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Let's Declare May as "Hail Month"

Let's Declare May as "Hail Month": After writing so much about severe thunderstorms that brought hail and wind damage to Minnesota last week, this Thursday, May 19 produced the most single day hail reports so far. There were 98 reports of large hail (1” diameter or greater) spread over ten counties, mostly in east-central and southeastern Minnesota. Some hail near Albert Lea ranged up to 3 inches in diameter. Many areas of the Twin Cities reported marble to ping pong sized hail stones, that shredded tree leaves and temporarily blocked up storm drains. These reports of large hail added to the monthly total. According to the NOAA-Storm Prediction Center Minnesota has filed over 280 reports of large hail (1 inch diameter or bigger) over six dates this month. That is a large number even for an annual total of reports. Some of the storms bringing large hail on Thursday, May 19th also brought heavy rainfalls, ranging from 0.5 inches to 1.5 inches, especially in southeaste
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Stormy Second Week of May

Stormy Second Week of May: Since May 7th a number of low-pressure systems have brought a series of strong thunderstorms to various parts of Minnesota. These storms have produced large hail, strong gusty winds, heavy rainfalls, and tornadoes. In addition, the Twin Cities have reported mid-summerlike dew points with a record 67°F on May 9th, a record-tying 66°F reading on May 11, and a new record dew point of 70°F on May 12th. Chronologically: May 8th brought thunderstorms to many western portions of the state with Dawson (Lac Qui Parle County) reporting a record daily rainfall of 1.30 inches. May 9th the thunderstorms remained mostly in western Minnesota, but move north, where Rothsay (Wilkin County) reported a record rainfall of 2 inches. There were also over 80 reports of large hail (some with diameters of 3 inches) across western and central counties on May 9th, was well as wind gusts from 60 to 75 mph. There was also a report of a brief tornado near Gillman (Benton County) that day.

The frequency of strong winds and cooler than normal temperatures

The frequency of strong winds and cooler than normal temperatures: Many MPR listeners have remarked about how windy this year has been so far, as well as how slow the onset of Spring has been. I examined the details in a historical context. At many climate stations around the state the first four months of the year (Jan-Apr) have brought daily wind gusts of 30 mph or greater on over 60 percent of all days. This is a remarkable deviation from past climate behavior when roughly 1 in 4 days (25 percent frequency) would bring wind gusts of 30 mph or greater. Granted there has been a change in the cycle of anemometry measurements (higher frequency of measurements), but I don’t think that entirely accounts for the uptick in frequency of strong wind gusts. Some climate stations have already reported 1 or 2 days in May with wind gusts of 30 mph or greater. I suspect this feature of our climate will be studied much more intentionally in the near term to look for linages to climate change. R

Preliminary Climate Summary for April 2022

Preliminary Climate Summary for April 2022: Wet and cool are the most appropriate terms for the climate of April. Most climate observers report a mean monthly temperature that is 6 to 8 degrees F below normal. Over two-thirds of the days delivered colder than normal temperatures. April of 2022 will end up among the top ten coldest in history on a statewide basis, joining 2013 and 2018 in that category. Within the state climate network over 30 stations reported setting at least one new daily minimum temperature record during April, while over 60 stations reported setting at least one new cold daily maximum temperature record, including a high temperature of just 20°F at International Falls on the 15th. Extremes for the month ranged from 81°F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) on the 23rd to -5°F at Seagull Lake and Gunflint Lake on the 1st and 2nd of the month. Except for southwestern Minnesota, all regions of the state reported above normal precipitation for the month, most