temperatures Following Trend:


Though the first several days of the month were cooler than normal, with the recent heat, most observers are now reported mean monthly temperatures that are warmer than normal. This follows the pattern for many recent trends. Five of the most recent seven months of July have been warmer than normal in Minnesota, while 21 of the past 23 months have been warmer than normal in Minnesota as well. The highest temperature of the summer so far was observed at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on Wednesday (July 6) of this week with an afternoon reading of 98 degrees F. In addition at least 15 climate stations have reported overnight lows in the 70s F this week. That is about 6-10 degrees F above normal. National Weather Service outlooks continue to favor warmer than normal temperatures across the state through the third week of July. The outlooks also favor, for the first time in many months, drier than normal conditions for the remainder of the month. This means of course that watering will be important.

Watering Considerations:


Since the climate outlooks favoring a warm and dry pattern for the remainder of July, it is important to remember some water conservation tips from the U of MN Extension:

-water plants and gardens at night or very early in the morning to minimize evaporation losses.

-use a light coating of mulch around some plants to minimize water loss from the soil, and to suppress weed competition.

-adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting as the longer grass keeps root systems shaded. During a warm July, lawns will need 1-2 inches of water per week.

-direct downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs, hedges and trees that can utilize the water.

-try to water at a rate that matches the infiltration rate of your soil....perhaps with a soaker hose.

-for newly planted trees and shrubs (planted this spring or summer) water thoroughly at least once per week all summer.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


NOAA recently announced intentions to upgrade the Tropical Pacific Observing System (buoy platforms with instrumentation) by 2020 in partnership with Australia, China, and Japan. This observing network transmits data by satellite routinely and these data are used to assess El Nino signals, as well as to help with tropical storm forecasting in the Pacific Ocean Basin.


This week brought a tropical storm and some unprecedented heavy rains to southwestern Japan, the island of Kyushu (reported by the Kydo News Service). At times rainfall rates reached 4 inches per hour. Some places reported rainfall totals over 20 inches. Many roads and bridges were washed out and over half a million people were evacuated because of threatening flash floods.


At the end of last week the United Kingdom MetOffice put out a summary of June climate that showed the month to be very warm and wet. It was near record-setting wet in parts of Scotland and northern England, and also near record warm in eastern England.


Dr. Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California wrote a very good piece on climate science and climate change for the Washington Post this week. It is well worth reading about the importance of staying engaged on this topic and finding ways for the USA to live up to the Paris Climate Agreement.


A recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research documents how the turbulence embedded in thunderstorms is linked to the lightning produced by such storms. It is the first of its kind to establish this link.

MPR listener question:


Now that we have the hottest part of the summer season upon us, we were wondering which part of the state has recorded the most 100 degree F days in history? Thought you might have the answer.

Answer:


Indeed, using the climate records back to the 1880s, the clear winner is west-central Minnesota, near the junction of Traverse and Big Stone Counties. The combined Beardsley and Browns Valley records show that 287 days have reached 100 degrees F or warmer since 1880, the most recent date being July 3, 2012. Other long-term climate states with large numbers of 100 degrees F days include Canby (Yellow Medicine County) with 198 and Milan (Chippewa County) with 161. These climate stations far surpass even the Twin Cities "heat island" climate record for 100 degrees F days, which shows a total of 65 back to 1872.

There are many climate stations in Minnesota that have never recorded a 100 degrees F reading, including Gunflint Lake (Cook County), Crane Lake (St Louis County), Two Harbors (Lake County), and Waskish (Beltrami County).

Twin Cities Almanac for July 7th:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 84 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 7th:


MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 101 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily maximum temperature of 65 degrees F in 1918; lowest daily minimum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1891; highest daily minimum temperature of 80 degrees F in 1936; record precipitation of 3.00 inches in 1955. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 7th is 61°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 79°F in 1957; and the minimum dew point on this date is 38°F in 1934.

All-time state records for July 7th:


The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 108 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 1988; the all-time state low for today's date is 24 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1997. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 5.00 inches at Elgin (Olmsted County) in 1990. No snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather Features:


Temperatures fell into the upper 20s F to low 30s F across northern Minnesota on July 7, 1871. It was just 26 degrees F at Fort Ripley (Crow Wing County).

The hottest July 7th in state history occurred during the Heat Wave of 1936 (July 6-18). Over 50 communities reported daytime highs of 100 degrees F or greater. Some climate stations never saw the temperature drop below 80 degrees F even at night.

A strong thunderstorm gave birth to an EF-4 tornado (winds over 200 mph) on July 7, 1955. Between 4pm and 4:30 pm this storm moved 20 miles across portions of Lincoln and Lyon Counties in southwestern Minnesota. The tornado killed one person and damaged or destroyed 35 farms.

Strong thunderstorms brought heavy rains and hail to portions of northern Minnesota over July 7-8, 1962. Many observers reported 2-4 inches of rain, and nearly 4.5 inches fell at Fosston where crop fields were underwater for two days.

Frost occurred in parts of northeastern Minnesota on the morning of July 7, 1997. An all-time July low temperature of 24 degrees F occurred at Tower, bringing an end to a 23 day growing season there (last frost on June 14), one of the shortest in state history!

Outlook:


Near normal temperatures over the weekend under mostly sunny skies. Increasing cloudiness later on Sunday with a chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms, carrying over into Monday. Somewhat warmer for Tuesday through Thursday, with a chance for showers later on Wednesday and into Thursday.




Friday, June 30, 2017

Preliminary Climate Summary for June

Preliminary Climate Summary for June:


After having one of the warmest starts to June in Minnesota history, cooler than normal conditions prevailed during the second half of the month. As a result most climate observers are reporting a mean monthly temperature that is near normal or just 1 to 2 degrees warmer than normal. A few locations in the far north ended up the month with a mean temperature that was cooler than normal (Kabetogama and Tower for example). Among Minnesota's observer network 46 new daily high maximum temperature records were tied or broken during the first half of the month, while 35 daily warm minimum temperature records were tied or broken. Only 7 record low minimum temperatures were tied or set.

