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July Starts Hot With Rain in Western Counties

July Starts Hot With Rain in Western Counties:

The warmer than normal pattern of June carried over into the start of July, coupled with 70°F dew point readings. Many areas of the state reported daytime highs on July 1st that were in the upper 80s F to low 90s F. But when combined with the dew points over 70 degrees F the Heat Index values ranged from the upper 90s F to 102 degrees F in places. With the high dew points many overnight minimum temperatures remained in the 70s F. At least 35 climate stations reported daytime high temperatures in the 90s F on July 2nd. These warmer than normal temperatures are expected to persist through the entire first half of July.

Thunderstorms pushed into western Minnesota out of the Dakotas on July 1st bringing rainfall amounts from a half inch to over two inches. For some areas the rainfall was record-setting, including 2.72 inches at Karlstad (Kittson County), 2.54 inches at Crookston (Polk County), and 2.07 inches at Warren (Marshall County). The rainfalls provoked the National Weather Service to issue some flood warnings for watersheds along the Red River Valley.

June 29 Brings Record Rainfall:

The last few days of June brought above normal temperatures and record rainfall amounts to portions of Minnesota. Some of the climate stations reporting new daily record rainfall on June 29th included:
7.14 inches at Bird Island
6.00 inches at St Peter
3.56 inches at Faribault
3.20 inches at Hastings Dam
2.90 inches at Red Wing Dam
2.75 inches at New Ulm
2.40 inches at Morris

In addition, across the border in western Wisconsin many new daily rainfall records were set as well including:
8.22 inches at Baldwin
6,95 inches at River Falls
5,73 inches at Ellsworth
3.40 inches at Rice Lake

Because of these rains, the National Weather Service issued many flash flood warnings and some homes were evacuated. Further analysis shows that the 7.14 inches of rain at Bird Island (Renville County), MN and the 8.22 inches at Baldwin (St Croix County), WI are new statewide records for June 29th….in other words it has never rained that much anywhere in the state’s climate network on that date!

The rains in western Minnesota helped to shrink the moderate drought area this week according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. But moderate drought persists in other portions of central and northeastern Minnesota. The total June rainfall of only 0.69 inches at Duluth was the 3rd driest June in history there (back to 1872). The only drier Junes were 1910 and 1995.

Two final notes about June’s climate: Kittson County (extreme NW Minnesota) reported its wettest June in history as three climate stations set records there for total monthly rainfall:
Lake Bronson Dam 10.86 inches
Karstad 8.93 inches
Lancaster 8.63 inches

In addition, the warmer than normal temperatures to conclude the month brought the statewide average temperature for June to 68.4°F. This ties with 1995 as the 5th warmest June statewide in history back to 1895. MSP with a June average temperature of 72.8°F tied 1987 and 1991 for the 9th warmest June in history back to 1873.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

If you are interested to read about the history of 4th of July weather in Minnesota, the DNR-State Climatology Office web site has a very informed article for you. Nearly 10 inches of rain fell on July 4th of 1995 bringing widespread flooding to Milan, MN. There are many other weather stories about the July 4th holiday.

A recent paper in the journal Nature Climate Change documents how Antarctica has been warming at three times the global rate over the past three decades. Much of this is due to changes in sea surface temperature in the Southern Hemisphere and associated changes in the circulation pattern.

In this week’s AGU EOS bulletin is an interesting article about the loss of permafrost in Arctic Regions. Scientists are now finding ways to map the risk of losing permafrost due to climate change and looking for carefully at mitigating the damaging impacts to infrastructure that has been built on the permafrost environment.

MPR listener question:

I work at the University of Minnesota-Crookston Campus in Polk County. We started this month with over 2.5 inches of rainfall on July1st. Can you please tell me what the daily and monthly record rainfall values are for July? BTW we dearly love Cathy Wurzer and have regularly listened to “Morning Edition” since 2002.


Glad to help. Your Crookston climate record goes back to 1890. The most ever one-day July rainfall was 5.40 inches on July 2, 1919. The 2.54 inches you received on July 1st this week is the 8th greatest one-day July rainfall in your climate record. Your wettest month of July was also in 1919 with total rainfall of 8.83 inches. You need another 6.29 inches this month to catch that record.

Twin Cities Almanac for July 3rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 3rd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 100 degrees F in 1990; lowest daily maximum temperature of 62 degrees F in 1927; lowest daily minimum temperature of 47 degrees F in 1967; highest daily minimum temperature of 79 degrees F in 1949; record precipitation of 3.70 inches in 1879. No snowfall has been reported on this date.

Average dew point for July 3rd is 59°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 77°F in 1999; and the minimum dew point on this date is 38°F in 1941.

All-time state records for July 3rd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 107 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1949. The state record low temperature for this date is 29 degrees F at Meadowlands (St Louis County) in 1927. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.61 inches at Itasca State Park (Clearwater County) in 1983. No snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather Features:

On the morning of July 3, 1927 some Minnesota citizens in Itasca and St Louis Counties woke up to frost. Morning temperatures ranged from 29°F to 32°F. Fortunately a sunny afternoon skies pushed temperatures back up into the upper 60s and low 70s F.

July 3, 1949 was probably the hottest on a statewide basis. Most climate stations reported daytimes highs in the 90s F, but citizens in 17 Minnesota counties saw the mercury climb to 100 degrees F or higher. It was also a difficult night to sleep as overnight minimum temperatures ranged from the mid 70s F to low 80s F. The lowest temperature at Fergus Falls was 85°F.

Strong thunderstorms brought heavy rains to many parts of Minnesota over July 3-4, 1983. Many climate stations reported 3-4 inches of rain, topped by nearly 5 inches at Itasca State Park. These thunderstorms also produced a tornado near Andover (Anoka County) which damaged many homes. In other areas downburst winds of over 60 mph caused some damage as well.


Saturday, July4th will be a dry day, but hot. There will be increasing cloudiness on Sunday with a chance for showers and thunderstorms by evening mostly in northern areas. For most of next week temperatures continue to be warmer than normal, but with daily chances for thunderstorms, especially afternoon and evening. With the higher dew points many overnight low temperatures will remain in the 70s F. Some moderation in temperature may occur by the second weekend of the month.

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Thanks so much for this valuable info, Mark! Minnesota WeatherTalk continues to be a valuable resource for those of us in Extension (and all Minnesotans)!
Aanyara said…
Whatever is happening, let them happen at-least something is happening. and then we will analyse. Is it good or not.