|HydroClim Minnesota - January 2005
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
WHAT HAS HAPPENED
- December 2004 precipitation totals fell short of the historical average by approximately one-half inch in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota. December precipitation in the northern one-third of the state exceeded average by one-half inch to one inch.
- December 2004 monthly mean temperatures exceeded historical averages by three to six degrees in most locations. The temperature extremes for December ranged from 59 degrees at Lamberton (Redwood county) on the 30th, to -45 degrees at Embarrass (St. Louis county) on the 24th. The warm temperatures on the 30th were record-breaking in some communities.
- a 2004 annual summary of Minnesota climate conditions was prepared by Dr. Mark Seeley of the University of Minnesota and is available in the December 31 edition of "WeatherTalk".
WHERE WE STAND NOW
- as of January 5, snow cover was minimal (two inches or less) across most of the southern one-half of Minnesota. A major storm moving through the Midwest over the last 24 hours dropped one to five inches of snow on the far southern tier of Minnesota counties. Snow depths were four to eight inches north of a line from Fergus Falls to Moose Lake. Most communities north of U.S. Highway 2 report snow depths exceeding 12 inches. Along the Lake Superior highlands, snow depths range from 18 to 24 inches. The January 6 snow depth ranking map will show that snow cover in most of the southern one-half of Minnesota ranks below the 20th percentile when compared with other January 6 snow depths in the historical record. In some southern Minnesota communities, seasonal snowfall totals through early-January are among the lowest in the modern record.
- as of December 28, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) - U. S. Drought Monitor indicated that many counties in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota fall in the "D0 - Abnormally Dry" category. The NDMC index is a blend of science and subjectivity where intensity categories are based on six key indicators and numerous supplementary indicators.
- soil frost depth under sod ranges from 12 to 24 inches across the state. Historically, soil frost reaches maximum depth in late February.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/observatory.htm , http://www.mvp-wc.usace.army.mil/projects/reservoirs.shtml
- all of Minnesota's lakes are ice covered. A period of cold weather during the Christmas week rapidly formed lake ice and deepened soil frost.
- the January precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. January precipitation normals range from near one-half inch in western Minnesota to just over one inch in eastern sections of the state. The median snow cover at the end of January ranges from near five inches in the southwest Minnesota, to over 15 inches on the ground in northeastern Minnesota (greater than 24 inches in the Lake Superior highlands).
- the January temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. Normal January high temperatures range the low-teens in the north to near 20 in the south. Normal January lows range from near minus 10 degrees in the far north to the single digits above zero in southern Minnesota.
- the 90-day precipitation outlook for January through March indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. The January through March temperature outlook shows a tilt towards above normal temperatures across much of western and northern Minnesota.
- the National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River, Minnesota River, and Mississippi River basins. 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 )
FROM THE AUTHOR
NOTES FROM AROUND THE STATE
- noneUPCOMING DATES OF NOTE
- January 20, Climate Prediction Center releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooksWEB SITES FEATURED IN THIS EDITION
http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group
http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu - Midwest Regional Climate Center
http://www.drought.unl.edu/ - National Drought Mitigation Center
- U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - Climate Prediction Center
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps - National Weather Service, Central Region Headquarters
- Dr. Mark Seeley, Professor of Climatology/Meteorology, University of Minnesota - St. Paul
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