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Spotty rains to finish off May

Spotty rains to finish off May:

Earlier this week May 24-25 brought widespread showers and thunderstorms to many parts of the state, with many areas receiving over an inch of rainfall. Portions of Morrison, Pope, and Sibley Counties reported some hail, while strong winds caused some damages in Blue Earth and Steele Counties. A tornado was reported near Amelia Lake in Pope County. You can read more about these storms at the State Climatology Office web site.

For some areas record daily rainfall amounts were recorded. Some of these included: 1.54 inches at Detroit Lakes and 0.95 inches at Walker on May 24th; and 1.53 inches at Chatfield and 1.77 inches at Spring Valley on May 25th. With the added rainfall this week, over 30 climate stations now report at least 3 inches of rainfall for the month, after a very dry first half of May. A few spots have recorded over 4 inches, including Spring Valley, Lakefield, and Windom.

Looks like for most areas of the state May will end up with near normal mean monthly temperature, despite some ups and downs. Extremes ranged from 94°F at Marshall on May 6th to just 20°F at Hibbing on May 15th. Most climate stations are reporting a drier than normal month, but with four more days left and chances for showers many areas may yet see normal rainfall totals.

Greg Spoden, State Climatologist Retires:

After 31 years with the Minnesota DNR State Climatology office and the last 5 years as the State Climatologist Greg Spoden is retiring. He is widely respected and admired for his many decades of service to the state. His work has supported the efforts of academic faculty at the University of Minnesota, as well as many state and federal agencies. He has exhibited a mastery of many skills, but most especially at developing statistically based computer tools to assess and analyze the Minnesota state climate database. Along with many others I will greatly miss him. Further comments about Greg can be heard on the MPR "Morning Edition" web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The National Integrated Heat Health Information System allows users to examine current heat advisories and warning around the country and keep up on heat related health issues. NIHHIS builds understanding of extreme heat, defines demand for climate services, develops science-based products and services from a sustained climate science research program, and improves capacity, communication, and societal understanding to reduce morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat.

An interesting article about the variation and changing climate of the North Atlantic Ocean region was published this week by the UK Met Office. The researchers show evidence that much of this change may be due to natural variability, but questions remain open about climate change effects.

MPR listener question:

Is Memorial Day (Monday) always the nicest day of the three day holiday weekend? Or is my memory playing tricks on me?


Greg Spoden of the Minnesota State Climatology Office analyzed Memorial Weekends since 1971, the year the holiday was designated as the last Monday in May. He used the Twin Cities climate records and found that the frequency of measurable rainfall over the Friday through Monday period shows some very interesting differences. Saturday and Sunday show a 45 percent occurrence of rainfall, Friday a 38 percent occurrence, but Monday shows only a 28 percent occurrence. So, I guess for planning purposes, outdoor events are least impacted on Monday of the holiday weekend.

Twin Cities Almanac for May 27th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 73 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 52 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for May 27th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 95 degrees F in 1969; lowest daily maximum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1965: lowest daily minimum temperature is 34 degrees F in 1907; highest daily minimum temperature of 70 degrees F in 1969; record precipitation of 2.17 inches in 1978; and record snowfall is a trace in 1965.

Average dew point for May 27th is 48 degrees F, with a maximum of 70 degrees F in 2012 and a minimum of 25 degrees F in 2011.

State records for May 27th:

The state record low temperature for this date is 13 degrees F at Sandy Lake Dam (Aitkin County) in 1895. State record precipitation for this date is 4.22 inches at New York Mills (Otter Tail County) in 2012; and record snowfall is 5.0 inches at Virginia (St Louis County) in 1932.

Past Weather Features:

Probably the all-time coldest May 27th occurred statewide in 1907. Widespread frost and freezing temperatures occurred from north to south, with many areas reporting morning lows in the 20s F. It was just 28°F as far south as Grand Meadow. Many crop fields and gardens had to be replanted that spring.

With temperatures in the 30s F many northern communities reported 1 to 5 inches of snowfall on May 27, 1932. It was short-lived as temperatures rebounded into the 50s and 60s F the next day.

May 27, 1969 was the hottest in state history with over 60 communities reporting afternoon highs of 90 degrees F or greater. Many climate stations remained above 70 degrees F for all 24 hours with high dewpoints.


Mostly cloudy on Saturday with chances for showers and thunderstorms. Less so on Sunday and Monday with warmer temperatures and periods of sunny skies. Increased chances for showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday with cooler temperatures.
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