Extremes values for the month ranged from 97 degrees F at Waseca and Rosemount on the 10th to 29 degrees F at Brimson (St Louis County) on the 1st. On a statewide basis this was the 4th consecutive year with a warmer than normal month of June.

Total rainfall for June was mixed with climate observers reporting above and below normal amounts. The wettest areas were scattered across portions of northern and southern Minnesota. Parts of Otter Tail, St Louis, and Winona Counties reported over 6 inches of rain for the month. Minnesota City (Winona County) reported 7.99 inches, their 4th wettest June in history, while Otter Tail reported 7.02 inches, their 9th wettest June in history. Conversely a few weather observers reported less than 1.5 inches of rainfall for the month. Among the climate observation network, 28 new daily record rainfalls were reported, including 2.55 inches at Mora on the 14th and 2.32 inches at Lakefield on the 28th.

Numerous reports of wind and large hail were prevalent during June as well. Some damage to crops occurred, but was not widespread across the state. Tornadoes were reported on June 13th in west central counties (Big Stone and Stevens), and in Olmsted County on the 28th. All of these storms were relatively short-lived.

Very Warm June in the Southwest:


A prolonged Heat Wave in the Southwest this month nearly put Death Valley in the record books climate-wise. They reported 10 days in a row with high temperatures of 120 degrees F or greater, and ten nights when the temperature never fell below 92 degrees F. Their mean monthly temperature of over 100 degrees F is the 4th warmest June in history there back to 1911. Similarly Phoenix, AZ reported a mean monthly temperature for June slightly above 94 degrees F. This is their 3rd warmest month of June in history back to 1895. And Las Vegas reported a mean June temperature of 92 degrees F, 3rd warmest in history.

A synopsis of the June Heat Wave in western states is provided by NOAA's TomLiberto.


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Weekly Weather Potpourri:


Another NOAA news feature this week concerns the historical chances of rain on the 4th of July holiday. For most of Minnesota the historical rainfall frequency on July 4th ranges from 1 year in 4 to 1 year in 3.

A recent paper in the journal Science estimates the probable economic consequences of climate change county by county across the USA. This is the first paper of its kind looking at potential economic impacts on agriculture, energy, human mortality, and the labor force among other economic sectors. There are major differences across the country, with the largest negative consequences in many of the southern states.


A Heat Wave continued across parts of Europe this week, especially around the Mediterranean Sea. In parts of Italy and Greece daily high temperatures were expected to soar above 100 degrees F in many places going into the weekend.

Speaking of heat, a new study published in Science Advances documents that climate change may lead to a higher frequency of the co-occurrence of heat and drought. This combination of extremes leads to much higher impacts on human population, especially in terms of health risk and damage to natural resources.


A recent paper published in the InternationalJournal of Biometeorology studied the contribution of human and animal metabolism to urban heat islands. They studied data from 26 major cities around the world and found that the contribution of anthropogenic heat from human metabolism ranged from 4-8 percent in mid-latitude cities, while in tropical cities with high population densities it can range from 10 to 45 percent. In Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, where the population is about 20 million, human and animal metabolic heat generation contributes more to the urban heat island than the production of electrical power.


The United Kingdom Met Office is experimenting with a new online weather course that is available to the public starting this September. It will run for four weeks and require about 3 hours of activities each week. They will teach basics of observation and interpretation of maps and reports. The course is free and may be of interest to farmers, gardeners, hikers, photographers, and those who sail.


There is also an interesting article from the National Health Service in the United Kingdom about sun-care for young children during the summer months. Many parents may want to read this in order to understand protection measures for their children from getting burned or too much summer sun. There are good reminders in this article worth paying attention to.

MPR listener question:


My 5th grader wants to know how high the thunderstorm clouds are typically over Minnesota? I know that probably varies with the strength of the storm, but what is the average?

Answer:

The depth of thunderstorms varies both with their strength and the latitude in which they form. Over Minnesota (about 45 degrees north latitude), average thunderstorm tops can range between 35,000 and 45,000 feet. In some extreme cases, with supercell thunderstorms cloud tops have approached or exceeded 60,000 feet at our latitude. At lower latitudes, especially in the tropics, strong thunderstorm cloud tops have exceeded 70,000 feet. Conversely in the polar latitudes, like over Hudson Bay, Canada, extreme thunderstorm cloud tops may approach 35,000 feet.

For access to weather radar online that provides estimates of cloud top heights you can use the College of Dupage radar site mapping utility. Click on the radar map, then go to the drop down menu on the left of the page on click on "echo tops."

Twin Cities Almanac for June 30th


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 30th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 100 degrees F in 1931; lowest daily maximum temperature of 56 degrees F in 1959; lowest daily minimum temperature of 47 degrees F in 1892; highest daily minimum temperature of 82 F in 1931; record precipitation of 1.56 inches in 1978. No snowfall hazs occurred on this date.

Average dew point for June 30yh 21st is 58°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 76°F in 1955; and the minimum dew point on this date is 36°F in 1965.

All-time state records for June 30th:


The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 109 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1931; the all-time state low for today's date is 24 degrees F at Pine River Dam (Crow Wing County) in 1925. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 5.34 inches at Faribault (Rice County) in 1901. No snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather Features:


By far the warmest June 30th in state history was in 1931. Over 35 Minnesota communities reported an afternoon high of 100 degrees F or warmer, topped by 109°F at Canby. Seven cities, including the Twin Cities, never saw the thermometer drop below 80 degrees F even at night. Many people slept outside in parks, or near lakes.

