Skip to main content

Commentary produced May 30, 2014

  • Heat and dewpoints
  • Preliminary climate summary for May
  • Oxfam Forum, June 3rd
  • Weekly weather potpourri
  • MPR listener question
  • Almanac for May 30th
  • Past weather 
  • Outlook

Heat and dewpoints

The Memorial Weekend began a string of warmer than normal days (8 days in a row) in Minnesota not seen since the end of last September. The long wait for the return of 80 F weather ended as many observers reported consecutive days with afternoon highs of 80 degrees F or above. Some individual climate observers reported new record daily high temperatures this week, including the following:

May 24: 91 degrees F at Crookston (tied 1967), 87 degrees F at Thorhult, and 84 degrees F at Duluth
May 25: 85 degrees F at Duluth
May 26: 88 degrees F at Minnesota City
May 27: 87 degrees F at Aitkin, and 88 degrees F at Wolf Ridge

In addition, dewpoints rose to near record levels at many southern Minnesota locations, making the outside temperatures feel tropical and more like mid-summer. Over May 26-27 dewpoints ranged between 65 and 70 degrees F in many counties.

Preliminary climate summary for May 2014

Despite the warmer than normal temperatures over the last week of the month, some observers around the state are reporting average May temperatures that are 1 to 2 degrees F cooler than normal. A number of other observers are reporting near normal May mean temperature values (plus or minus 1 F of normal). Extremes for the month ranged from 91 degrees F at Crookston on the 24th to 23 degrees F at Park Rapids and Crane Lake on the 17th.

Moisture wise, many central and northern Minnesota communities reported above normal rainfall for May, while some areas of western and southern Minnesota reported less than normal. This pattern may be modified by the expected heavy rainfall on Saturday, May 31st. A number of communities had a very wet May indeed, including Hibbing and Mora with 5.06 inches, Milaca with 5.14 inches, Cambridge with 5.18 inches, and Lester Prairie with 5.23 inches. There were numerous reports of hail during the month, and two tornadoes were reported on May 8th, near St James and Madelia. Straight line wind damage occurred near Waseca, Montgomery, and Red Wing damaging buildings, trees, and powerlines.

This cool, wet spring produced a late planting season for farmers, but nearly all of the state corn acreage was planted by May 30, and over half of the soybean acreage was planted as well. Southern Minnesota farmers began harvesting alfalfa the last week of the month. Moderate drought remained in the extreme southwestern counties of the state.

Oxfam Forum on June 3rd

On Tuesday, June 3, 2014 beginning at 6:30pm Oxfam America will host a forum titled "Rising Water, Dwindling Rain: Our Food System Challenged by Climate Change." This will take place at the Institute on the Environment (1954 Buford Ave) on the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus. The program includes Peruvian farmer, Virginia Ñuñonca, who will speak about her experience adapting to climate change. Joining her, will be Jerry Hatfield, USDA-ARS scientist (Ames, IA) and lead author of the agriculture chapter in the Nobel Prize winning 2007 IPCC report; and Richard Oswald, writer and president of Missouri Farmers Union whose farm was flooded when the Missouri River levees breached in the floods of 2011. I will be moderating the discussion. We will hear about climate change impacts on agriculture that are already occurring, and discuss recommendations for effective mitigation and adaptation. If interested in this program, please contact Jim French at 620-757-3325 or

Weekly weather potpourri

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy visited St Paul this week and briefly toured the Science Museum of Minnesota where she saw the highly efficient heat-recovery system that recycles waste energy and cuts the overall museum's energy usage by 40 percent. She was visiting with city and state officials about energy conservation and the need for community engagement as the EPA moves forward next week with new, flexible regulations to curb carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants.

Heavy rains and strong thunderstorms battered the coastlines of LA, MS, and AL on May 29th. Many observers reported 6-8 inches of rainfall, with widespread street flooding. Fortunately the weekend includes a drier forecast for residents there.

