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Cool July, sporadic rainfall: July 11, 2014 Commentary

In this edition of WeatherTalk

  • Cool July, sporadic rainfall
  • Weekly Weather potpourri
  • MPR listener question
  • Almanac for July 11th
  • Past weather 
  • Outlook

Cool July, sporadic rainfall

The month of July has started cool with most observers reporting average temperature for the month that ranges from 2-4 degrees F cooler than normal. Eight of the first ten days of the month were cooler than normal at Rochester, for example. Statewide this is the coldest first ten days of July since 2009. Some observers have reported daily record values of temperature.

Starting on July 1st a few locations reported new record cold high temperature values for the date including a high of just 57 degrees F at Crookston and Tamarac Wildlife Refuge, and a high of only 63 degrees F at Wheaton. On July 3rd Brimson (St Louis County) reported a new record minimum temperature of 36 degrees F, as did Long Prairie (Todd County) with a record minimum of 41 degrees F. On the holiday, July 4th observers at Crane Lake, Embarrass, Babbitt, and Brimson reported morning lows in the 30s F, though none of these were new record values. More recently this week on July 9th (Wed.) Hibbing reported a record low of 42 degrees F and Crane Lake a record low of 41 degrees F.

After a record-setting wet June, rainfall in July so far has been moderate to scarce in many areas, especially western counties. On the other hand northeastern and some central Minnesota counties have seen some heavy thunderstorms. These areas have reported over 2 inches of rainfall so far this month, while Grand Portage and Tofte have received over three inches, and Wadena has received over six inches. Heavy thunderstorms on Friday morning, July 11th brought some record-setting daily rainfall amounts. Based on preliminary reports these record amounts included 2.75" at Park Rapids, 4.83" at Wadena, 3.75" at New York Mills, 3.43" at Little Falls, and 2.33" at Onamia.

Weekly Weather potpourri

A tropical storm was passing near Guam in the Western Pacific Ocean this week. It was expected to strengthen before striking the Philippines early next week. Further to the north in the Western Pacific Ocean Basin Tropical Storm Neoguri brought heavy rains and high winds to parts of Japan this week, causing landslides and flash flooding in some areas.

Flash floods and large hail were reported in parts of Bulgaria, Poland, and Italy this week as a strong low pressure system made its way across eastern Europe. More showers with the possibility of hail were expected into the weekend.

A study released this week by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia suggests a strong relationship between rising temperature and increased patient visits for kidney stones. Apparently as temperatures rise, especially in urban settings, there is a greater risk of dehydration and expression of kidney stone symptoms. Read more about this study.

MPR listener question 

I have hard Paul Huttner speak about the Twin Cities rainfall setting a pace to be the wettest year in history. What about other areas of the state and how about the frequency of rainfall, which seems unusually high as well?

Answer: Indeed, the Twin Cities reports 26.49 inches of precipitation so far this year, still on a record-setting pace. In addition precipitation has been recorded on about 10 more days than average for the Twin Cities (71 days so far compared to an average of 61). There are other communities that are also on pace to record their wettest year. Among these are:

  • Waseca with 26.21 inches so far and 74 days with measurable precipitation compared to an average of 59 days.
  • Redwood Falls with 22.25 inches so far and 67 days with measurable precipitation compared to an average of 43 days.
  • Itasca State Park with 20.19 inches so far and 75 days with measurable precipitation compared to an average of 52 days.
  • International Falls with 19.91 inches so far and 76 days with measurable precipitation compared to an average of 49 days.

Twin Cities Almanac for July 11th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 84 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 11th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 106 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily maximum temperature of 66 degrees F in 1941; lowest daily minimum temperature is 49 degrees F in 1945; highest daily minimum temperature of 82 F in 1936; record precipitation of 3.75 inches in 1909; and there has been no snow on this date.

Average dew point for July 11th is 60 degrees F, with a maximum of 80 degrees F in 1966 and a minimum of 35 degrees F in 2009.

All-time state records for July 11th

The state record high temperature for this date is 111 degrees F at Ada (Norman County) in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 30 degrees F at Meadowlands (St Louis County) in 1985. State record precipitation for this date is 7.47 inches at Rochester (Olmsted County) in 1981; and no measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.

Past Weather Features

July 11, 1936 was not only the hottest in Minnesota history but marked the mid-point of a two-week long Heat Wave which brought day after day of 100 degrees F or greater to many communities. It was by far the most intense and longest Heat Wave in state history, contributing to the death of over 900 citizens. Over 75 communities reported temperatures of 100 degrees F or higher.

Powerful thunderstorms crossed the state over July 11, 1981 bringing strong winds and heavy rains. Rainfall was especially heavy and intense in Olmsted, Fillmore, and Wabasha Counties where many roads and highways were flooded. The Rochester Airport was also closed for a period of town and many residents of Preston were evacuated from their homes because the Root River as flooding over its banks. Rainfall amounts included 3.27" at Grand Meadow, 4.10" at Zumbrota, 5.85" at Lanesboro, 7.30" at Preston, and 7.47" at Rochester.

July 11-12, 1985 brought a cold snap to northern Minnesota communities. Seven communities reported morning lows in the 30s F, with some ground frost at Cotton, Tower, Virginia, and Babbitt. It was short-lived as temperatures warmed into the 80s F by the afternoon of the 12th.

On July 11, 2005 three tornadoes were spotted in northwestern Minnesota, two in Roseau County and one in Marshall County. Fortunately they occurred in rural areas and did little damage.


Near normal temperatures to start the weekend, but with higher humidity and chances for scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Saturday night. Somewhat cooler and drier on Sunday, then significantly cooler on Monday with a chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms. Continued cool weather for Tuesday and Wednesday and mostly dry weather. Chance for showers and thunderstorms each day, with temperatures significantly cooling off on Sunday and Monday. Cooler than normal next week and generally dry weather. Warming to near normal temperatures by next weekend.

-Mark Seeley
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