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Follow up on disparity of climate signals

Follow up on the disparity of climate signals: Earlier this week there was a long article in the Washington Post by Chris Mooney and others about the extreme measures of climate change that are already occurring across the USA. Northern Minnesota is one area where the change in temperature has been most extreme, and highlighted in this article.

I wanted to point out however that there is some disparity in the net change of temperature across the state that has occurred over the past 100 years or so. Listed below (from NOAA-climate data) is the net change in mean annual temperature and mean winter temperature (Dec-Feb) over the past 100 years in Minnesota’s northern most counties compared to one of the southernmost counties (Fillmore). Numbers are rounded to nearest whole digit:

CountyNet Change in Mean Annual TempNet Change in Winter Temp Cook+3.0F+5.0F Lake+4.0F+6.0F StLouis+5.0F+7.0F Koochiching+5.0F+8.0F Lake of the Woods+5.0F+9.0F Roseau+6.0F+10.0F Kittson+6.0F+10.0F Fillmore+3.0F+5.0…
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Warmer Than Normal Start to August

Warmer Than Normal Start to August: The first 7 days of August have brought warmer than normal temperatures to most parts of the state, with mean daily temperatures averaging 3-5 degrees F above normal. For many, August 8th brought the first cooler than normal day of the month, with low relative humidity and dew points. August 9th continued that pattern as well. So far the highest temperature in the state this month has been 94°F at St James (Watonwan County) on the 4th, and many places up north have seen lows in the 40s F.

Widely scattered thunderstorms have produced a large range in rainfall so far this month, with some areas receiving 1-2 inches, and many reporting less than half an inch. Earlier this week on August 6th many observers in southeastern Minnesota reported over 1 inch of rainfall, while Spring Valley, Hokah, Grand Meadow, and Waseca reported over 2 inches. Rochester and Owatonna both report over 36 inches of precipitation so far in 2019, already ranking among t…

Heat Abates, But Southern Minnesota Continues Wet July

After a week of temperatures that averaged 5-10 degrees warmer than normal with dew points in the 70s F (even some 80°F dew points), temperatures fell back to a few degrees cooler than normal much of this week, with much low dew points and humidity. It was a sharp contrast to the near record-setting Heat Index Values that occurred last Friday (July 19th) when many portions of the state experienced Heat Index Values of 110°F or greater.

Also for at least a few days, there was some relief from the heavy rainfalls of this month. Believe it or not, some portions of Dodge, Goodhue, and Blue Earth Counties have reported over 11 inches of rain this month. At least 24 other southern Minnesota climate stations have reported over 8 inches of rainfall so far this month, and so far this month 35 climate stations in the state network have reported setting or tying at least one daily rainfall record.

You can read more about this change in the weather from the Minnesota State Climatology Office.

High Water Vapor Content and Heavy Rains

High Water Vapor Content and Heavy Rains
So far this month within the state climate observing network 30 new daily rainfall records have been set with many 4-5 inch amounts. Dew points have been above 70 degrees F on many days (approximately 100 hours at MSP), so Heat Index Values around the state have varied this week from 95°F to 107°F.

All of this water vapor has been abundant fuel for thunderstorms all month long. Over 130 climate stations report 4 or more inches of rain for the month, while at least 80 climate stations report over 5 inches. A few places have seen over 8 inches. Yet some parts of the far northern counties remain dry, with less than 1 inch of rain so far this month.

Portions of Olmsted, Dodge, Houston, and Steele Counties in southeastern Minnesota have already reported over 30 inches for the year so far and are on pace to set new annual precipitation records. For example Rochester has reported 32.72 inches of precipitation this year, through July 17th, and tha…