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Precipitation for the first half of 2024

Precipitation for the first half of 2024:

The first few days of July have started cooler and wetter than normal. The wetness signature carries on a 3-month long trend.

After starting the year with three drier than normal months (Jan-Mar), Minnesota reported a record-setting wet April through June with unsurpassed surplus of precipitation. Over 120 climate stations have already reported over 25 inches of precipitation through the first half of the year. Communities in Rice, Faribault, and Wabasha Counties have reported over 30 inches of precipitation so far. At least 60 communities are reporting 2024 precipitation amounts that are from 6 to 12 inches above normal.

As we look around the state the annual normal precipitation varies from around 24 inches in northwestern counties to as high as 37 inches in southeastern counties. Many climate stations already report between 70 to 90 percent of normal annual precipitation, and the year is only half concluded! Even if precipitation is close to normal for the remainder of the year, places like Faribault (Rice County), Waseca (Waseca County), Winnebago (Faribault County), Windom (Cottonwood County), Elgin (Wabasha County), and Albert Lea (Freeborn County) could end up the year with over 50 inches of precipitation, remarkable totals especially following three dry years. These abrupt and dramatic shifts in the annual and seasonal climate signature for our region (dry to wet for example) are symptomatic of climate change in the mid latitudes.

Perhaps one of the all-time rapid turn arounds in our precipitation climate signature occurred from 1976 to 1977. Some examples from those years: Morris (Stevens County) reported just 8.32 inches of precipitation in 1976, then 34.07 inches in 1977; Waseca (Waseca County) reported just 17.43 inches of precipitation in 1976, then 40.98 inches in 1977.

Most of the NOAA seasonal climate outlook models favor that the balance of 2024 will be drier than normal for our area of the country. I am not sure that I fully believe that, but we’ll see.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The BBC Weather Center web site features a good description of the terrible damage done to Jamaica this week by Hurricane Beryl, the strongest Atlantic hurricane for so early in the season (Category 4 with winds up to 130 mph). Wind and flooding damages were reported to be widespread.

A study in Geophysical Research Letters reveals that painting roofs with white paint or covering them with highly reflective materials can have more impact on reducing the urban heat island effect in cities, rather than using green roof technology (vegetation coverings). This study was specifically focused on London.

MPR listener question:

Here in Wells, MN (Faribault County) we have had over 31 inches of rainfall for the first six months of 2024. Is that a record?


Yes, according to the climate history of Wells, you have recorded the wettest ever first six months of the year. I might add that the statewide record for the wettest ever first six months is held by Caledonia (Houston County) where they reported 40.42 inches from January to June in 2013.

Twin Cities Almanac for July 5th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 65 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 5th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 100 degrees F in 1982; lowest daily maximum temperature of 66 degrees F in 1905; lowest daily minimum temperature of 45 degrees F in 1972; highest daily minimum temperature of 79 degrees F in 2012, and record precipitation of 1.62 inches in 1962. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 5th is 59°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 77°F in 1949; and the minimum dew point on this date is 40 degrees F in 1972.

All-time state records for July 5th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 108 degrees F at Pipestone (Pipestone County) in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 27 degrees F at Embarrass (St Louis County) in 2001. The state record precipitation for this date is 6.25 inches at Albert Lea (Freeborn County) in 1943. There has been no snowfall on this date.

Past Weather:

Slow-moving thunderstorms brought heavy rains, 4-6 inches, to many parts of southern Minnesota on July 5 of 1978. The Zumbro River flooded over its banks in Rochester causing some damage to downtown areas.

The hottest July 5th was probably in 1988 when over 20 climate stations reported an afternoon high temperature of 100°F or greater. Even overnight lows remained in the mid to upper 70s F.

A cold, frosty morning greeted Minnesota campers on July 5 of 2001 when morning lows reached the freezing mark in Koochiching, St Louis, Morrison, and Beltrami Counties up north. Both Tower and Embarrass reported just 27°F, but warmed up to 70°F by mid afternoon.


Generally cooler than normal temperatures for Saturday and early next week with daily chances for scattered showers and thunderstorms. Drier weather pattern by Wednesday as temperatures warm back up closer to normal.
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