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Significant Weather and Climate Events of 2019 So Far

Significant Weather and Climate Events of 2019 So Far:

February 2019 was the coldest month of the year and coldest month in Minnesota since February of 2015.

It was also the snowiest February in state history with over 150 climate stations reporting over 30 inches of snowfall, and over 30 climate stations reporting over 40 inches of snowfall.

At least 10 Minnesota climate stations reported over 100 inches of snowfall for the 2018-2019 snow season. MSP reported over 77 inches for only the 11th time in history.

Duluth reported a record amount of snowfall for May 8th with 8.3 inches and a new record total for the month of May with 13.3 inches.

Four-inch diameter hail stones were reported from Clear Lake July 26th and from Delano on August 5th……grapefruit size hail is very unusual in state history.

Sartell in Stearns County reports the largest one-day rainfall so far this year with 6.42 inches falling on July 5th.

Southern Minnesota counties are reporting one of their wettest years of record with total precipitation so far that exceeds normal by 8 to 10 inches.

The 2019 agricultural planting season was the latest since 1979, but crops have been slowly catching up, though still lagging behind in development. This has brought some concern for early frost and/or high moisture content at harvest time.

The coldest Wind Chill value this year was -65°F at Hibbing on January 30th, while the highest Heat Index Value was 116°F at Winthrop (Sibley County) on July 19th, for a range 181°F across the state so far this year.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

There is an interesting article by David Brown of the BBC News Service this week. He highlights ways in which the United Kingdom farmers are adapting to and mitigating climate change in their agricultural practices.

Tropical Storm Bailu in the Western Pacific Ocean is headed towards Taiwan and expected to come ashore this weekend. It may bring 90 mph wind gusts, 20 foot sea waves, and heavy rainfall to that island nation before crossing into the South China Sea. Tropical Storm Ivo was churning away in the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico but was no threat to land.

Researchers have published in NatureCommunications a reassessment of hurricane flood risks for the coastal regions of the USA. There studies show that on the Eastern Coasts 100-year floods could become annual occurrences in New England; and happen every one to 30 years along the southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shorelines.

MPR listener question:

We have heard you talk repeatedly this year about how wet it has been. We read an article that for the year-to-date the Twin Cities has reported the 2nd largest amount of precipitation in its climate history. Which other areas of the state are going to threaten the record for their all-time wettest year?


There are several climate stations in southern Minnesota that may threaten their annual precipitation records. Some of these include:
Rochester (Olmsted County) with over 36 inches so far, their record is 43.94 inches.
Redwood Falls (Redwood County) with over 32 inches so far, their record is 37.56 inches
St Peter (Nicollet County) with over 31 inches so far, their record is 41.16 inches

It is not unreasonable to expect another 8-10 inches of precipitation for the balance of the year, so it is highly likely that some records will fall.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 23rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 80 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 61 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 23rd:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 100 degrees F in 1977: lowest daily maximum temperature of 63 degrees F in 1902; lowest daily minimum temperature is 46 degrees F in 1873; highest daily minimum temperature of 79 degrees F in 1977; record precipitation of 1.75 inches in 1957; and no snow has fallen on this date.

Average dew point for August 23rd is 58 degrees F, with a maximum of 77 degrees F in 1975 and a minimum of 32 degrees F in 1927.

All-time state records for August 23rd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 104 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1922. The state record low temperature for this date is 25 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1977. State record precipitation for this date is 5.82 inches at Remer (Cass County) in 1978; and no snowfall has occurred on this date.

Word of the Week: Wind Shade

This is a term used to describe the effect of a blunt obstacle used as a shelterbelt or barrier to the wind. The maximum reduction in wind speed usually occurs below the top of the barrier and some distance away on the downwind side. Many shelterbelts such as trees and shrubs have the ability to reduce wind speeds in the wind shaded area by 60 percent or more.

Past Weather Features:

Strong thunderstorms parked over Sibley and Brown Counties in southern Minnesota brought 4-6 inches of rainfall on August 23, 1870.

A Heat Wave prevailed across most of the state on August 23, 1922 with over 40 climate stations reporting afternoon high temperatures in the 90s F. In the far west Traverse, Ottertail, and Big Stone Counties reported temperatures over 100 degrees F.

August 23, 1940 brought a hard freeze to many northern Minnesota counties, including Carlton, Itasca, Beltrami, Roseau, Cass, and Clearwater. Morning low temperatures fell into the upper 20s F.


Partly cloudy skies and cooler than normal temperatures will prevail throughout the weekend. There will be increasing cloudiness on Sunday night with a chance for rain showers. This carries over into Monday as well. Temperatures will remain cooler than normal much of next week with a chance for showers by Wednesday.

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