Skip to main content

May Climate Summary

May 2018 Climate Summary:

After recording the second coldest April in state history (trailing only 1950), May took off in the opposite direction to finish as the third warmest in state (trailing only 1977 and 1934). In fact for the Twin Cities back to 1873 May of 2018 was the 2nd warmest in history (mean temperature 67.8°F in 2018 compared to 68.7°F in May of 1934). Most climate observers reported a mean monthly temperature for May that was 5 to 8 degrees F warmer than normal. Over 60 percent of the state landscape saw at least one day with a temperature of 90 degrees F or higher, while at least 15 communities recorded a maximum temperature of 100 degrees F or warmer, topped by 102 degrees F at Amboy (Blue Earth County) and Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) on the 28th. In fact places in Minnesota were hotter than Tucson or Phoenix, Arizona on May 28th, an unusual occurrence historically. MSP for the first time reported six consecutive days in May with 90 F temperatures or greater (the 23rd to the 29th). Within the Minnesota state climate station network 109 daily maximum temperature records were tied or broken during the month. The lowest temperature measured during May in Minnesota was 21 degrees F at Brimson and Cook (St Louis County) on the 11th.

May of 2018 was generally drier than normal in central and northern counties and wetter than normal in southern counties. Many southern communities reported 6 to 9 inches of rainfall during the month. With the climate station network 35 new daily rainfall records were set during the month. In southeastern Minnesota both Hokah and Houston reported new total May rainfall records of over 9 inches. In some southern Minnesota counties planting progress for this year's corn and soybean crops was exceedingly slow, going until the end of the month. At month’s end approximately 56 percent of the state landscape was drier than normal, mostly in the central and northern parts.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA features a wide range of climate adaptation and climate resilience training courses with a number of practical applications that may apply to your community. These courses are worth checking out to see if they apply to your local community situation.

NOAA forecasters also predicted a near or above normal Atlantic Hurricane Season during 2018, with a likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms. Near or above normal numbers of tropical storms are also expected for the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean regions during 2018.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms plagued portions of the United Kingdom on Thursday and Friday, bringing flooded streets, as well as rail and air traffic delays. Some of the storms delivered 2 to 4 inches of rain, especially to parts of Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland. More heavy rains are expected over Scotland this weekend.

Geophysical Research Letters featured a study recently from scientists at Portland State University showing a strong relationships between lightning strikes initiated wildfires and global climate change (warming temperatures) in the Mediterranean counties as well as those in the temperature zones of the Southern Hemisphere.

MPR listener question:

Did anyone in Minnesota report snow during the month of May 2018?


The only report of snow was a trace on May 11th at Pipestone, perhaps unexpected after such a snowy April.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 1st:

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 53 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 1st:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 92 degrees F in 1939; lowest daily maximum temperature of 51 degrees F in 1945: lowest daily minimum temperature is 37 degrees F in 1946; highest daily minimum temperature of 72 degrees F in 1939; record precipitation of 237 inches in 2014; and there was a trace snow in St Paul on this date in 1946.

Average dew point for June 1st is 48 degrees F, with a maximum of 73 degrees F in 1944 and a minimum of 29 degrees F in 1910.

All-time state records for June1st:

The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at Chaska (Carver County) in 1934. The state record low temperature for this date is 15 degrees F at Bigfork (Itasca County) in 1964. State record precipitation for this date is 7.98 inches at Stillwater (Washington County) in 1967; and only traces of snow have fallen on this date historically, mostly in northern Minnesota counties.

Past Weather Features:

Following the warmest May in state history, June 1, 1934 was the hottest in history as well, with a dozen communities reporting afternoon temperatures of 100 degrees F or greater. At Winona the temperature never fell below 79 degrees F, even at night.

By far the coldest June 1st in state history occurred in 1964. Over 50 Minnesota climate stations reported frost, and four communities in northern Minnesota saw temperatures drop into the teens F. Frost was reported in Wabasha County where some corn fields had to be replanted.

Persistent thunderstorms brought record setting rainfall to many parts of Minnesota over May 31 to June 2, 1965. Areas around the Twin Cities Metro Counties reported 4 to 6 inches, and widespread flooding of roads and highways occurred. The Mississippi River between St Paul and Hastings rose again after having receded from record flooding earlier that spring.


Mostly cloudy on Saturday statewide with a chance for showers and thunderstorms, along with cooler than normal temperatures. Continuing cooler than normal on Sunday, with breezy NW winds, but more sun than cloud. Warming trend begins on Monday taking temperatures back to a few degrees warmer than normal. Another chance for showers and thunderstorms by Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Print Friendly and PDF