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July Climate Summary

July Climate Summary:

After beginning the month very warm, temperatures moderated for much of the second half of the month from below normal to near normal. Still most climate stations reported a warmer than normal July, with average monthly values ranging from 1 to 3 degrees above average. A few places in the state reported slightly below normal mean monthly temperatures. The extremes ranged from 97 degrees F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on the 13th to 37 degrees F at Goodridge (Marshall County) on the 27th.

During the first half of the month three daytime maximum temperature records were set or tied within the climate station network, while 36 warm nighttime low temperature records were set or tied. Numerous Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings were issued by the National Weather Service during the first half of July. In the second half of the month no temperature records were set.

Most climate observers reported above normal rainfall during July. The wettest areas of the state were southwestern and west-central counties. Redwood Falls, Mora, and Marshall all reported over 10 inches of rain during the month. Northwestern counties saw the least rainfall, with some areas reporting less than 1.50 inches for the month.

Within the Minnesota climate station network, at least 50 places reported a daily rainfall record being set or tied during July, the highest being 6.83 inches at Mora on the 12th. Some damaging flash floods occurred in portions of southwestern and central Minnesota.

It appears that after the first week of August, a warmer and drier pattern of weather across the state may prevail.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Earlier this week NOAA released a report about the global climate pattern of 2017 showing that it was the year was the third warmest of the global record back to 1880. Also sea level continued to rise and Arctic sea ice loss continues at a rapid pace.

I wrote this poem back in 1997, a year that brought a long, hot summer to Minnesota. Thought I would share it again:

Summertime isn't always so sublime.

Sometimes it's a crime.

Wet basements. Damaged pavements. Insurance claimants.

Saturated soil. Cars that boil. Food that spoils.

Broken trees. July freeze. Plant disease.

Running fans. Watering bans. Sweaty hands.

Too much heat. Cannot sleep. Feeling cheap.

Soccer rainout. Broken downspout. Many chores to count.

Downed wires. Irritable drivers. Patience that tires.

Forecasters mistakes. Hard to take. Give 'em a break.

MPR listener question:

What is the coldest August temperature for the Twin Cities and how cold does it get during the month in northern Minnesota?


The MSP records, dating back to 1872, show that the coldest reading in August was 39 degrees F on August 19, 1967. Low temperatures in the 20s and 30s during August are far more frequent in northern counties. The coldest I could find in the state climate records was 21 degrees F at Tower, MN on August 28, 1986.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 3rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 82 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 August 3rd:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 99 degrees F in 1941; lowest daily maximum temperature of 54 degrees F in 1915; lowest daily minimum temperature of 46 F in 1971; highest daily minimum temperature of 78 F in 1989. Record rainfall for this date is 2.36 inches in 2002.

Average dew point for August 3rd is 60 degrees F, with a maximum of 77 degrees F in 1955 and a minimum of 41 degrees F in 1978.

All-time state records for August 3rd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 109 degrees F at Fairmont (Martin County) in 1930. The state record low temperature for this date is 28 degrees F at Wannaska (Roseau County) in 1972;  The state record precipitation for this date is 5.03 inches at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1983.

Past Weather Features:

August 3rd of 1930 is remembered for the three-day heat wave that ended that day around southern Minnesota. Over 15 communities reported record highs of at least 100 degrees F over the first three days of the month. This heat put further stress on water deficit agricultural crops. Most observers were to report less than 1 inch of rainfall during the month, one of the driest Augusts in Minnesota history. This was the first of several heat waves that occurred during the 1930s.

The first week of August brought frost to Old Ft Snelling in 1831, a very rare event indeed, though more common in the 19th Century than the 20th Century in Minnesota.


Near normal temperatures with a chance for showers and thunderstorms on Saturday, and still in eastern sections of the state on Sunday. A bit cooler on Monday, and drier next week. Another chance for showers by Thursday.

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