In the middle of the drought of 1988 June 30th brought a frost to many portions of northern Minnesota. Observers in Carlton, St Louis, Kanabec, Aitkin, and Lake Counties reported frost on the morning of June 30th. Some gardens suffered, but agricultural crops were not seriously damaged.

Persistent thunderstorms brought very heavy rains to many parts of southern Minnesota over June 29 to July 1, 1993. Observers in southwestern Minnesota saw rains of 3 to 5 inches flood roads and fields. That summer brought the 2nd wettest combination of June and July in state history, with average rainfall over the two months totaling over a foot.

Outlook:


Slightly cooler than normal temperatures over the weekend, under partly cloudy skies, with chances for showers in the far north. It will be warming up on Monday with temperatures a few degrees warmer than normal, and a chance for widely scattered showers late in the day. Generally sunny on the 4th of July, with afternoon highs ranging from 75 to 85 degrees F and a slightly chance for showers. Continued sunny and warm for the balance of next week.

 
 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Spotty Rains Continue in MN, Extreme Heat Elsewhere

Spotty Rains Continue in MN:


This week brought some significant thunderstorms to portions of Minnesota, notably the northwest and the southern tier of counties near the Iowa border. Some northwestern observers reported a half inch or over an inch of rain, much needed given the heat and rapid growth of crops earlier in the month. Across southern counties rainfall of 1 inch to 1.50 inches was prevalent. Most other observers are reporting total monthly rainfall that falls short of normal. Only about 20 percent of the climate stations are reporting normal or greater than normal rainfall this month. Portions of Kittson, Marshall, Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Beltrami, and Koochiching Counties remain in moderate drought.

Hot, record-setting summer solstice week SW USA:


The highest temperature in Minnesota so far in the month of June is 97 degrees F at Rosemount and Waseca on the 10th. That sounds quite hot for most of us, but what if that temperature was your overnight low? That was exactly the case at Death Valley, CA on June 20th (the summer solstice), when after a record-setting high of 127 degrees F, the temperature only "cooled down" to a minimum of 97 degrees F overnight. Wow! How do you survive in such heat.

Many western parts of the USA reported record-setting temperatures earlier this week, on the summer solstice, including the following:
June 20th: 127°F at Death Valley, CA; 125°F at Needles, CA; 122°F at Palm Springs; 119°F at Phoenix, AZ; 116°F at Tucson, AZ; 120°F at Yuma, AZ; 117°F at Las Vegas, NV; 104°F at Reno, NV; 120°F at Laughlin, NV; 99°F at Denver, CO; and 97°F at Boulder, CO.

Needless to say, the National Weather Service has been issuing Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings in all of those states over several days this week.

At Death Valley, CA so far this month, high temperatures have reached or exceeded 120°F on six days, while overnight lows have remained in the 90s F on five days as well, as high as 99°F on the 22nd.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


Portions of Europe too have been reporting a Heat Wave this week, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90s F. West London in the UK reported a temperature of 93 degrees F, highest June temperature there since 1976, while Milan in northern Italy reported a high of 102 degrees F this week. Portions of Spain and Portugal were reporting record high temperatures as well.


NOAA staff also reported this week that the month of May 2017 was the third warmest of record (back to 1880) globally, with regions of northwest Africa, central and eastern Asia, and polar Canada showing very large positive temperature deviations. Only 2015 and 2016 produced a warmer month of May.


Provoked by so many weather headlines focused on Heat this week, NOAA's Rebecca Lindsey and Michon Scott feature an article about the summers hottest and coldest solstice days across the nation. You can compare various regions of the country and see how much the temperatures have varied there.


The "cloud of the month" at the CloudAppreciation Society web site is a wonderful photo of a cap cloud, surrounding the peak of the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines. It is a very unique cloud form, one not seen here in the Midwest, so you might want to take a look at it.


The St Anthony Park Garden Tour is scheduled for this Saturday (June 24) in St Paul, from 10am to 4pm. This is always well attended and a highlight for Twin Cities gardeners. There will also be activities and information related to phenology and climate change at this year's event. Proceeds from the garden tour provide for scholarships for plant science students at the University of Minnesota.



Also the COMPAS Third Annual Arts and Crafts Fair will take place from 3pm to 7pm at the Upper Cut Gym in Minneapolis on Saturday, June 24. The Arts & Crafts art and music festival will feature tastings from Minnesota craft breweries & distilleries, alongside COMPAS artists doing what they do best—inspiring creativity in all Minnesotans (music among others). Weather should be quite comfortable.

MPR listener question:

I heard Cathy Wurzer report that it was just 34 degrees F at Embarrasson June 21st this week. Was that a record low for them? Also, how cold has it ever been in Minnesota during the month of June?

Answer:

You are correct in guessing that 34 degrees F was a record at Embarrass for June 21st, breaking the record of 36 degrees F on that date back in 2007. But as cold as that sounds it is far from the record coldest readings in Minnesota for the month of June. On June 21, 1992 it was just 25 degrees F at Brimson, MN (St Louis County), and even more astounding on June 1, 1964 it was just 15 degrees F at Bigfork, MN (Itasca County).


Twin Cities Almanac for June 23rd:

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 June 23rd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 99 degrees F in 1922 and 1937; lowest daily maximum temperature of 63 degrees F in 1957, 1969, and 2011; lowest daily minimum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1972; highest daily minimum temperature of 80 F in 2005; record precipitation of 2.52 inches in 1873. No snowfall hazs occurred on this date.

Average dew point for June 23rd 21st is 56°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 75°F in 2002; and the minimum dew point on this date is 30°F in 1972.

All-time state records for June 23rd:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 104 degrees F at Springfield (Brown County) in 1937; the all-time state low for today's date is 27 degrees F at Sandy Lake Dam (Aitkin County) in 1917. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 5.47 inches at Read's Landing (Wabasha County) in 1940. No snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather Features:


June 23, 1902 was the coldest in state history, bringing a summer frost to many parts of the state. Portions of Kittson, Pine, St Louis, and Itasca Counties reported morning low temperatures below 32 degrees F, and ground frost was reported as far south as Fairmont, MN.

