Skip to main content

Return to Cooler Than Normal Temperatures

 Return to Cooler Than Normal Temperatures:

The return of cooler than normal temperature this week brought a smile to most Minnesota citizens after the hotter than normal consecutive months of June and July. Most climate stations have been averaging 2 to 5 degrees F cooler than normal so far this month. Coupled with lower dew points in the 40s and 50s F the air has felt much more comfortable and house windows are typically opened to let in the “fresh air.”

In portions of St Louis and Koochiching Counties up north morning low temperatures have even dipped into the mid to upper 30s F. Many northern Minnesota communities have seen daytime high temperatures remain in the 60s F this week. Grand Marais recorded a high of only 65°F on August 4th.

In terms of rainfall, the first week of August has brought little to most of the state. The exception is west-central Minnesota where thunderstorms on August 1st brought an inch or more of rainfall to many areas. These rains were well-received as this has been one of the drier regions of the state this summer. Some of the rainfall reports included:

2.10 inches at Ortonville (Big Stone County)

1.85 inches at Breckenridge (Wilkin County)

1.60 inches at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County)

1.45 inches at Dawson (Lac Qui Parle County)

1.43 inches at Wheaton (Traverse County)

1.22 inches at Minneota (Lyon County)

The amounts at Ortonville, Artichoke Lake, and Dawson were new daily records for the date. Some southwestern Minnesota communities also reported between a half inch and an inch of rainfall on August 6th.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA released an Atlantic Hurricane Season Update this week. “The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been off to a rapid pace with a record-setting nine named storms so far and has the potential to be one of the busiest on record. Historically, only two named storms form on average by early August, and the ninth named storm typically does not form until October 4. An average season produces 12 named storms, including six hurricanes of which three become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5).” The outlook now calls for 19 to 25 named storms before the season ends in November.

The BBC Weather Centre reported that portions of England and Wales were having a Heat Wave this week. Temperatures on Friday (August 7th) reached the mid-90s F in some areas as citizens flocked to the coast and crowded beaches seeking relief. Nighttime temperature were also remaining unusually high with readings of 68°F or warmer in places.

Death Valley, CA has reported a warmer than normal summer so far with 18 days of maximum temperatures of 120°F or greater. The historical average is 16 days, but the record is 40 such days back in 1996. It appears as though that record is safe. The highest temperature there so far this year is 128°F back in July.

MPR listener question:

We live in Hokah, MN (Houston County) and well remember August of 2007 when we received 23.86 inches of rainfall. The wettest single month in Minnesota history. We were wondering how many places in Minnesota have seen August deliver the most rainfall of any months of the year? Is this unusual?


About 15 percent of the Minnesota climate stations with a daily measurement history of 80 years or longer report the most every monthly rainfall in August. Several climate stations in southeastern Minnesota also report August of 2007 as their wettest month, including Spring Grove with 19.07 inches, Caledonia with 18.96 inches, Winona with 18.83 inches, and Rochester with 14.07 inches. But there are a large number of northern Minnesota climate stations that also report August as the wettest month in history including International Falls with 11.26 inches in 1942, Gunflint Lake with 10.84 inches in 1988, and Roseau with 10.97 inches in 1974. These northern communities often get some of their highest dew points in the month of August as well. The higher water vapor content is conducive to the potential for more intense rainfalls.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 7th:

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 7th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 2001; lowest daily maximum temperature of 61 degrees F in 1917; lowest daily minimum temperature of 45 degrees F in 1972; highest daily minimum temperature of 76 degrees F in 2001; record precipitation of 2.29 inches in 1984. No snowfall has been reported on this date.

Average dew point for August 7th is 60°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 77°F in 2001; and the minimum dew point on this date is 42°F in 1989.

All-time state records for August 7th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 104 degrees F at Alexandria (Douglas County) in 1983. The state record low temperature for this date is 29 degrees F at Brimson (St Louis County) in 1989. The state record precipitation for this date is 8.62 inches at St Peter (Nicollet County) in 1968. No snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather Features:

Strong thunderstorms move across the state over August 7-8, 1968 bring heavy rains, high winds, and hail. Parts of Blue Earth, Faribault, and Nicollet Counties in southern Minnesota received 5 to 9 inches of rain causing widespread flash flooding.

The hottest August 7th in state history was in 1983 when just about every part of the state saw daytime temperatures reach the 90s F or higher. Temperatures broke the century mark in 14 of Minnesota’s counties.

Campers awoke to a frosty morning on August 7, 1989. At least 9 Minnesota counties reported morning low temperatures in the 30s F, with just 29°F at Brimson (St Louis County). It did warm up into the 70s F that afternoon.


Warmer than normal and more humid over the weekend with chances for showers and thunderstorms each day. Cooler and drier on Monday and Tuesday, then a chance for more showers and thunderstorms for Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Some of the rainfalls could be heavy.

Print Friendly and PDF


Unknown said…
Sunday, Aug. 9 we watched a lightning show above our house in Roseville. It danced and flashed. Sometimes part of the sky was pink. Sometimes it was small bolts of lightning and other times it was huge bolts that seemed to go from one side of the sky to another. Is there a name for what we were watching? Can you provide details on the extent of this? Is this a usual summer phenomenon?
Thanks! Reader in Roseville