Cool May and June 2004

Minnesota has often been positioned on the cold side of stationary fronts over the past two months. The preponderance of stationary fronts dissecting Minnesota explains the very wet regime. The exception to this has been in north central and parts of northeast Minnesota, where precipitation has been at or below normal. During the second half of June the weather pattern switched to prevailing winds from the Northwest. This brought drier air with only widely scattered thunderstorms during the second half of the month.

Another feature of this weather pattern is the persistent coolness. The magnitude of the cool weather is much larger across the northern third of Minnesota. For instance, in International Falls the warmest temperature as of June 30 has been 84 degrees. The number of days below normal there for May through June 30 was 52 out of 61 days. May was the third coldest on record and June was the fourth coldest. The May plus June average temperature would equal 50.6 degrees breaking the old record of 51.4 degrees set in 1947 and 1969 for the coldest May through June average in the 70 years of available International Falls data.

Over southern Minnesota including the Twin Cities, the cold hasn't been as intense. May in the Twin Cities finished 2.7 degrees below normal and June finished an even three degrees below normal. One striking feature is the lack of days reaching 80 degrees or above. From April 1 through June 30 there should be on average 22 days of 80 degrees or higher in the Twin Cities. So far there are only 11. However, the mercury reached 90 degrees or higher Twice in the Twin Cities through June 30. Last year through the end of June there wasn't a single day of 90 or above. There were 14 days of 90 or above in July through September last year so warm weather fans take heart. There is still plenty of summer left for a good old-fashioned heat wave. -

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Last modified: July 1, 2004