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More Summary Remarks for the Climate of 2019

More Summary Remarks for the Climate of 2019:

A cooler and wetter than normal year: Overall wettest in state history and the first time that the statewide mean annual precipitation has exceeded 35 inches.

-Wettest place in the state: Owatonna 0.8E (Steele County) with 56.50 inches of precipitation (this could change with the expected weekend storm)
-Driest place in the state: Hallock (Kittson County) with 22.69”, still nearly 1.5 inches greater than normal.
-Wettest month of the year: September with an average of over 6 inches of rainfall statewide.
-Snowiest February in state history: Average snowfall across the state was 28”.
-Largest 1-day rainfall event of 2019 was 7.42 inches at Edgerton (Pipestone County) on September 9th.
-Longest period without measurable precipitation: 22 days (March 16 to April 6) at Hallock (Kittson County).
-Hottest day of the year: July 19 when over 100 climate stations reported high temperatures from 90°F and 98 F. With dew points between 75-80 degrees F Heat Index Values ranged from 100-112 degrees F that day.
-Coldest day of the year: January 31 and February 1 when many areas reported low temperatures ranging from -30 to -50 degrees F, with Wind Chill Values of -55 to -65 degrees F.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The BBC reports that Typhoon Phanfone caused serious damage in the Philippines this week and left up to 28 people dead. The storm packed winds of 110-120 mph, high seas and intense rainfall that produced widespread flooding. It remains a tropical storm in the South China Sea, but it is expected to dissipate over the next few days.

The NOAA-StormPrediction Center reports that in 2019 the month of May produced the most tornadoes across the country with 556 confirmed touchdowns. The fewest were in the months of January and November with less than 20 reported. Final statistics are uncertain yet for the year, but there were over 40 deaths due to tornado activity in 2019, a higher number than in recent years. Twenty-three of those deaths occurred during the tornado outbreak of March 3rd across the state of Alabama.

In the AGU-EOS bulletin this week an article by David Shultz describes the recent findings about rapid changes in the Arctic climate. “The high northern latitudes of the Arctic—seen as the canary in the coal mine for modern climate change—are warming at an outsized rate compared with elsewhere on the planet. Already, experts predict that the Arctic Ocean might be ice free during summer months in as little as 40–50 years. The trend has researchers concerned that resulting feedbacks, especially reductions in Earth’s albedo as ice increasingly melts, may lead to even more rapid changes in the global climate.

MPR listener question:

You and Cathy have talked a lot about how wet it has been in 2019. Which Minnesota communities have recorded their wettest year?


Too many to list here. But of those with a 50 year or longer climate record, the climate stations reporting a new record total precipitation in 2019 are:

MSP 41.73”
Rochester 54.31”
Morris 34.28”
Faribault 49.33”
Owatonna 52.11”
Georgetown 34.60”
Pipestone 40.54”
Marshall 44.24”
Zumbrota 47.67”
Canby 38.51”
Minneota 46.16”
Artichoke Lake 36.37”

These totals of course may change upward over the last weekend of the year.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 27th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 27 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 9 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 27th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 46 degrees F in 1959; lowest daily maximum temperature of -9 degree F in 1924; lowest daily minimum temperature of -24 degrees F in 1886; highest daily minimum temperature of 38 degrees F in 2003; record precipitation of 0.70 inches in 1959. Record snowfall is 6.0 inches also in 1971.

Average dew point for December 27th is 11°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 46°F in 1959; and the minimum dew point on this date is -34°F in 1924.

All-time state records for December 27th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 54 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1994. The state record low temperature for this date is -43 degrees F at Orr (St Louis County) in 1933. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.56 inches at Ft Ridgley (Nicollet County) in 1856. Record snowfall for this date is 22.0 inches at Island Lake (St Louis County) in 2009.

Past Weather Features:

Over December 27-28, 1904 a slow-moving winter storm dumped 5-15 inches of snow across southern and central Minnesota counties. It was the largest snowfall of the month.

December 27, 1928 brought a very warm day to Minnesota with most southern and western communities reported daytime high temperatures in the 40s F. In far western Minnesota portions of Big Stone, Traverse, Stevens, Chippewa, and Lac Qui Parle Counties saw the thermometer hit 50 degrees F. December 27, 1933 was the coldest in state history with nearly every part of Minnesota seeing morning lows in the -20 and -30s F. Some far northern communities saw temperatures drop into the minus 40s F. The high afternoon temperature never rose above -16° degrees F at Hallock.


Warmer than normal temperatures over the weekend but a sloppy, and messy mix of precipitation. Broadly there will be a periodic chance for snow, rain, sleet, and freezing rain throughout the weekend. Precipitation will continue into midday Monday. Drier by the middle of next week as temperatures fluctuate near normal to above normal through the end of the week.

Both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with be dry, with some periods of sunshine.

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