Fort Snelling Climate Data
Fort Snelling was a military fortification established at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers on a high bluff. Weather records began in October 1819. Instrumentation was rather crude to begin with. A traveling explorer noted that the thermometer was a glass tube attached to a brass plate where the gradation was marked. The chief medical officer of the post was in charge of taking the measurements. Depending on the workload, this duty may have been relegated to an orderly or surgeon. Some of the more interesting observations are comments made by the observer. Prairie fires were common and severe weather was noted. One of these reports includes Minnesota's first reported tornado.
Climate historian, Tom St. Martin, provided these data to the State Climatology office. We are grateful for his efforts.