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Records set or tied on July 4th

Records set or tied on July 4th

It was the warmest 4th of July in many years for much of southern and central Minnesota. Some records set or tied included:

Maximum temperature of 101 degrees F at MSP Airport
Minimum temperature of 81 degrees F at MSP Airport
77 degrees F dewpoint at MSP Airport
Minimum temperature of 80 degrees F at St Paul
Minimum temperature of 81 degrees F at Minnesota City
Minimum temperature of 79 degrees F at Marshall
Minimum temperature of 81 degrees F at La Crosse, WI
Minimum temperature of 74 degrees F at Fargo, ND

Maximum temperature of 103 degrees F at La Crosse, WI
Maximum temperature of 97 degrees F at St Cloud
Maximum temperature of 100 degrees F at Theilman, MN
Maximum temperature of 98 degrees F at Eau Claire, WI

Heat Index values ranged from 102 to 118 degrees F around the state on July 4th as well, perhaps the highest in history for the date in some places.

Some of the heat lingered overnight through July 5th with record warm minimum temperature of 78 degrees F at Hutchinson and Red Wing Dam, 79 degrees F at MSP Airport. La Crosse, WI also set a record low temperature value with 79 degrees F, and Rochester tied the record warmest low temperature with a reading of 73 degrees F. MSP Airport was also reporting a potential record warm minimum temperature on Friday morning (July 6th) with a reading of 78 degrees F, but that may not hold up until midnight.

Summer of 2012 is building a legacy of heat

July is continuing a 9-month trend of above normal temperatures in Minnesota. In the Twin Cities Metro Area we have already seen 16 days with daytime highs of 90 degrees F or greater, and 8 nights when the temperature never fell below 70 degrees F. On average (1981-2010) the Twin Cities records 13 days each year with daytime highs of 90 degrees F or greater, and 11 nights when the nighttime temperature does not fall below 70 degrees F. Temperatures are expected to cool next week, but still average somewhat above normal. Lower dewpoints will help freshen the air.

July 4th brings more thunderstorms in the north

Though much of southern Minnesota was dominated by heat on July 4th, many northern Minnesota communities reported strong thunderstorms, with heavy rain and high winds. This was the second episode of high winds and thunderstorm rains during the week as many northern Minnesota counties also reported them on July 2nd. The July 4th winds near Brainerd were measured at 58 mph, and near Bemidji wind gusts peaked at 60 mph. Some power lines were knocked down, and some trees damaged. Among those reporting heavier doses of rainfall were Brainerd 0.75 inches, Waskish 1.00 inches, Hallock 1.14 inches, Isle 1.27 inches, Northome 1.82 inches, Kabetogama 1.85 inches, and Bruno (Pine County) 2.45 inches. The last number was a record July 4th rainfall at Bruno.

Yet more thunderstorms crossed northern Minnesota early on July 6th (Fri) depositing from 1 to 2 inches of new rainfall in places. In fact the first week of July was rather wet for some northern observers with 2 inches or more reported from Isabella, Gull Lake, Kabetogama, Brainerd, Mora, Onamia, Moose Lake, and Sandy Lake. Much of the rest of the state suffered from heat and lack of rainfall through the first week of the month.

Extreme monthly rainfall totals back to back at Windom

Windom is located in Cottonwood County of southwestern Minnesota. May of 2012 was their wettest in history with 10.90 inches of rainfall. Heavy thunderstorms delivered over 1.50 inches on four separate days. Then June, 2012 was their driest in history, with only 8 rainy days, totaling 0.75 inches for the month.

Weekly Weather potpourri

The United Kingdom Meteorological Office reports that June of 2012 was the wettest on record country-wide, with average monthly rainfall close to 6 inches. There were many days with prolonged rainfall and the month was characterized by a lack of sunshine. They further note that the period from April through June was also the wettest historically.

It has been a busy summer for NOAA IMETs. These incident meteorologists are deployed to areas where local forecasts are needed in support of coping with hazardous situations that pose a threat to public safety. Wildfires in the western states (MT, UT, and CO) have already consumed nearly 800,000 acres this summer and NOAA has dispatched a number of IMETS to help firefighters by delivering timely weather forecast information. You can read more about the work of the IMETS at the NOAA web site.

