HydroClim Minnesota - June 2010
A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota's 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: June 2, 2010
What happened in May:
- With the dramatic exception of a few northwestern Minnesota counties, May 2010 precipitation totals were near to below average in most Minnesota communities. In far northwestern Minnesota, precipitation totals for May topped six inches. This is four or more inches above average for the month. Elsewhere, precipitation totals ranged from one and one half inches to three inches, extending the present spell of near to below-average spring rainfall across much of the state.
[see: May 2010 Climate Summary Table | May 2010 Precipitation Departure]
- Notable precipitation events during May included a late-spring snowfall on May 7 and 8. Snowfall totals of two to four inches were common across north central and northeastern Minnesota.
Two very heavy rainfall episodes occurred in northwestern Minnesota during the final week of May. On May 24 and 25, slow-moving thunderstorm complexes produced heavy rain in the region, including three to six inches totals for portions of eastern Pennington, Red Lake, and Marshall counties. The rainfall led to rapid rises in area streams, produced overland flooding, and damaged secondary roadways. Another round of very heavy rain fell on Kittson County on May 29 and 30. Two to five inches of rain fell upon already saturated ground leading to significant rural and urban flooding.
[see: Snow and Cold, May 7-9 | Heavy Rain: May 24-25 | Heavy Rain: May 29-30]
- Monthly mean temperatures for May 2010 were near the historical average across Minnesota. Very cool temperatures in early May were offset by above-normal temperatures during the final 10 days of the month. Extreme temperature values for May ranged from a high of 97 degrees at Cambridge, St. James, and Red Wing on the 24th, to a low of 16 degrees at Brimson (St. Louis County) on the 9th. Maximum high temperature records and record warm minimum temperature records were set on May 23, 24, and 29 at various locations around the state. Although temperatures during May averaged near the historical mean, temperatures for the "meteorological spring" (March-April-May) ranked among the warmest of the modern record.
[see: May 2010 Climate Summary Table | Warmest Duluth Spring Ever]
Where we stand now:
- The late winter and spring offered unusually warm temperatures and scant seasonal precipitation totals. Precipitation totals since mid-March are less than four inches for much of northeastern Minnesota and portions of west central Minnesota. In many of these communities, mid-March through May precipitation totals rank below the 10th percentile when compared to previous years for the same period.
[see: Dry Spring - 2010]
- The U. S. Drought Monitor, released on May 27, depicts Cook and Lake counties in northeastern Minnesota as undergoing Severe drought. Other north central and northeastern Minnesota counties are considered to be under the influence of Moderate drought. Portions of east central Minnesota are also depicted as experiencing Moderate drought. The situation in east central Minnesota is due to a prolonged period of below-average precipitation that began in June of 2008. The rest of Minnesota is without drought designation. The U. S. Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where drought categories (Moderate, Severe, etc) are based on several indicators.
[see: U.S. Drought Monitor]
- The U.S. Geological Survey reports that stream discharge values in many northern and eastern Minnesota watersheds are below the 10th percentile when compared with historical data for the date. Stream levels are very high in the Red River basin.
[see: USGS Streamflow | DNR Streamflow]
- The Lake Superior water level is down seven inches from last year at this time and remains below the long-term average. Water levels on many northern, central, and east central lakes are below average. Water levels on some larger lakes and wetlands complexes in east central Minnesota lakes remain exceptionally low. White Bear Lake, on the Ramsey/Washington county border, is near its all-time record low level.
[see: Corps of Engineers Great Lakes Water Levels | White Bear Lake Water Level]
- As of May 30, the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reports that topsoil moisture was 3% Very Short, 8% Short, 80% Adequate, and 9% Surplus.
[see: Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress and Condition | U. of M. Southwest Research Center (Lamberton) Soil Moisture]
- The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as High along the North Shore and Moderate throughout much of central and northern Minnesota. Fire danger is considered Low elsewhere.
[see: Fire Danger Rating Map]
- The June precipitation outlook shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. June is historically the wettest month of the year with precipitation normals ranging from three and one half inches in western Minnesota, to over four inches and one half inches in many central and eastern Minnesota counties. The historical probability of measurable precipitation for any given day in June ranges from 33 percent in the northwest to near 40 percent in eastern Minnesota.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | June Precipitation Normal Map]
- The June temperature outlook tilts towards below-normal conditions in far northwestern Minnesota. Elsewhere in Minnesota, the 30-day projection shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. Normal June high temperatures are in the low to mid 70s early in the month, rising to around 80 by month's end. Normal June low temperatures are in the low 50s to start the month, and rise to around 60 as the month ends.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | June Temperature Normal Map]
- The 90-day precipitation outlook for June through August shows a tendency towards above-normal conditions in the western tier of Minnesota counties. Elsewhere in Minnesota, the summer precipitation outlook projects equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal rainfall. The June through August temperature projection tilts towards below-average conditions across Minnesota.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook]
- 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).
[see: National Weather Service North Central River Forecast Center]
From the author:
Notes from around the state:
Upcoming dates of note:
- June 17: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks
- September 16: Kuehnast Lecture
Web sites featured in this edition:
- http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group, Minnesota DNR Waters and U of M Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate
- http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dlh - National Weather Service, Duluth Forecast Office
- http://www.drought.unl.edu - National Drought Mitigation Center
- http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/dailyMainW?state=mn&map_type=weekd - U.S. Geological Survey
- http://mndnr.gov/waters - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Waters
- http://www.lre.usace.army.mil - US Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District
- http://www.mvp-wc.usace.army.mil - US Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
- http://www.nass.usda.gov - USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service
- http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu - University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton
- http://mndnr.gov/forestry - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry
- http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - National Weather Service, Climate Prediction Center
- http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ncrfc - National Weather Service, North Central River Forecast Center
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