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June warmth and dryness will likely persist this summer

June warmth and dryness will likely persist this summer:

The warm June weather has been persistent this week. Just about every county, but Cook County in the far northeast, has seen at least one day of 90°F temperatures. In the Twin Cities the first three weeks of June rank as the 4th warmest in history, trailing only 2021, 1933, and 1956.

On a statewide basis this June ranks as the 4th warmest in history so far, trailing only 1933, 1988, and 2021. Many climate stations have reported 8 or more days with 90°F temperatures. The atmosphere has been so dry however, that few nights have seen the air temperature stay above 70ۥF.

Speaking of dry air, June rainfall has been lacking in most areas. A large percentage of climate observers report less than a half inch of rainfall so far this month, and since mid-May reports of total rainfall from many areas of the state fall 4 to 6 inches below normal values. Temperatures are generally expected to stay warmer than normal throughout most of the summer, but at a more modest level. There are also more chances for rainfall to occur this weekend and the last week of June, but this will probably only slow the expansion of drought across the state. Still, the rains this weekend will be the most widespread since mid-May and may bring over an inch to many areas of the state.

The persistent warm temperatures and lack of rainfall since mid-May in most areas of Minnesota have caused a rapid onset and expansion of drought across the state. This week the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that over 92 percent of the state is drier than normal, with just under 40 percent of the state landscape in Moderate Drought. Portions of 14 counties are in Severe Drought. Unfortunately, climate history tells us that at this time of year drought rarely goes away or remains stable, Drought usually gets worse as the summer wears on. This was the case in the drought years of 1910, 1922, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1976, 1980, 1988, and 2021. The only years when end of June drought saw improvement or complete recovery during the balance of the summer were 1911, 1955, and 1977.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The Weather Channel web site features a comprehensive story about the Heat Wave in Texas this month. So far over 100 daily maximum temperatures records have been set or tied within the state climate network. Some of the heat produced all-time record high temperatures, including:

115°F at Del Rio, TX on June 19th
114°F at San Angelo, TX on June 20th
115°F at Laredo, TX on June 19th

The Heat Wave is expected to last through the end of the month.

A new study published in Nature Reviews: Earth and Environment documents the role of irrigation in the global food system and its effects on local environments. It also points out that in some areas of the world, irrigation practices that rely on both surface waters and especially groundwater are not considered sustainable. Better irrigation management is essential, especially in the context of climate change.

MPR listener question:

Here in Floodwood, MN (southern St Louis County) we have recorded only 0.09 inches of rainfall this month. Have we ever had less than a half inch of rain here for the entire month of June? We figured you might know.


Yes, it has happened just once to Floodwood. During the worst drought year in state history, 1910, the month of June brought only 0.13 inches of rain to Floodwood.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 23rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 81 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 June 23rd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 99 degrees F in 1937; lowest daily maximum temperature of 63 degrees F in 2011; lowest daily minimum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1972; highest daily minimum temperature of 80 degrees F in 2005; record precipitation of 2.52 inches in 1873. No snowfall on this date.

Average dew point for June 23rd is 56°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 75°F in 2002; and the minimum dew point on this date is 30 degrees F in 1972.

All-time state records for June 23rd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 104 degrees F at Springfield (Brown County) in 1937. The state record low temperature for this date is 27 degrees F at Sandy Lake Dam (Aitkin County) in 1917. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.47 inches at Reads Landing (Wabasha County) in 1940. No snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather:

The morning of June 23, 1902 brought frost to portions of St Louis, Itasca, and Cass Counties. Tower started out at 29°F, but warmed up by 46°F to an afternoon high of 75°F.

By far the hottest June 23rd in state history was in 1937. Most of the state reported afternoon temperatures from the mid 80s F to the upper 90s F. Ten counties reported temperatures of 100°F or greater.

Over June 22 and 23 in 2002 strong thunderstorms brought torrential rains to portions of northern Minnesota. Portions of Norman, Mahnomen, Becker, Clearwater, Itasca, and St. Louis counties reported more than six inches of rain in the two-day event. Rainfall amounts topping eight inches were observed in small areas of Mahnomen and St. Louis counties. Flash flooding closed many roads.


Much cooler on Saturday across the state with temperatures below normal in the north and dropping back close to normal in the south. Generally cloudy with chances for rain and thunderstorms widespread. Cooler yet on Sunday with continuing chances for showers and thunderstorms on a widespread basis. Lingering chances for scattered showers and thunderstorms on Monday, as temperatures climb back to near normal for this time of year. More chances for showers and thunderstorms by Wednesday and Thursday.

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