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July Temperatures Following Trend

July Temperatures Following Trend:

Though the first several days of the month were cooler than normal, with the recent heat, most observers are now reported mean monthly temperatures that are warmer than normal. This follows the pattern for many recent trends. Five of the most recent seven months of July have been warmer than normal in Minnesota, while 21 of the past 23 months have been warmer than normal in Minnesota as well. The highest temperature of the summer so far was observed at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on Wednesday (July 6) of this week with an afternoon reading of 98 degrees F. In addition at least 15 climate stations have reported overnight lows in the 70s F this week. That is about 6-10 degrees F above normal. National Weather Service outlooks continue to favor warmer than normal temperatures across the state through the third week of July. The outlooks also favor, for the first time in many months, drier than normal conditions for the remainder of the month. This means of course that watering will be important.

Watering Considerations:

Since the climate outlooks favoring a warm and dry pattern for the remainder of July, it is important to remember some water conservation tips from the U of MN Extension:

-water plants and gardens at night or very early in the morning to minimize evaporation losses.

-use a light coating of mulch around some plants to minimize water loss from the soil, and to suppress weed competition.

-adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting as the longer grass keeps root systems shaded. During a warm July, lawns will need 1-2 inches of water per week.

-direct downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs, hedges and trees that can utilize the water.

-try to water at a rate that matches the infiltration rate of your soil....perhaps with a soaker hose.

-for newly planted trees and shrubs (planted this spring or summer) water thoroughly at least once per week all summer.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA recently announced intentions to upgrade the Tropical Pacific Observing System (buoy platforms with instrumentation) by 2020 in partnership with Australia, China, and Japan. This observing network transmits data by satellite routinely and these data are used to assess El Nino signals, as well as to help with tropical storm forecasting in the Pacific Ocean Basin.

This week brought a tropical storm and some unprecedented heavy rains to southwestern Japan, the island of Kyushu (reported by the Kydo News Service). At times rainfall rates reached 4 inches per hour. Some places reported rainfall totals over 20 inches. Many roads and bridges were washed out and over half a million people were evacuated because of threatening flash floods.

At the end of last week the United Kingdom Met Office put out a summary of June climate that showed the month to be very warm and wet. It was near record-setting wet in parts of Scotland and northern England, and also near record warm in eastern England.

Dr. Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California wrote a very good piece on climate science and climate change for the Washington Post this week. It is well worth reading about the importance of staying engaged on this topic and finding ways for the USA to live up to the Paris Climate Agreement.

A recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research documents how the turbulence embedded in thunderstorms is linked to the lightning produced by such storms. It is the first of its kind to establish this link.

MPR listener question:

Now that we have the hottest part of the summer season upon us, we were wondering which part of the state has recorded the most 100 degree F days in history? Thought you might have the answer.


Indeed, using the climate records back to the 1880s, the clear winner is west-central Minnesota, near the junction of Traverse and Big Stone Counties. The combined Beardsley and Browns Valley records show that 287 days have reached 100 degrees F or warmer since 1880, the most recent date being July 3, 2012. Other long-term climate states with large numbers of 100 degrees F days include Canby (Yellow Medicine County) with 198 and Milan (Chippewa County) with 161. These climate stations far surpass even the Twin Cities "heat island" climate record for 100 degrees F days, which shows a total of 65 back to 1872.

There are many climate stations in Minnesota that have never recorded a 100 degrees F reading, including Gunflint Lake (Cook County), Crane Lake (St Louis County), Two Harbors (Lake County), and Waskish (Beltrami County).

Twin Cities Almanac for July 7th:

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 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 7th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 101 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily maximum temperature of 65 degrees F in 1918; lowest daily minimum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1891; highest daily minimum temperature of 80 degrees F in 1936; record precipitation of 3.00 inches in 1955. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 7th is 61°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 79°F in 1957; and the minimum dew point on this date is 38°F in 1934.

All-time state records for July 7th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 108 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 1988; the all-time state low for today's date is 24 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1997. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 5.00 inches at Elgin (Olmsted County) in 1990. No snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather Features:

Temperatures fell into the upper 20s F to low 30s F across northern Minnesota on July 7, 1871. It was just 26 degrees F at Fort Ripley (Crow Wing County).

The hottest July 7th in state history occurred during the Heat Wave of 1936 (July 6-18). Over 50 communities reported daytime highs of 100 degrees F or greater. Some climate stations never saw the temperature drop below 80 degrees F even at night.

A strong thunderstorm gave birth to an EF-4 tornado (winds over 200 mph) on July 7, 1955. Between 4pm and 4:30 pm this storm moved 20 miles across portions of Lincoln and Lyon Counties in southwestern Minnesota. The tornado killed one person and damaged or destroyed 35 farms.

Strong thunderstorms brought heavy rains and hail to portions of northern Minnesota over July 7-8, 1962. Many observers reported 2-4 inches of rain, and nearly 4.5 inches fell at Fosston where crop fields were underwater for two days.

Frost occurred in parts of northeastern Minnesota on the morning of July 7, 1997. An all-time July low temperature of 24 degrees F occurred at Tower, bringing an end to a 23 day growing season there (last frost on June 14), one of the shortest in state history!


Near normal temperatures over the weekend under mostly sunny skies. Increasing cloudiness later on Sunday with a chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms, carrying over into Monday. Somewhat warmer for Tuesday through Thursday, with a chance for showers later on Wednesday and into Thursday.

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