Skip to main content

Wrap-up on July Climate: August 8, 2014 Commentary

In this edition of WeatherTalk

  • Wrap-up on July climate
  • Scarcity of 90 F in July
  • Concerns at Farmfest 2014
  • Weekly weather potpourri
  • MPR listener question
  • Almanac for August 8th
  • Past weather
  • Outlook

Wrap-up on July Climate

Most observers reported a July mean temperature that was 2 to 4 degrees F cooler than normal. This pattern has been prevalent across the state since last October as 8 of the last 9 months have brought cooler than normal temperatures to the state. During the cool spell towards the end of the month, Ada set a new record cold maximum temperature on the 27th with 67 degrees, and Red Lake Falls did similarly with 66 degrees F on the 28th. Extremes for the month were 96 degrees F at Hutchinson on the 21st and 36 degrees F at Brimson on the 4th and Embarrass on the 16th.

Most of the state was drier than normal during July, many places 1 to 2 inches less than average for the month. Thanks to some intense thunderstorms there were some wet spots, including Grand Portage with 6.31 inches, Wadena with 7.78 inches, and Chaska with 5.05 inches. The drier than normal rainfall pattern of July caused Minnesota crops to deplete the soil moisture supplies significantly, so that by the end of the month many areas were showing less than normal values of stored soil moisture. Many areas of the state would welcome appreciable rainfalls during the first two weeks of August.

Scarcity of 90 F in July

Many citizens have remarked about the absence of 90 F temperatures this summer. July was unusual in this respect. The Twin Cities which normally sees 6 or 7 days of 90 F temperatures or greater in July reported only two. Saint Cloud which averages 5-6 90 F days in July reported only 2, and Rochester which averages 4-5 days of 90 F temperatures reported 0 days with temperatures that high in July. This was not uncommon as Morris, Wheaton, Windom, and Tracy also reported no days with 90 F temperatures in July. For many locations this last happened in 1992.

Concerns at 2014 Farmfest

Many farmers were concerned about August rainfall at this year’s Farmfest as southern agricultural areas of the state were drying out. Additional rainfall is needed to maintain good yield prospects for late planted corn and soybeans. In addition some farmers were concerned about early frost in the fall which might prevent crops from fully maturing. There are no indications that Minnesota will be threatened by early frost this year, but it is a concern nevertheless.

One of the program discussions there involved climate change consequences for Minnesota agriculture. There is widespread acceptance that Minnesota's climate is changing and farmers are adapting. Crop insurance has become more commonly used as a management tool, as has conservation tillage to protect the soil from erosion and better preserve stored soil moisture. Clearly farmers are coping with a greater variability in climate.

Weekly weather potpourri

On Sunday, August 3rd Death Valley reported a daytime high of only 89 degrees F, 33 degrees F below normal. This was only the coldest summer daytime high measured there since 1984 and only the 5th time since 1911 that a summertime high has been measured that is less than 90 degrees F.

Another unusual weather report from the western states was a new record cold high at Reno, NV on Monday, August 4 with a high of only 76 degrees and 20 hours of rainfall, a highly odd weather day for a town used to summer drought and high temperatures in the 90s F.

California State Climatologist Michael Anderson announced this week the publication of California's Climate Change Research Plan to serve their state agencies. It is a fairly comprehensive plan and considers many socio-economic impacts on the state. Read the plan.

In the western Pacific Ocean Typhoon Halong was spinning off the south coast of Japan with winds up to 100 mph producing sea wave heights well over 30 feet. It is expected to bring high winds and heavy rains to parts of Kyoto on Saturday. Meanwhile Super Typhoon Genevieve was located between Wake Island and Midway Island producing wind gusts in excess of 170 mph and over 40 foot seas. It is expected to remain out to sea throughout the weekend. Tropical Storm Iselle and Hurricane Julio were bringing storm warnings to Hawaii this week due to their strong winds, high seas, and heavy rains. Islanders were preparing for a 1-2 punch from these storms which may last through the weekend and bring well over a foot of rain to some places.

The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) released an updated North Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook this week showing a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season in terms of number of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. Read more.

MPR listener question

"How many weekends this summer (since May 1st) have brought rainfall to the Twin Cities? It seems like a lot to me."

Answer: Since May 1st 8 out of 13 weekends (over 61 percent) have seen measurable rainfall occur in the Twin Cities. Indeed this is greater than the historical frequency for weekend rainfalls which is about one weekend in every three.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 8th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 8th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 96 degrees F in 1894, 1914, and 2010; lowest daily maximum temperature of 62 degrees F in 1888; lowest daily minimum temperature is 47 degrees F in 1888; highest daily minimum temperature of 77 F in 2001; record precipitation of 2.22 inches in 1987; and there has been no snow on this date.

Average dew point for August 8th is 59 degrees F, with a maximum of 76 degrees F in 2010 and a minimum of 37 degrees F in 1927.

All-time state records for August 8th

The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) and Wheaton (Traverse County) in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 33 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1898 and at Thorhult (Beltrami County) in 1964. State record precipitation for this date is 5.30 inches at Waseca (Waseca County) in 1991; and no measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.

Past Weather Features

By far the warmest August 8th in state history was 1936 as virtually all observers in the state reported daytime highs in the 90s F and seven communities saw the thermometer soar to 100 degrees F or greater. The heat spell lasted until August 13th when temperatures dropped off into the 70s and 80s F.

Perhaps the coldest August 8th in state history was in 1964 when a dozen northern Minnesota communities reported morning low temperatures in the 30s F. Ground frosts were reported by observers in Lake of the Woods, Clearwater, and Beltrami Counties. It was as cold as 41 degrees F at Theilman in southeastern Minnesota.

August 7-8, 1991 brought strong thunderstorms and heavy rains to many parts of southern Minnesota. Many observers reported over 3 inches of rain, including 3.23" at Austin, 3.57" at New Ulm, and 3.89" at Rochester. Waseca reported a total rainfall of 5.35 inches flooding streets in that community.


Near normal temperatures over the weekend with a chance for widely scattered thunderstorms, mostly Sunday night. Slightly cooler on Monday with a continued chance for widely scattered showers, then cooler temperatures for the balance of next week, and a growing chance for showers by next Thursday.

Print Friendly and PDF