By far the warmest June 23rd in state history was in 1937. Over half of the climate stations reported afternoon high temperatures in the 90s F, while 10 western and southern communities

exceeded 100 degrees F. It was uncomfortable into the night as well, as many nighttime readings remained in the 70s F.

This week in 2002 was extremely wet with a series of thunderstorms passing across the state that deposited over a month's worth of rainfall in many areas. Many observers across northern Minnesota reported 5 to 7 inches of rainfall, while road washouts and flooding streams and rivers were reported in Norman, Becker, Mahnomen, Clearwater, and Itasca Counties. Across central and southeastern Minnesota 4-5 inches of rain fell. You can read more detail about this storm at the MN State Climatology Office.



Outlook:

Cooler than normal temperatures for Minnesota over Saturday through Monday, with chances for showers mostly in the northern counties over the weekend. Monday and Tuesday will be mostly sunny with continued cooler than normal temperatures, then a warm-up with increasing chances for showers by next Wednesday and Thursday.

















Friday, June 16, 2017

Near record warm first half of June

Near record warm first half of June:


In contrast to May, the first half of June has been unusually warm, near record-setting in many places across Minnesota. For the Twin Cities Metro Area the mean temperature for the first half of June has been about 74.9 degrees F. Only 1976 was warmer, with a mean temperature of 75.1 degrees F. On a statewide basis the mean temperature for the first half of June was 69 degrees F. Only 1933 (71.4°F) and 1988 (70.4°F) were warmer.

Within the Minnesota climate observation network 45 stations have reported daily maximum temperature records tied or broken so far this month, and 46 stations have also reported daily warm minimum temperature records tied or broken so far. Many places have reported multiple days with 90°F temperatures, as high as 97 degrees F at Rosemount and Waseca. MSP set a new record warm minimum temperature on June 10th with a reading of 77°F, breaking the old record of 73 degrees F back in 1973. Milan also reported a record warm minimum on that date with a reading of 77°F. MSP also tied a record high dew point reading on June 13 with a reading of 74 degrees F.

In addition recent severe weather has brought hail, strong wind, and even tornadoes to parts of Minnesota. Over June 11-14 within the climate observation network 13 new daily rainfall records were reported, including 3.00 inches at New York Mills (Otter Tail County), 2.55 inches at Mora (Kanabec County), and 2.45 inches at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on the 14th. On both the 11th and the 13th there were widespread reports of large hail and damaging winds across Minnesota. Some hail cause crop damage, especially in Kandiyohi, Swift, Chippewa, and McLeod Counties. Corn and soybean fields are still being assessed. In the Twin Cities area and western Wisconsin home owners were examining structural damages from hail as well.

Also on June 13th tornadoes were reported in Stevens and Big Stone Counties of west-central Minnesota. The tornado near Hancock was filmed and can be seen on YouTube. Damage from these storms was still being assessed as well.

A more complete analysis of the severe weather this week can be found at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site, including write-ups and images for the storms of June 11, June 12, and June 13.

New Seasonal Climate Outlook:


The NOAA Climate Prediction Center released new seasonal climate outlooks this week. For the period from July through September the outlooks favor warmer than normal temperatures across Minnesota. In addition the outlooks favor wetter than normal conditions across much of the state. You can find more information at the NOAA-CPC.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


Earlier this week NOAA scientists commented on a study of the decline in Alaska permafrost and its impact on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. One state that caught my eye: "the amount of carbon dioxide being released from tundra in the northern region of Alaska during early winter has increased by 70 percent since 1975..." A 41-year record of carbon dioxide measurements from NOAA's Barrow Observatory was used in this study.


Many areas of Spain were reporting a Heat Wave this week with daytime high temperatures ranging from 100°F to 110°F in some areas. With slow moving high pressure dominating their weather, the Heat Wave was expected to persist for a number of days. Portions of the United Kingdom and France are supposed to see very warm temperatures prevail as well, though not as stressful as those expected for Spain.


Earlier this week, researchers from the University of Manitoba cancelled the first leg of a research expedition on the icebreaker CCGS Amundsen because of too much hazardous Arctic sea ice which had migrated down from higher latitudes. They argued effectively that climate change is not only reducing the total area of sea ice in the Canadian Arctic, but it is also driving ice to further positions south where it produces for navigation hazards.

MPR listener question:

I heard you remark that this has been one of the sunniest months of June in history. How do you quantify that?

Answer:

From the daily measurement of solar radiation on the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus which goes back to 1963, it has clearly been the sunniest since 1976. In addition using National Weather Service reports of sky conditions (cloud cover) from around the state, many stations have already reported 10-12 days of sunny or mostly sunny conditions (2 tenths cloud cover or less), well ahead of the climatological average of 7-8 days for the first half of June.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 16th:


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 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 16th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 97 degrees F in 1933; lowest daily maximum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1972; lowest daily minimum temperature of 43 degrees F in 1961; highest daily minimum temperature of 72 F in 1933; record precipitation of 2.16 inches in 1935. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for June 16th 21st is 54°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 73°F in 1952; and the minimum dew point on this date is 32°F in 1980.

All-time state records for June 16th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 106 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1933; the all-time state low for today's date is 23 degrees F at Embarrass (St Louis County) in 1999. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 4.98 inches at Willmar (Kandiyohi County) in 1967. No snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather:


June 16, 1933 was the hottest in Minnesota history, with most communities reporting an afternoon high temperature of 90 degrees F or greater. Fifteen Minnesota communities reached the century mark or greater on the thermometer. June of 1933 was also the hottest in Minnesota history.

