HydroClim Minnesota - June 2002

A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota climate conditions and the resulting impact on water resources.

Distributed on the Wednesday following the first Monday of each month.

State Climatology Office - DNR Waters

compiled 6/5/02


- May precipitation totals were generally below normal across Minnesota. In most locations, May precipitation fell short of the historical average by more than one half inch. May precipitation deficits were greater than one and a half inches in many northeastern, south central, and southeastern Minnesota communities.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/cawap/monsum/monsum.asp )
- May monthly temperatures were four to eight degrees cooler than normal around the state. The cool May weather continued a pattern of below normal temperatures that persisted throughout the spring. Were it not for a brief warm spell in mid-April, the meteorological spring (March - May) of 2002 would have ranked among the coldest on record.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/cawap/monsum/monsum.asp )


- growing season precipitation totals to date (April 1 - June 3) offer a mosaic of differing conditions across Minnesota. In portions of northeastern Minnesota, growing season precipitation totals are less than half of normal, falling below the 15th percentile when compared with historical data for the period. Growing season precipitation is below the median across most of the northern one third of the state. Conversely, precipitation totals in some east central, south central, and southeastern counties are above well normal for the season, and rank above the 90th percentile. In most other areas, growing season precipitation totals are near the median. 
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/weekmap.asp )
- as of May 28, the National Drought Mitigation Center - U. S. Drought Monitor classifies far northwestern Minnesota as "Abnormally Dry". The remainder of the state is free of any drought designation. The NDMC index is a blend of science and subjectivity where intensity categories are based on six key indicators and numerous supplementary indicators.
(see: http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html )
- the June 1 Palmer Drought Severity Index map from the Climate Prediction Center places northwestern Minnesota counties in the "Moderate Drought" category. Other areas are categorized as "Near Normal". The Palmer Drought Severity Index is used for assessing long-term meteorological conditions.
(see: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/regional_monitoring/palmer.gif )
- the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reports on June 2 that the state's topsoil moisture was 3% surplus, 72% adequate, 23% short, and 2% very short. Quantitative soil moisture measurements are rare. However, recent measurements from University of Minnesota research locations in southern Minnesota indicate that soil moisture values in those areas are near historical averages. 
(see: http://www.nass.usda.gov/mn/cwmn.htm, http://swroc.coafes.umn.edu/Weather/Charts/Soil/2002/02_soil_water.html , http://climate.umn.edu/img/soil_moisture/wassm12.gif )
- the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that nearly three quarters of Minnesota's rivers are near median streamflow for the date. Discharge values in northeastern Minnesota remain low, falling below the 25th percentile when compared with historical data. Streamflow is also low in some central Minnesota basins. Recent heavy rains have pushed streamflows above the 75th percentile in some southwestern and southeastern Minnesota rivers. 
(see: http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/dailyMainW?state=mn&map_type=weekd , http://climate.umn.edu/dow/weekly_stream_flow/stream_flow_weekly.asp )
- the potential for wildfires is rated as high to extreme in many northern central and northeastern Minnesota counties. The fire danger rating is moderate in the remainder of northern Minnesota's forested areas.
(see: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/ )


- the June precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. June is historically the wettest month of the year with precipitation normals ranging from three and a half inches in the far north to over four and a half inches in Minnesota's southern tier of counties. 
- the June temperature outlook also shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. Normal June high temperatures are in the low to mid 70's early in the month, rising to around 80 by month's end. Normal June lows are in the low 50's to start the month, and climb to around 60 as the month ends.
(see: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/multi_season/13_seasonal_outlooks/color/seasonal_forecast.html )
- the 90-day precipitation outlook for June through August shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. The June though August temperature outlook also shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities.
(see: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/multi_season/13_seasonal_outlooks/color/seasonal_forecast.html )
- the National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River, Minnesota River, and upper Mississippi River basins. A hydrologic model is initialized using the current conditions of stream flow and soil moisture across a basin. The model is allowed to run into the future with multiple scenarios using more than 30 years of climatological data. The climatological data are weighted by the 90 day outlooks for temperature and precipitation trends. The model output offers a complete range of probabilistic values of stream stage and discharge for numerous forecast points. The product offers a risk assessment tool which can be used in long-range planning decisions involving flooding or low-flow concerns. These products are part of the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) and are produced near the middle of each month. 
(see: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps/index.html )


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- June 13, Climate Prediction Center releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks 


http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group
http://www.drought.unl.edu/ - National Drought Mitigation Center
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - Climate Prediction Center
http://www.nass.usda.gov/mn/cwmn.htm - Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service
http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/dailyMainW?state=mn&map_type=weekd - U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/programs/surwat_section/stream_hydro/productsf.html - Minnesota DNR Waters
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/ - Minnesota DNR Forestry
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps/index.html - National Weather Service - Central Region Headquarters


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