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August Starts Wet for Some

August Starts Wet for Some: The first five days of the month brought some heavy rains to many parts of the state as many climate stations reported over 1.5 inches. There were strong thunderstorms over portions of central Minnesota over August 3-4 with a weak tornado reported on the ground for 11 miles across portions of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties (see State Climatology Office Summary).

Some portions of Stearns and Benton Counties reported over 3 inches of rain. Lake Wilson, Moose Lake, Brainerd, and Gull Lake all reported new daily rainfall records on the 4th with amounts ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 inches. Lake Wilson (Murray County) with 30.17 inches, Redwood Falls (Redwood County) with 30.26 inches, and St James (Watonwan County) with 31.63 inches since January 1 are reported some of their wettest values in history for the first 8 months of the year, surpassed only by the wet years of 1979 and 1993.

Conversely portions of Roseau and Lake of the Woods Counties remain in moderate dr…

July Climate Summary

July Climate Summary:
After beginning the month very warm, temperatures moderated for much of the second half of the month from below normal to near normal. Still most climate stations reported a warmer than normal July, with average monthly values ranging from 1 to 3 degrees above average. A few places in the state reported slightly below normal mean monthly temperatures. The extremes ranged from 97 degrees F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on the 13th to 37 degrees F at Goodridge (Marshall County) on the 27th.


During the first half of the month three daytime maximum temperature records were set or tied within the climate station network, while 36 warm nighttime low temperature records were set or tied. Numerous Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings were issued by the National Weather Service during the first half of July. In the second half of the month no temperature records were set.


Most climate observers reported above normal rainfall during July. The wettest areas of …

Change in weather pattern brings relief

Change in weather pattern brings relief:
Since last Sunday, many areas of Minnesota have welcomed below normal temperatures this week, bringing relief from what has been an exceptionally hot summer so far. Many of the temperatures around the state ranged from the upper 60s to low 70s F on July 19th, about 4 to 6 degrees F cooler. In northern areas this week overnight temperatures fell into the low to mid 40s F, with a low of 40 degrees F at Brimson (St Louis County).

Except for far western Minnesota (Browns Valley, Marshall, Pipestone) most of the state experienced a relatively dry week as well, bringing some relief from the heavy rains and flash flooding that occurred in many areas during the first half of July.

It is interesting that the pattern change in the weather noted for this week, cooler and drier, is also the expected pattern for the balance of the month across Minnesota according to many of the NOAA outlook models. Most of the daytime maximum temperatures for the rest o…

Near Historic Heat for the Growing Season

Near Historic Heat for the Growing Season:

Michelle Margraf of the NOAA-NWS Office in Chanhassen put me onto the near historically warm growing season we have been having in Minnesota so far in 2018. Since May 1st, often considered the beginning of the growing season we can look at temperature patterns since that date in 2018. May was nearly 6 degrees F warmer than normal on a statewide basis, while June was nearly 3 degrees F warmer than normal. So the combination of May-June in 2018 produced the 4th warmest start to the growing season in state history, averaging 4.5 degrees F warmer than normal. Only 1934, 1977, and 1988 were warmer.

Now so far for July the average temperature across the state is nearly 4 degrees F warmer than normal, with extremes of 96 degrees F at Gaylord and 41 degrees F at Brimson. Heat Index values (a measure of warmth which considers both temperature and dew point) have soared up to 105 to 120 degrees F around southern Minnesota already this month. If …

Wet Start to July Continues a Trend

Wet Start to July Continues a Trend: Through the first six days of July thunderstorms have brought 1 to 3 inches of rain to many parts of the state. On July 3-4 heavy thunderstorms occurred causing some flash flooding, road closures, and ponded crop fields, as well as cancellation or postpone of some 4th of July events. Southwestern Minnesota was especially hard hit with many observers reporting rainfall totals of 3 to 7 inches. A couple of places in Redwood County reported over 7 inches. For many southwestern counties all of this recent rain came on top of getting 8 to 12 inches just last month (June). As a consequence many rivers there are running above flood stage and some roads and bridges remain closed.

On July 3rd Marshall received a new record daily amount of rain with 4.71 inches, while Redwood Falls receive a new record amount of 5.25 inches. Renville also had a record 4.32 inches.

Many areas have also reported strong thunderstorm winds, ranging from 50 to 70 mph. Yo…

Preliminary June Climate Summary

Preliminary June Climate Summary
With the exception of a few northeastern Minnesota counties, June was warmer than normal, ranging from 2 to 5 degrees F above normal. Extremes ranged from 99°F at Marshall (Lyon County) on June 6th (which may be surpassed today, June 29), to 30°F at Brimson (St Louis County) on June 5th. During this warm June, at least 32 daily high temperature records were broken or tied while 51 daily warm minimum temperature records were broken or tied within the state climate network. In addition a number of days brought Heat Index values ranging from 95 degrees F to 105 degrees F due to record or near record high dew points. On Friday, June 29 dew points ranged throughout the 70s F and produced Heat Index Values that ranged up to 110 degrees F, making for the hottest of days across southern Minnesota. On a statewide basis June of 2018 will rank among the warmest 10 historically. For the Twin Cities June 2018 will probably rank just outside the warmest 10 his…

Wet, Warm June Continues

Wet, Warm June Continues:
Despite the recent moderation, temperatures are continuing to average above normal this month. So far this June ranks among the 20 warmest historically on a statewide basis. Last week over Father’s Day weekend many Minnesota climate stations reported record high temperatures. Among those seeing record highs on June 15th were: MSP with 95°F, Amboy with 95°F, Granite Falls with 96°F, and Minnesota City with 91°F.