June 15-17, 1977 brought repeated thunderstorms across southern Minnesota counties which dropped a total of 3 to 5 inches of rain. This rain was much needed following the drought year of 1976.

25-years ago, on June 16, 1992 at 5:18 pm the last EF-5 tornado (winds greater than 260 mph) reported in Minnesota occurred. It past through Chandler and Lake Wilson (Murray County) killing one person and injuring another 35. The tornado was on the ground for 35 miles and at times was three-quarters of a mile wide. It destroyed or damaged over 150 homes and caused over $50 million in property damage. Thankfully Minnesota has recorded very few EF-5 scale tornadoes in history.

Heavy thunderstorms brought rain and hail to portions of southwestern Minnesota over June 15-16, 1993. Flash floods were reported in Redwood and Lyon Counties, and some roads and highways were closed for a time.

June 16, 1999 brought freezing temperatures to parts of northern Minnesota. Nine climate stations reported morning frosts in Koochiching, Beltrami, and St Louis Counties. In Big Falls, Tower, and Embarrass morning temperatures dropped into the 20s F.

Outlook:


Mostly cloudy on Saturday with chances for showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures will be near normal. Continued chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday with cooler than normal temperatures. Generally dry Tuesday and Wednesday, then a chance for showers again by Thursday.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hot Start to June

Hot Start to June:


After a cooler than normal May, June has begun much warmer than normal, with most southern and western communities reporting multiple daytime highs in the 90s F so far. Places like Browns Valley and Milan have already reported highs of 96 degrees F, and temperatures will go higher than that this weekend in many places.

Observers across the state are reporting average temperatures for the month so far that are from 5 to 8 degrees F warmer than normal.

Also unlike last month, bright sunny skies are dominant, and the landscape has dried out quite a bit. Many areas are in need of a good rain. In fact portions of northwestern and north-central Minnesota have seen deficits in precipitation since March 1st. Some are as much as 5-7 inches below normal in precipitation since that date. As a result the Drought Monitor shows these parts of the state to be in moderate drought.

After a very hot weekend coming up, the climate outlooks favor more frequent chances for rainfall and moderating temperatures (though still warmer than normal) by the middle of next week.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


There is an interesting article by staff at NOAA this week about the devastating freezes in March which severely damaged the peach and blueberry crops in Georgia and South Carolina, with up to 80 percent loss in some areas. The fruit growing season had been initiated early due to a very warm February, but then frosts and freezes occurred widely during the month of March in those states. Higher prices for these fruits are anticipated.


The United Kingdom Met Office reported that Wales and Northern Ireland have recorded their warmest spring (March-May0 in history this year. Compiled temperatures records back to 1910 validate this finding. Further they say that central England where the temperature records date all the way back to 1659 also reported the warmest spring in history.


Ahead of the Indian Monsoon season very hot temperatures have prevailed across India this week. Temperatures have soared bringing daytime highs ranging from 116 degrees F to 124 degrees F across portions of central and northern India. Increased cloudiness and shower activity is supposed to cool temperatures by 10 to 20 degrees F this weekend.

There is a very nice article this week in Forbes Magazine about the valuable services provided by the NOAA Regional Climate Centers. The article is written by Dr. Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia and the Weather Channel.

MPR listener question:


With the forecast for Heat Index Values in the Twin Cities close to 100°F this Saturday and Sunday, we were wondering what the record Heat Index values are historically for those dates in the Twin Cities climate record? Thought you might know.

Answer:


Indeed, we may set new record Heat Index Values for the Twin Cities on both days this weekend. The record for June 10th (Sat) is a Heat Index Value of 101 degrees F in 1956, and the record for June 11 (Sun) is 97 degrees F also in 1956. It will be important to stay hydrated and not be outdoors for a prolonged period of time this weekend, as our bodies are still adjusting for the summer heat.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 9th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 77 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 57 degrees F (plus or minus 6
7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 9th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 95 degrees F in 1911, 1973, and 1976; lowest daily maximum temperature of 56 degrees F in 1877, 1908, and 1998; lowest daily minimum temperature of 39 degrees F in 1877 and 1915; highest daily minimum temperature of 73 F in 1959; record precipitation of 2.33 inches in 1927. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for June 9th is 52°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 74°F in 1947; and the minimum dew point on this date is 23°F in 1972.

All-time state records for June 9th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 102 degrees F at several locations, including Faribault (Rice County) in 1985; the all-time state low for today's date is 23 degrees F at Fort Ripley (Crow Wing County) in 1877. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 7.20 inches at Willmar (Kandiyohi County) in 1895. There has been no snow on this date in Minnesota.

Past Weather:


June 9, 1877 brought frost to many parts of central and northern Minnesota as temperatures fell into the low 30s F and even the 20s F in many areas. Back then Minnesota was a small grain state and there were reports of crop damage to wheat and oats around the state.





Strong thunderstorms brought 3 to 7 inches of rain to many parts of Minnesota over June 9-11, 1895. Some hail and strong winds leveled crops, and the heavy rain caused rivers to rise rapidly.


Over a six hour period the evening of June 9, 1972 the Black Hills area around Rapid City, SD received up to 15 inches of rainfall. This huge rainfall stressed the Canyon Lake Dam which failed at 10:45 pm that evening and sent a wall of water down Rapid Creek and through the city. The flood crest on this watershed was more than 10 times as high as the previous record crest. Over 1300 homes were destroyed, 3000 people injured, and 238 killed. The rainfall intensity of this storm has not been observed since that time thankfully.


Far and away the hottest June 9 was in 1985 when over 30 communities reported a daytime high of 90 degrees F or greater, and at least a dozen observers reported 100 degrees or greater.


June 9-10, 2002 brought strong thunderstorms to northern Minnesota, especially Lake of the Woods and Roseau Counties. Some observers reported 10 to over 14 inches of rainfall. Floodwaters covered the city of Roseau and a tremendous flood crest went down the Roseau River.

