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Preliminary August Climate Summary

Most climate observers in Minnesota are reporting a mean August temperature that is within plus or minus 1-2 degrees F of normal.  Extremes ranged from 91 degrees F at Hutchinson on the 24th to 34 degrees F at Seagull Lake (Cook County) on the 14th.  For a number of western Minnesota communities August did not bring a single day with 90 degrees F or higher, and for only the second time in 20 years, not a single reading of 90 F or higher was recorded in July and August.

MSP set a new high dewpoint record on August 24th with a reading of 76 degrees F as the Heat Index climbed to 95 degrees F for those attending the State Fair.

August precipitation was highly variable, with most observers reporting below normal values, especially in the south-central and southeastern counties.  Thanks to a handful of scattered, but very heavy thunderstorms some observers reported over 5 inches of rain for the month including, Benson (5.27"), Brainerd (6.18"), Dawson (6.62"), Madison (5.39"), Montevideo (6.10"), Ottertail (6.00"), Ortonville (6.20"), Little Falls (6.05"), Morris (5.28"), Zumbrota (6.12"), and Forest Lake (5.10").  Starting Friday morning (Aug 29) additional rainfalls were expected through the end of the month and may bring more observers up closer to normal monthly values. Parts of southeastern Minnesota reported 1-2 inch rains on Friday, August 29th.

Some southern Minnesota counties were designated as abnormally dry by the US Drought Monitor this week, but hopes are that September will bring wetter than normal conditions.

State Fair Weather Quiz

I had fun doing the broadcast of the Minnesota Weather Quiz on Wednesday, August 27th with Steven John of MPR hosting.  If you want to test your knowledge of Minnesota weather during 2014 you can still go to the MPR web site and take the weather quiz

Weekly Weather potpourri:

A recent paper in the Journal of Biometeorology examined whether or not there are any amplifications of pain induced by weather variables for those people who suffer chronic pain from fibromyalgia (like my wife does).  This study found no symptoms of pain amplification brought on by weather variables, except for changes in barometric pressure where there was an inverse association between lower pressure values and higher pain.

Dennis Todey, South Dakota State Climatologist offered a perspective on early September weather in the "Sustainable Corn blog" this week. Warm weather should help maturing crops in many states of the Corn Belt during early September.  You can also examine the frost dates and crop maturation progress around the region by using the U2U Decision Support web site. Remnants of Hurricane Marie in the Eastern Pacific Ocean brought high surf to the Southern California coast this week.  Surfers enjoyed riding the bigger than usual waves, but swimmers were warned to stay out of the rough surf.  Some coastal properties there were flooded by the big waves at high tide.

MPR listener question:  After hearing recently about the 100 years of daily weather observations at Waseca, MN, I was wondering what other Minnesota communities have been observing the weather for 100 years or more?

Answer:  There are actually quite a few.  At least 55 climate stations have kept records for over 100 years, but many of these have as much as 10 to 20 percent of their data missing due to various problems (faulty equipment, ill health or death of an observer, etc). Among the 55 stations perhaps as many as 20 have little if any missing data.  Some of the other places with 100 years or more of daily data, include:  Ada, Albert Lea, Argyle, Baudette, Bemidji, Cass Lake, Cloquet, Collegeville, Crookston, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Fairmont, Farmington, Fergus Falls, Olivia-Bird Island, Grand Marais, Grand Meadow, Grand Rapids, Hallock, Hutchinson, International Falls, Itasca State Park, Leech Lake, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Mankato, Milan, Milaca, Montevideo, MSP, Mora, Morris, New London, New Ulm, Park Rapids, Pine River Dam, Pokegama Dam, Red Lake Falls, Red Wing, Redwood Falls, Rochester, Roseau, St Cloud, St Peter, Tower, Tracy, Two Harbors, Wadena, Warroad, Waseca, Willmar, Winnebago, Winnibigoshish Dam, Winona, and Zumbrota.

 Twin Cities Almanac for August 29th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 79 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 59 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 29th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 96 degrees F in 1969; lowest daily maximum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1915; lowest daily minimum temperature is 45 degrees F in 1911 and 1974; highest daily minimum temperature of 74 F in 1881, 1899, and 1969; record precipitation of 2.05 inches in 1964; and there has been no snow on this date.

Average dew point for August 29th is 58 degrees F, with a maximum of 76 degrees F in 1949 and a minimum of 34 degrees F in 1931.

All-time state records for August 29th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 103 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1921. The state record low temperature for this date is 22 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1976. State record precipitation for this date is 5.32 inches at Thorhult (Nicollet County) in 1980; and no measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.

Past Weather Features:

August 29, 1976 was the coolest in state history as low temperatures in the 30s F were measured even in southern Minnesota communities (38 F at Preston).  Many frosts were reported in northern counties and eight Minnesota cities saw the thermometer drop into the 20s F.
Strong thunderstorms brought heavy rains to northern Minnesota over August 29-30, 1980 (a drought year).  Many observers reported over 2 inches, while Baudette, Red Lake Falls, and Babbitt received over 4 inches of rain.  Some large hail was reported as well.
August 28-29, 1984 brought a widespread Heat Wave to Minnesota.  Nearly every location saw 90 degrees F or higher daytime temperatures.  Over a half dozen western communities saw temperatures reach 100 degrees F, where are long, hot, dry summer finally came to an end.  Corn yields were not very good that year in western counties.


Near normal to above normal temperatures over the weekend, with increasing chances for showers later on Saturday and into Sunday.  Thunderstorms may be strong on Sunday.  Cooler on Labor Day but with continued chances for showers and thunderstorms.  Drier weather by next Wednesday and Thursday, with warming toward next weekend.
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