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Rains followed by some record low temperatures this week

Rains followed by some record low temperatures:

Following pleasant weather on the 4th of July thunderstorms brought heavy rains to many parts of the state over July 5-6.  The thunderstorms on July 5th affected portions of western Minnesota bringing large hail (reported from Marshall, Beltrami, and Itasca Counties), high wind gusts, and some heavy rainfalls.  Newfolden (Marshall County) reported a record rainfall that day of 2.80 inches, and Moose Lake (Carlton County) reported a record rainfall of 1.48 inches.

More widespread thunderstorms occurred across the state on July 6th, bringing more heavy rainfall.  Many observers reported 2 to 3 inches of rain especially across central and southern portions of Minnesota.  One observer south of Afton (Washington County) reported 6.54 inches of rainfall.  The NOAA National Weather Service and MN State Climatology Office provided a rainfall summary on a county by county basis.

Some climate observers who reported new daily record rainfall amounts for July 6th included: 4.03 inches at Stillwater; 3.57 inches at Farmington; 3.07 inches at Hastings; 2.95 inches at Lake Wilson; 2.83 inches at MSP; 2.78 inches at Mora; 2.73 inches at Pipestone; 2.72 inches at Faribault; 2.62 inches at St Peter; 2.58 inches at Amboy; 2.35 inches at Montevideo; and 1.73 inches at Redwood Falls.

Cool, dry Canadian high pressure settled over the state on the backside of the thunderstorms, bringing very comfortable conditions to most of the state.  Under clear skies over July 7th and July 8th a few Minnesota observers reported new record low temperatures.  On July 7th Kabetogama reported a record low of 41°F, Floodwood 40°F, and Fosston 37°F.  Then on July 8th even more record lows were reported including: 44°F at Browns Valley and Long Prairie; 43°F at Sandstone; 40°F at International Falls (tied 1958), 39°F at Isabella (tied 1958) and Ely; and 37°F at Fosston, Hibbing and Eveleth.

Women in Meteorology:

WWII brought about a remarkable change in the gender distribution among professional meteorologists and weather observers. Staff shortages and an expansion of weather observing and forecasting programs in both European countries and the United States helped open the doors for women to enter the field of meteorology. Historical analysis has shown that female observers and forecasters were extremely valuable to the weather services of the United States, England and Russia during this time.  The British Meteorological Office affectionately referred to their WWII female forecasters as the Met Queens, one of whom (Ingrid Holford) later became a well-known television forecaster for Southern TV in the United Kingdom.  The Weather Service in the United States employed only two women in the observer and forecaster ranks in 1941, but by 1945 over 900 were working in such capacities. Many went on to have long careers with the Weather Service.

Today, the World Meteorological Organization reports that there are far more female students of meteorology than ever before, and they anticipate that the percentage of women in the profession will be going up.  Worldwide, it is estimated that about 22-24 percent of all meteorologists and hydrologists are women. In the United Kingdom one third of the BBC meteorologists are women, and in some of the former republics of the Soviet Union and eastern European countries (including Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Latvia) 60 to 80 percent of professional meteorologists and hydrologists are women.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Two powerful Typhoons were churning this week in the Western Pacific Ocean.  Typhoon Chan-Hom was packing wind gusts up to 145 mph and producing sea waves from 35-40 feet as it headed across the East China Sea towards the Chinese coastline near Shanghai.  It was expected to bring heavy rains and high winds to that area this weekend.  Farther out to sea and well south of Japan, Super Typhoon Nangka was producing wind gusts up to 165 mph and sea wave heights of 40-45 feet.  It was expected to remain out to sea between Guam and Japan. 

NOAA reports this week that several Incident Meteorologists have been deployed to Alaska to assist firefighters there.  Alaska is having one of its worst wildfire seasons with over 600 fires reported so far and more than 300 structures burned.  The Incident Meteorologists provide up to the minute local weather forecasts related to wind, humidity, temperatures, and rainfall chance.  All of this information helps firefighters in more effective deployment of resources to control these wildfires.  Official speculate that it will be a long wildfire season in Alaska this year. 

A new paper published in Nature Climate Change describes the changing character of climate in the United Kingdom and how the trend toward milder winters is expected to continue, along with a trend towards hotter and drier summers.

New research reported in Science this week documents a widespread decline in bumble bee pollinators across North America and Europe as a result of climate change.  Much of this is due to the retreating southern edge of habitat for species of bumblebees.  This decline in habitat is associated with temperature changes that have occurred over recent decades. 

MPR Listener Question:

With the forecast for warm, humid weather I wondered how many times has the overnight low temperature not dipped below 80 degrees F in the Twin Cities climate records? 


This has only happened 31 times since 1871, and all of the occurrences have been in June, July, or August.  The most recent summer when overnight temperatures never dropped below 80F in the Twin Cities was 2013 when that happened on 3 nights.  BTW it has never rained on such a date.

Twin Cities Almanac for July 10th:

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 10th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 106 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily maximum temperature of 69 degrees F in 1945: lowest daily minimum temperature is 49 degrees F in 1945 and 1996; highest daily minimum temperature of 80 F in 1936; record precipitation of 1.93 inches 2002; and no snowfall has been recorded on this date.

Average dew point for July 10th is 59 degrees F, with a maximum of 79 degrees F in 1966 and a minimum of 37 degrees F in 1931.

All-Time State Records for July 10th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 112 degrees F at Wadena (Wadena County) in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 32 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1978.  State record precipitation for this date is 7.02 inches at Leech Lake (Cass County) in 1954; and there has not been any snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:

July 10, 1936 was by far the warmest in history with 60 climate stations in the state reaching or surpassing the 100F mark.  The "coldest" place in the state was Grand Marais with a high of only 81F.

Perhaps the coldest July 10th in history occurred in 1996 when 10 climate stations reported morning lows in the 30s F.  Many northern communities saw daytime highs reach only into the 60s F with a brisk cool northerly breeze all day.

July 9-11, 2002 brought thunderstorms and heavy rains to many parts of northwestern and central Minnesota.  An observer from Climax (Polk County) reported a total rainfall of 8.33 inches.  Observers in Fergus Falls, Glenwood, Long Prairie, Melrose, and St Francis reported over 5 inches.  Several cities reported flood roads and highways.


Warm and humid over the weekend and early next week with daily chances for showers and thunderstorms, some of which could be heavy, especially later on Sunday and into Monday.  Staying warm, but drier towards the middle of next week, and cooling to near normal later in the week.

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