Outlook:

Very hot and more humid on Saturday with Heat Index Values approaching 100°F in some places. Chance for widely scattered thunderstorms late in the day. Somewhat cooler on Sunday, but still warmer than normal, with a chance for showers and thunderstorms. Continued warm and humid for Monday through Wednesday next week, with chances for thunderstorms. Somewhat cooler towards the end of the week.












Friday, June 2, 2017

May Climate Summary

May Climate Summary:

The May climate summary shows a cooler and wetter than normal pattern prevailed. The wetter than normal pattern follows the recent trend for May, as 6 of the last 7 Mays have been wetter than normal on a statewide basis. The cooler than normal temperatures in May also follows recent trend, as 4 of the last 5 Mays were cooler than normal, but more significantly the cooler temperatures in May for many areas of Minnesota broke a streak of 20 consecutive months with above normal temperatures, a streak that was unprecedented in state history. The cooler temperature pattern was strongly affected by the absence of sunny days. For many parts of the state nearly 75 percent of all days were mostly cloudy or cloudy, and some observers reported only 5 sunny days.

Most observers reported a mean monthly temperature that ranged from 1 to 4 degrees F cooler than normal. Extremes for the month ranged from 90°F at Waseca on the 14th to 21°F at Brimson (St Louis County) on the 7th. Within the Minnesota climate network, few high maximum daily temperature records were set, but 83 cold (low) maximum daily temperature records were set or tied, thanks to persistent cloudiness and northerly winds, especially prevalent on the 1st of the month, and then again over the 20th to the 22nd. Very few daily low temperature records were set or tied.

Most climate observers reported a wetter than normal month, but not all. Many stations in northwestern and north-central Minnesota reported less than two inches of precipitation, well below normal for the month of May. The wettest area of the state was in the southeast where many observers reported 5 to 8 inches of precipitation, marking one of the 20 wettest months of May in history there. Hokah with 8.03 inches of precipitation recorded their 2nd wettest May in history, while La Crescent with 7.76 inches recorded its 6th wettest May. Within the climate station network 44 daily rainfall records were set or tied during the month, including 3.43 inches at Elgin (Wabasha County) on the 16th.

Numerous thunderstorms brought not only heavy rainfalls, but strong winds and hail. Over May 16 and 17 tornadoes were reported in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. On the 16th there were six tornado reports from Wisconsin, the worst one being an EF-3 (wind up to 140 mph) which remained on the ground for 83 miles causing 1 fatality, 25 injuries, and widespread damage to properties, especially around Chetek (Barron County), WI. On May 17th brief tornado touchdowns were reported from Wabasha County in Minnesota near Plainview and Elgin. Little damage was noted. More information on these storms can be found at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site.

A Big Step Backward on Climate Change:


The withdrawing of the USA from the Paris Climate Accord announced by President Trump this week was a profound sign of disrespect for scientists and citizens who see climate change as a critical issue of our time based on evidence and knowledge gained over the past three decades. In addition this action as voiced at the press conference exhibited a complete distrust in the sincerity of other nation's leaders who were accused by President Trump of only favoring the Paris Accord in order to gain economic advantage relative to the USA. A sad day indeed. I am certain that science-based evidence, new knowledge and innovation, along with a shared stewardship posture towards our planet will prevail in the end, but it will obviously take longer for this to play out.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


The American Geophysical Union (AGU) also reacted to President Trump's pull-out from the Paris Climate Accord. You can read their response and reiterated support of climate science online. It represents the view of many professional science societies.


NOAA highlighted the use of its Climate Extremes Index (CEI) in a release this week. The CEI offers a way to view the aberrations of climate on a state by state basis. It is interesting to note that MN and WI experienced the highest CEI during 2016. You can examine such patterns month by month or year by year using this tool.


This week NOAA published an interesting interview with Dr. Libby Barnes of Colorado State University. She studies the atmospheric rivers of water vapor that provide the mid-latitudes with so much precipitation. She finds that what happens in the tropical latitudes affects the precipitation patterns in the mid-latitudes to a greater extent than once thought.


The UK Met Office reports that this spring (March-May) has been one of the warmest and sunniest in history across England. The overall temperature for the three months ranked as 2nd warmest, while the frequency of sunny days ranked among the ten highest. It was also a dry spring across England, with many areas receiving from 50 to 70 percent of normal precipitation.


A recent paper by Finkel and Katz of Washington University in St Louis published in the International Journal of Climatology carefully documents the disparity in record daily low temperatures and record daily high temperatures brought about by climate change. By far the largest change in the 48 contiguous states is a dramatic drop in record-setting low temperatures, which occur at a much diminished frequency. Their study also points out the relatively smaller change in temperature records that is occurring in the southeastern states compared to the frequency of record-setting temperatures elsewhere around the country.

MPR listener question:

Now that the 2016-2017 snow season is over in Minnesota, can you tell us who had the most and who had the least?

Answer:


Final reports are still coming into the Minnesota State Climatology Office. From the completed observation forms so far the snowiest places in the state were Isabella (Lake County) and Kabetogama (St Louis County) with 102 inches from October of 2016 to May of 2017. This is roughly 40 inches above normal for those locations. On the lowest end of the spectrum, New Ulm reported just 22 inches, about 17 inches less than normal. Below are listed some seasonal snowfalls and departures for other climate stations in the state.

International Falls 70.4 inches, -0.6 inches
Duluth 73.2 inches, -12.9 inches
St Cloud 31.9 inches, -14.2 inches
Rochester 52.7 inches, +0.8 inches
MSP 32.0 inches, -22.4 inches

Twin Cities Almanac for June 2nd:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 74 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 54 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 2nd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 93 degrees F in 1940; lowest daily maximum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1945; lowest daily minimum temperature of 35 degrees F in 1946; highest daily minimum temperature of 70 F in 1923; record precipitation of 2.00 inches in 1897. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for June 2nd is 48°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 73°F in 1944; and the minimum dew point on this date is 22°F in 1994.