Severe thunderstorms and even a tornado were reported from Canada this week. A tornado touched down on Tuesday (July 3rd) in Didsbury, north of Calgary, Alberta. It damaged buildings in the area. In addition strong thunderstorms brought heavy rainfall to southern parts of Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba. Moose Jaw reported nearly 2 inches from a thunderstorm rain earlier this week.

NOAA reported this week that St Louis, MO has recorded 8 consecutive days with temperature at or above 100 degrees F. This is the most since July of 1936. Atlanta, GA has reported 4 new high temperature records this week as well. The heat has combined with lack of rainfall to produce further drought in states like IL, IN, OH, KY, MO, and AK.

MPR listener question

I have had my air conditioning on continuously since June 27th. Generally I don't open my windows to air out the house until the temperature falls to 60 degrees F or lower at night. So what are my prospects for airing out the house this month?

Answer: Hmmm......I don't see an overnight low of 60 degrees F or cooler in the Twin Cities, at least through mid-July. We usually get about 8-9 nights during July when the temperature falls that low, but this month is tracking to be very much warmer than normal. Perhaps you could open the windows for a couple of hours in the early morning this weekend when temperatures are expected to be in the mid-60s F.

Twin Cities Almanac for July 6th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 6th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 104 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily maximum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1972; lowest daily minimum temperature of 49 F in 1875 and 1942; highest daily minimum temperature of 77 F in 1988; and record precipitation of 2.32 inches in 1877.
Average dew point for July 6th is 60 degrees F, with a maximum of 77 degrees F in 1928 and a minimum of 36 degrees F in 1883.

All-time state records for July 6th

The state record high temperature for this date is 114 degrees F at Moorhead (Clay County) in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 30 degrees F at Cotton (St Louis County) in 1969. State record precipitation for this date is 5.30 inches at Minnesota City (Winona County) in 1978; and no snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather Features:

July 6, 1936 was arguably the hottest day in Minnesota history as 3 dozen Minnesota communities reported daytime highs of 100 degrees F or greater. Many set all-time high temperature records for any date, including Moorhead with a reading of 114 degrees F. The 1936 July Heat Wave was especially brutal with little respite. Over 900 Minnesotans lost their lives due to the heat.

July 5-6, 1943 brought strong thunderstorms and flash floods to many southern Minnesota communities. Theilman received 4.65 inches and Zumbrota 5.28 inches causing the Zumbro River to reach flood stage. St Peter reported 5.46 inches and Albert Lea 6.25 inches. Many basements were flood and roads closed in those areas.

A Heat Wave prevailed from July 2-10, 1948 as fourteen Minnesota communities reported temperatures of 100 degrees F or higher. For many areas the Heat Wave was made especially difficult because it did not cool off at night. Most temperatures remained in the 70s F.

July 5-6, 1978 brought one of the worst flash floods to Rochester, MN. Evening thunderstorms on Wednesday, the 5th, carried over into the early morning hours of Thursday, the 6th. Many observers in southeastern Minnesota reported over 2 inches or rainfall. Spring Grove received 4.58 inches, while Minnesota City reported 5.30 inches. Rochester reported a whopping 6.74 inches. The storm caused the Zumbro River to exceed its banks and flood many sections of the city, especially the southern neighborhoods and the northeast. Five people were drowned and many roads and bridges washed out. Over 80 percent of the city was without power, and the sewage treatment plant was overwhelmed with flood waters. This flood, and a second one later in the summer, served as motivation for flood mitigation work on the Zumbro River in later years.

July 4-8, 1988 brought another Heat Wave to Minnesota with 40 communities reporting daytime highs of 100 degrees F or greater. This Heat Wave in combination with drought dealt a severe blow to Minnesota crops.

July 6, 1997 was a cold morning in northern counties as 13 observers reported temperatures in the 30s F. Both Embarrass and Tower reported mid-summer frost with readings of 32 degrees F.


Cooler temperatures with a chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday. Then drier for several days with near seasonal average temperatures prevailing across the state.
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