For Saturday, June 16th a few more high temperature records were set, including 97°F at Marshall, 95°F at St James, 94°F at Redwood Falls and Rosemount, and 93°F at Wells and Owatonna.

Sunday, June 17th brought a couple of more record highs as well with 92°F at Amboy and 91°F at Redwood Falls.

Record high dew points were abundant over Father’s Day weekend as well, ranging from the low to upper 70s F. Thanks to the high water vapor content, the Heat Index values across many parts of southern Minnesota soared and ranged from 95°F to 103°F. MSP s…

Some Perspectives on June Heat

Some Perspectives on June Heat: On a statewide basis 14 of the past 20 Junes have been warmer than normal, four of them ranking among the 20 warmest in state history.

For the Twin Cities June usually brings 2-3 days with temperatures of 90 degrees F or greater. In some areas of northeastern Minnesota June rarely brings a 90 F day, while in western portions of the state 3-4 days of 90 F temperatures are common.

In the Twin Cities June Heat Waves of two-days duration or longer with a Heat Index Value of 95 degrees F or higher, occur about once every four years. The last prolonged June Heat Wave was in 2001 when Heat Index Values of 95 degrees F or greater were measure for five consecutive days. During June of 1931 there were 7 days with a Heat Index Value of 95 F or higher.

Though we have not seen 90 degrees F this month in the Twin Cities, looks like this Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be our first dose of June Heat with 90 F temperatures and dew points approaching 70 degrees…

June off to a mixed start

June off to a mixed start
Following a near historic warm May (4th warmest in state history), through the first week of June the pattern of temperature across Minnesota is mixed with near normal or cooler than normal temperatures dominating northern counties and above normal temperatures prevalent across the central and southern counties. Fifteen climate stations in the south have already seen 90 degrees F or higher this month, topped by 99°F at Marshall. In the north as per usual Brimson, Embarrass, and Hibbing have reported frosty mornings in June with some temperatures below 32 degrees F. Of course bear in mind that those places in Minnesota have reported below freezing temperatures in every month of the year.


From the standpoint of moisture many northern parts of the state have already measured from 1 to 2 inches of rainfall in June, and a few places over two inches. Some parts of southeastern Minnesota which were very wet in May have seen little precipitation so far, with …

May Climate Summary

May 2018 Climate Summary:
After recording the second coldest April in state history (trailing only 1950), May took off in the opposite direction to finish as the third warmest in state (trailing only 1977 and 1934). In fact for the Twin Cities back to 1873 May of 2018 was the 2nd warmest in history (mean temperature 67.8°F in 2018 compared to 68.7°F in May of 1934). Most climate observers reported a mean monthly temperature for May that was 5 to 8 degrees F warmer than normal. Over 60 percent of the state landscape saw at least one day with a temperature of 90 degrees F or higher, while at least 15 communities recorded a maximum temperature of 100 degrees F or warmer, topped by 102 degrees F at Amboy (Blue Earth County) and Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) on the 28th. In fact places in Minnesota were hotter than Tucson or Phoenix, Arizona on May 28th, an unusual occurrence historically. MSP for the first time reported six consecutive days in May with 90 F temperatures or greater (…

Hot, with a Dry Pattern Emerging in the North

Hot, with a Dry Pattern Emerging in the North: Nearly through the month of May now and a pronounced dry pattern has emerged in the northern part of Minnesota. Some climate stations are 1.5 to 3.0 inches below normal for the month and 3 to 5 inches below normal since April 1st. Over 50 percent of the state’s landscape is abnormally dry, while portions of Beltrami, Lake of the Woods, Roseau, and Koochiching Counties are in moderate drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Persistent warmer than normal temperatures for the balance of May will exacerbate the dryness, as daytime highs consistently reach 85 to 100 degrees F in many parts of the state. In fact based on the forecasts through May 31 the state will record one of the hottest months of May in history ranking with 1977, 1934, and 1988. Though statewide temperature records have not been broken, Fairmont, Tracy, Worthington, Canby, and Madison have all seen the mercury rise to 100 degrees F this month (on the 27th). T…

Warm May Continues

Warm May Continues:
Temperatures continue to average well above normal this month. May 16th brought daytime temperatures of 85 to 90 degrees F to over 60 communities across the state, topped by 91 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) and 90 degrees F at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County). So far this month temperatures are averaging 4 to 6 degrees F warmer than normal in most places and at least a dozen climate stations have reported one new daily record high. The warm weather combined with several dry days allowed for Minnesota farmers to catch up a bit on planting crops. Over 50 percent of the roughly 7 million acres of corn has been planted. But in southeastern Minnesota counties where over 6 inches of rain has fallen so far this month, there are still fields too wet to plant. Undoubtedly over the next week as corn planting wraps up, farmers will move onto planting soybeans.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
Nearly a month’s worth of wildfires has plagued portions of eastern Siberi…