All-time state records for June 2nd:


The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 105 degrees F at Fairmont (Martin County) in 1934; the all-time state low for today's date is 20 degrees F at Ely (St Louis County) in 1947. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 7.02 inches at Wheaton (Traverse County) in 2007. The all-time state record snowfall for this date is 5.0 inches at Virginia (St Louis County) in 1945.

Past Weather Features:


Strong thunderstorms brought heavy rains to portions of southern Minnesota over June 2-3, 1899. Many observers reported 2-4 inches, and a number of farm fields were flooded. These storms kicked-off the wettest month of June in the 19th Century for Minnesota.

June 2, 1910 brought frost to many areas of northern and western Minnesota. Over 20 climate stations reported morning lows below the freezing mark (32°F), and seven stations saw minimum temperatures fall into the 20s F.

The warmest June 2nd in state history was in 1934. Over 30 climate stations reported afternoon highs of 90 degrees F or greater, and 7 communities saw the mercury rise to 110°F or greater. The overnight low at Morris was a balmy 71 degrees F.

June of 1945 began very wet and cold. Many areas received 2 or more inches of rain over June 1-2, and on the backside of the storm system temperatures were cold enough to deliver measurable snowfall to much of northeastern Minnesota where 1 to 5 inches of snow fell, making for very sloppy driving conditions.

Strong thunderstorms brought heavy rains to portions of western and central Minnesota over June 1-3, 2007. Many climate stations reported 2-4 inches of rain, while Wheaton (Traverse County) reported a record 7.02 inches.

Outlook:

The weekend will start out quite warm with temperatures that are above normal on Saturday and Sunday. Monday through Wednesday will bring closer to normal temperatures. It will be generally dry and sunny most of next week with temperatures a few degrees warmer than normal. There will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms by Thursday.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Persistent rain in May

Persistent rain in May:


Over the calendar period May 15-22, some Minnesota climate observers reported rainfall every day (8 consecutive days), and a large number of them reported rainfall on 7 of the 8 days. In addition, on some individual days the rainfall was slow but persistent, lasting for as much as 12-14 consecutive hours.


Over May 15-22 within the Minnesota daily climate observation network there were 36 new daily rainfall records set. Some examples include: 2.96” at Hokah (Houston County) on May 16; 1.95” at Red Wing Dam (Goodhue County) on May 17; 2.09” at Morris (Stevens County) on May 18; and 1.32” at Milaca (Mille Lacs County) on May 21st.


Total rainfall for the month of May is well above normal in most places, and in some areas is approaching values close to the historically wettest May. Many areas of the state report 4 to 7 inches of rainfall so far this month. This is the 6th time in the past seven years that May has been wetter than normal across the state.


All of the clouds an rain have helped suppress temperatures this month. Most areas have reported a mean monthly temperature that ranges from 1 to 3 degrees cooler than normal. For the Twin Cities this month will break the string of 20 consecutive warmer than normal months.


As a result of all the rain, many streams and rivers associated with the Minnesota River Basin across the southern portion of the state are running near or at flood flow volume, while a majority of those other streams in the southern two-thirds of the state are at high volume flow.

About a quarter of Minnesota’s 7 million acres of soybeans remains to be planted. But farmers will have to wait several days for fields to dry out before finishing planting operations.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


Earlier this week NOAA provided an analysis of April climate anomalies across the USA. On a national scale April 2017 was the 2nd wettest in history and 11th warmest in history. One exception was that Alaska reported its second driest April in history.


Also earlier this week NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released an outlook for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. They predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.


A recent paper by University of Utah scientists provides an explanation of the longer growing seasons in the USA based on changes in prevalent weather patterns as well as increases in average temperatures (climate change).

MPR listener question:


I heard you once say that a long time ago there was an Agricultural Experiment Station along the north shore of Lake Superior. Where was it? I cannot imagine any success for agriculture in that climate.

Answer:

At one time during the 19thCentury from 1858 to 1875 the University of Minnesota helped to run an agricultural experiment station at Beaver Bay (Lake County). Thanks to early successful family farms like that of Henry Wieland, who raised potatoes, onions, and carrots, some researchers thought the soils might be suitable for other crops (wheat and oats). But after several years of trying and being frosted out, the experiment station was closed.

Twin Cities Almanac for May 26th:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 72 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 52 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for May 26th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 96 degrees F in 1978; lowest daily maximum temperature of 45 degrees F in 1906; lowest daily minimum temperature of 34 degrees F in 1992; highest daily minimum temperature of 72°F in 1911; record precipitation of 1.60 inches in 1873. No snowfall has been recorded on this date.

Average dew point for May 26th 21st is 47°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 69°F in 1959; and the minimum dew point on this date is 27°F in 1907.

All-time state records for May 26th:


The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 103 degrees F at Tracy (Lyon County) in 1914; the all-time state low for today's date is 20 degrees F at Cook (St Louis County) in 1961. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 3.48 inches at Grand Meadow (Mower County) in 1978. The all-time state record snowfall for this date is 2.0 inches at Kelliher (Beltrami County) in 1970.

Past Weather Features:

The warmest May 26th was in 1914 when over 30 Minnesota communities saw afternoons highs climb into the 90s F. After a comfortable morning low of 59 degrees F, New Ulm residents baked in an afternoon temperature of 103 degrees F.


Widespread frosts occurred across the state over May 26-27, 1961. Morning temperatures fell into the 20s F in northern counties and some Red River Valley locations. Morning temperatures around the freezing mark were common across many southern counties. Many farmers reported frost damage to emerged corn fields.