As of May 28th ice floes were still present on some southern shoreline of Lake Superior. In addition over 70 percent of Hudson Bay was still covered with sea ice. You can check the daily and weekly charts for ice coverage at the Environment Canada web site.

A Heat Wave plagued portions of northern and central China this week with record-setting high temperatures. Daytime highs ranged from 102 to 112 degrees F in many cities. Beijing hit a new record high temperature of 104 degrees F on Thursday, May29th. The highest reading in that city since 1951.

A study published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters finds that streaming video to a laptop or tablet computer is much better for the environment than using DVD players because it requires less energy and leaves a smaller carbon footprint. The study is a comprehensive examination of the energy consumed in producing and watching video streaming. You can read more about it at

MPR listener question

"What is the northern most weather reporting station in Minnesota and what is the southern most? How many miles apart are they?"

Answer: At 49 degrees 19 minutes north latitude, Flag Island on Lake of the Words is the most northerly climate station in Minnesota, and the most northerly in the contiguous 48 states. The most southerly stations are Harmony in Fillmore County and Spring Grove in Houston County. Both are located at 43 degrees and 34 minutes north latitude. The distance from Spring Grove to Flag Island is roughly 425 miles. Obviously, Flag Island is a much colder place on average than either Spring Grove or Harmony. For example earlier this month on May 21st when Lake of the Woods still had ice cover, Flag Island reported an afternoon high temperature of 48 degrees F, while Spring Grove reported an afternoon high of 80 degrees F.

Twin Cities Almanac for May 30th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 75 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 53 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP local records for May 30th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1934; lowest daily maximum temperature of 54 degrees F in 1922; lowest daily minimum temperature is 37 degrees F in 1947; highest daily minimum temperature of 69 F in 1988; record precipitation of 2.04 inches in 1877; and there has been no snow on this date. 

Average dew point for May 30th is 51 degrees F, with a maximum of 72 degrees F in 1918 and a minimum of 24 degrees F in 1964.


All-time state records for May 30th

The state record high temperature for this date is 108 degrees F at Pipestone (Pipestone County) in 1934. The state record low temperature for this date is 20 degrees F at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1889. State record precipitation for this date is 5.63 inches at Preston (Fillmore County) in 1980; and state record snowfall for this date is 0.1 inches at Bemidji (Beltrami County) in 1897.

Past weather features

The hottest May 30th in state history occurred in 1934. The month concluded with a 5-day Heat Wave and on the 30th when nearly every observer in the state set a new high temperature record. Over 55 communities hit 100 degrees F or higher that day. The cool spot in the state was Grand Marais which reported a high of 69 degrees F.

May 30, 1947 brought widespread damaging frost to many agricultural counties in Minnesota. Many observers reported morning lows in the 20s F, including 28 degrees F at Campbell and Beardsley, and 29 degrees F at Windom and Crookston.

Very heavy thunderstorms flood farm fields in northwestern Minnesota over May 29-30, 1949. The rain was accompanied by hail and high winds. Over 4 inches of rain fell at Oklee, Twin Valley, and Red Lake. Mahnomen and Leonard reported over 5 inches, while Thief River Falls received over 8 inches of rainfall.

In the midst of the drought year of 1980, very heavy thunderstorms brought flooding rainfall to southern counties over May 30-31, 1980. Blue Earth, Grand Meadow, Preston, and Winona received over 5 inches of rainfall, while Lanesboro reported 6.36 inches.


Continued warmer than normal temperatures through the weekend, with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms. Drier and cooler by Tuesday and Wednesday next week with temperatures closer to normal, then increasing chances for showers and thunderstorms later in the week.

Further information

For older versions of the "Minnesota WeatherTalk" newsletter go to
For access to other information resources go to

NOTE: News releases were current as of the date of issue. If you have a question on older releases, use the news release search (upper left-hand column of the News main page) or the main Extension search (upper right of this page) to locate more recent information.

Print Friendly and PDF