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Warm May Continues

Warm May Continues:

Temperatures continue to average well above normal this month. May 16th brought daytime temperatures of 85 to 90 degrees F to over 60 communities across the state, topped by 91 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) and 90 degrees F at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County). So far this month temperatures are averaging 4 to 6 degrees F warmer than normal in most places and at least a dozen climate stations have reported one new daily record high. The warm weather combined with several dry days allowed for Minnesota farmers to catch up a bit on planting crops. Over 50 percent of the roughly 7 million acres of corn has been planted. But in southeastern Minnesota counties where over 6 inches of rain has fallen so far this month, there are still fields too wet to plant. Undoubtedly over the next week as corn planting wraps up, farmers will move onto planting soybeans.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Nearly a month’s worth of wildfires has plagued portions of eastern Siberia in Russia. Over 16 square miles of landscape has burned and ashes and smoke have displaced some residents there. This area of Russia has seen an increased frequency of wildfires due to a warming climate over the past decade or so according to the Weather Underground.

A recent article in Frontiers in MarineScience documents how climate change across Greenland in recent decades has changed the behavioral pattern and habitat range for polar bears there. This has been well documented by the Inuit hunters.

Dr. Harold Brooks from the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory in Oklahoma, along with other NOAA scientists has published a daily climatological perspective on the frequency of tornadoes across the country. Some parts of southern Minnesota fall into the same daily probability category as parts of Kansas.

With expected sunshine and nearly ideal temperature conditions the BBC expects huge crowds to show up near Windsor to watch the carriages go by for the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday (May 19).

MPR listener question:

What is the latest date for snow in the Twin Cities, and what about statewide? Has there ever been snow in June?


The latest date for measurable snowfall in the Twin Cities climate record is May 24, 1925 when 0.1 inches of snow was reported. There was a trace of snow as late as June 1, 1946 in St Paul. On a statewide basis 1.5 inches of snow fell at Mizpah (Koochiching County) on June 4, 1935, the latest date in the state records.

Twin Cities Almanac for May18th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 70 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 50 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for May18th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 93 degrees F in 2012; lowest daily maximum temperature of 45 degree F in 1890; lowest daily minimum temperature of 27 degrees F in 1915; highest daily minimum temperature of 68 degrees F in 1911; record precipitation of 1.57 inches in 1892. Record snowfall on this date is 2.0 inches in 1915.

Average dew point for May18th is 46°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 69°F in 1962; and the minimum dew point on this date is 20°F in 1981.

All-time state records for May 18th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 101 degrees F at Fairmont (Martin County) in 1934; the all-time state low for today's date is 16 degrees F at Duluth (St Louis County) in 1924. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 5.01 inches at Lanesboro (Fillmore County) in 2000. Record snowfall is 3.0 inches at Minneapolis (Hennepin County) in 1915.

Past Weather Features

Snow fell across portions of Minnesota on May 18 in both 1915 and 1968. In 1915 snowfall ranging from 1 to 3 inches fell mostly across central and northern Minnesota counties. In 1968 from 1 to 3 inches of snow fell across portions of northeastern Minnesota, and portions of Highways 61 and 2 we reported to be slippery with ice.

A late spring freeze caused damage to small grains in northern Minnesota on May 18, 1924. Over 20 climate stations reported morning lows in the 20s F, while the daytime temperature never rose above 38 degrees F at International Falls.

By far the warmest May 18 in state history was in 1934 when over 20 communities reported an afternoon high of 90 degrees F or greater. Both Pipestone and Fairmont surpassed 100 degrees F, and the temperature at Albert Lea never dropped below 69 degrees F even at night.


Chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday through Monday with temperatures slightly either side of normal for this time of year. A warmer than normal temperature trend will begin by next Tuesday and much of next week will be dry as well.

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