May 26, 1970 brought snow to portions of Lake, St Louis, Itasca, and Koochiching Counties. Some observers reported 1-2 inches of very wet snow.


Perhaps the wettest last week of May occurred in 1978 when between the 26th and 31st many climate observers reported rainfall on every day that produced totals ranging from 2.5 inches to over 6 inches. Widespread field flooding occurred in agricultural areas and many county roads were closed for a time.

Outlook:

Warmer than normal temperatures on Saturday under partly cloudy skies. Increasing cloudiness on Sunday with a chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms, carrying over into Monday. Cooler and drier for Tuesday. Warming trend will start Wednesday and Thursday of next week.






















Friday, May 19, 2017

Stormy Week

Stormy Week:

Monday through Wednesday of this week (May 15-17) brought severe weather to the region, including strong thunderstorms, large hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes. The tornadoes occurred in western Wisconsin (Polk, Barron, and Rusk Counties) on May 16th, with the most damage coming from an EF-2 storm (winds 111-135 mph) that passed through Chetek, WI destroying a mobile home park, injuring over 20 people, and causing one death. On the same date large hail was reported from many eastern Minnesota communities, including 2.5 inch diameter hail near Northfield. On May 17th two short-live tornadoes were reported in southeastern Minnesota, one near Plainview and one near Elgin. Both caused some minor damage. A summary can be found at the NOAA-NWS-La Crosse, WI web site.

Many climate observers reported new daily record rainfall amounts this week. Some examples include:
May 15; 4.94" at Altura (Winona County), 3.43" at Elgin (Olmsted County), 2.96" at Hokah (Houston County)2.25" at Owatonna (Steele County), 2.00" at La Crescent (Winona County), and 1.70" at Rosemount (Dakota County)
May 16: 1.95" at Red Wing Dam, and 1.40" at Duluth
May 17: 2.55" at Jordan (Scott County), 2.45" at Dawson (Lac Qui Parle County), 1.95" at Minnesota City (Winona County), and 1.90" at Montevideo (Lac Qui Parle County)

Many other observers reported total amounts of rainfall this week that exceeded 3 inches. The heavy rains brought a halt to planting of crops around the state, although corn planting is close to being finished, and soybean planting is more than half done. Over 40 climate stations in Minnesota have already seen about normal May rainfall amounts, and that is just for the first 18 days of the month.

Weather Potpourri:

Speaking of tornadoes, a recent study by researchers at Florida State University documents the relationship between total storm energy (calculated using total path area and average wind speed) and human casualties. This study incorporated the analysis of 872 tornadoes between 2007 and 2015.


NOAA referenced a new tool this week that schools can use to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. It is called "12 Steps to a Sustainable School" and worth a look.


The World Meteorological Organization announced this week an assessment of world weather records that produced the highest mortality associated with tropical storms, lightning, tornadoes, and hailstorms.


A recent study in Environmental Research Journal documents that Heat Index values between 90 and 100 degrees F or greater have serious detrimental health effects on many residents of New England. This study has provoked the National Weather Service to reconsider forecast thresholds for issuing Heat Advisories in many New England states. The authors encourage more regional studies to tailor advisories to the various tolerances that communities have for stress.

MPR listener question:

My 5th grader wants to know how much a cloud weighs. Can you help?

Answer:


Yes, a number of years ago NOAA's Thomas Schlatter wrote about this in Weatherwise magazine. So I will use his example.

He estimated the liquid water content of a cumulus cloud to be about 0.2 grams/cubic meter and then estimated the cloud volume to be about 1 cubic km (approximately one quarter of a cubic mile), which is a relatively small cumulus cloud. A computation of the mass of water contained in this cloud yields 200,000 kilograms or 441,000 pounds of water, enough to fill a large residential swimming pool. Most of these water droplets in the cloud are so small, that minor updrafts are sufficient to keep them suspended in the air for long periods of time.

Twin Cities Almanac for May 19th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 70 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 50 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for May 19th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 97 degrees F in 2009; lowest daily maximum temperature of 43 degrees F in 1971; lowest daily minimum temperature of 33 degrees F in 1961; highest daily minimum temperature of 66 F in 1877; record precipitation of 2.25 inches in 2014. Record snowfall on this date is 0.2 inches in 1971.

Average dew point for May 19th 21st is 45°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 66°F in 2004; and the minimum dew point on this date is 11°F in 1926.

All-time state records for May 19th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 104 degrees F at Redwood Falls (Redwood County) in 1934; the all-time state low for today's date is 16 degrees F at Embarrass (St Louis County) in 2002. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 4.17 inches at St Francis (Anoka County) in 1996. The all-time state record snowfall for this date is 8.6 inches at Grand Rapids (Itasca County) in 1971.

Past Weather Features:

On May 19, 1924 a hard freeze came to portions of northern and western Minnesota damaging newly emerged crops. Temperatures fell below freezing as far south as Fairmount, and in the north along the Canadian border temperatures fell into the teens F.

The warmest May 19th in state history was in 1934 when over 30 climate stations reported daytime high temperatures of 90 degrees F or higher. Ten western Minnesota communities reached 100 degrees F or higher.

An almost winter-like storm brought snow to the state over May 19-20, 1971. Many climate observers reported 1 to 4 inches, while some parts of the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota reported 6 to 8 inches of snow. Temperatures rose into the 60s F the next day, rapidly melting all of the snow.

May 19, 2009 brought highly variable weather conditions to Minnesota. At 4pm in the afternoon it was 100 degrees F at Milan and Madison in the western part of the state and just 45 degrees F at Isabella in the northeast.


Outlook:

Cloudy with showers on Saturday. Cooler than normal temperatures. Still a chance for showers on Sunday, but slightly warmer temperatures. Warmer yet on Monday with near normal temperatures. Chance for showers and thunderstorms later in the day. Drier weather next Tuesday through Thursday, with cooler than normal temperatures.








 
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