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More Rain in May

More Rain in May:

Wednesday and Thursday brought more rainfall to many parts of the state. May climate stations reported from a third of an inch up to 2 inches of rainfall. In southeastern Minnesota, both Rochester with 1.53 inches on May 25th and Minnesota City with 1.80 inches on May 26th set new daily rainfall records. Almost every area of the state is reporting above normal rainfall for the month.

Climate observers in Benton, Stearns, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Wright, and Renville Counties have reported over 7 inches of rainfall so far this month. And at least 74 climate stations in Minnesota have reported setting one new daily rainfall record this month. Collegeville (Stearns County) reported 5 inches of rainfall on May 12 which was a new all-time statewide record for the date. Many other climate stations have reported new daily rainfall records ranging between 1.5 and 3.5 inches. Grand Rapids reported 3 inches of snowfall on May 15th which was a new record for the date.

Most National Weather Service forecast models suggest 2 or 3 more days of rainfall before the end of the month, but with warmer than normal temperatures.

Speaking of temperature, with the last 5 days of the month projected to be warmer than normal, some climate stations may show an average temperature for May that is close to normal. Otherwise, for most locations in Minnesota May will mark the 5th consecutive month of colder than normal mean monthly temperature.

Farmers have been doing a remarkable job catching up on planting crops by taking advantage of every opportunity to be in the field. They are also working around showers to try to harvest the first crop of alfalfa hay.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The BBC reported earlier this week that severe flooding in the eastern Indian state of Assam has displaced tens of thousands and killed at least 24 people. These rains are likely a precursor to the coming monsoon season, following a pattern of extreme heat that prevailed earlier in May.

Science Daily reports that “slashing emissions of carbon dioxide by itself isn't enough to prevent catastrophic global warming, a new study shows. But if we simultaneously also reduce emissions of methane and other often overlooked climate pollutants, we could cut the rate of global warming in half by 2050 and give the world a fighting chance. The study, appearing the week of May 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to assess the comparative impacts, through 2050, of cutting emissions of a broad range of climate pollutants versus targeting only carbon dioxide.”

MPR listener question:

We saw reports of a trace of snowfall at International Falls on May 21st last weekend. As the Memorial Weekend approaches, I keep telling our expected visitors from Florida to bring warm clothes because the Minnesota weather can produce just about anything in late MInay. In fact, historically, haven't we even recorded some snowfall this late in the spring?


Minnesota's climate history shows that even late May has brought some wintry weather. Some of the latest May snows in the state have been:
-May 25-26, 1970 produced a snowfall of 4 inches at Baudette
-May 27, 1932 brought 5 inches of snow to Virginia
-May 28-29, 1947 brought 4 inches of snow to Orr and 2.6 inches to Spring Grove
-May 30-31, 1897 Tower reported 4 inches of snow and Grand Portage 2.6 inches

Believe it or not, June 1, 1946 Gull Lake, Willmar, Park Rapids, Babbitt, and even St Paul reported a trace of snowfall, while on June 2, 1945 Virginia on the Iron Range reported 5 inches of snowfall.

Temperatures look to be in the 60s and 70s this Memorial Weekend even up north, though there will be chances for showers the second half of the weekend (Sunday and Monday). No snowfall is in the forecast!

Twin Cities Almanac for May 27th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 73 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 54 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for May 27th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 95 degrees F in 1969; lowest daily maximum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1965; lowest daily minimum temperature of 34 degrees F in 1907; highest daily minimum temperature of 70 degrees F in 1969; record precipitation of 2.17 inches in 1978. There was a trace of snowfall on this date in 1965

Average dew point for May 27th is 50°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 70°F in 2012; and the minimum dew point on this date is 25 degrees F in 2011.

All-time state records for May 27th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 104 degrees F at Hallock (Kittson County) in 1934. The state record low temperature for this date is 13 degrees F at Sandy Lake Dam (Aitkin County) in 1895. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.22 inches at New York Mills (Otter Tail County) in 2012. Record snowfall is 5.0 inches at Virginia (St Louis County) in 1932.

Past Weather Features:

May 27, 1907 brought a hard freeze to many parts of western and northern Minnesota. Morning lows in the twenties F prevailed as far south as Worthington, while Black Duck in Beltrami County reported just 19 degrees F. Afternoon highs only reached the mid 40s F in some areas. Some farmers had to replant their injured small grains crops.

The warmest May 27th in state history was in 1934 when afternoon temperatures ranged from 85 degrees F to 100 degrees F across most of Minnesota. It reached 104 degrees in the northern Red River Valley at Hallock. The cool spot in the state was Grand Marais Harbor with a temperature of 62 degrees F.

May 27th in both 1932 and 1947 brought a few inches of snowfall to portions of northern Minnesota. Virginia on the Iron Range reported 5 inches in 1932, a statewide record for the date.


Much warmer over the weekend and early next week with temperatures well above average, especially in the southern half of Minnesota. There will also be daily chances for showers and thunderstorms, more in the south than the north. A bit cooler towards next weekend.

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