Although the first two weeks of June generally brought cooler than normal temperatures to Minnesota, following a dominant pattern of previous months, it appears that an abrupt turn around is about to occur. The first phase of this was the short-lived pulse of very warm and humid air that dominated the state this week on Tuesday (June 14). At least 60 climate stations reported afternoon high temperatures in the 90s F. Some even reported record highs for the date, including:
Theilman (Wabasha County) with 99°F
St Cloud, Caledonia, and Minnesota City with 95°F
La Crescent (Winona County) with 94°F
Brainerd with 91°F
Dew points climbed into the upper 60s and low 70s F pushing Heat Index Values from 98°F to 103°F, as the National Weather Service issued Heat Advisories for many counties. It definitely looks like more of this pattern will visit us beginning this weekend.
Most of the NOAA Outlook Models suggest a warmer than normal weather pattern will prevail across Minnesota for the rest of June. This will be sufficient to offset the cooler than normal start to the month, I expect that June will end up be at least a few degrees warmer than normal, probably in the neighborhood of 2.5 to 3.5°F above normal. Remember last June was 5 to 6°F above normal and the 3rd warmest in state history.
Not only is the temperature trend going to turn around for the month of June, but it appears it will turn around for the balance of summer. The outlook for the months of July, August, and September favors above normal temperatures for most of Minnesota. Interestingly enough, the outlook also favors a drier than normal weather pattern for the balance of summer, but confidence is not as great in that portion of the outlook.
Weekly Weather Potpourri: The severe flooding and closure of Yellowstone National Park made weather headlines this week. The Weather Underground reported on details about this, as at least 10,000 visitors were evacuated from the park due to dangerous flooding conditions. Many areas that feed the rivers in Yellowstone received 3-5 inches of rainfall last weekend, and that combined with 3-5 inches of runoff from winter snowpack to produce flood crests on the rivers. Some areas around Yellowstone reported 120 to 180 inches of snowfall this past winter season. Even more discussion of the climate features that contributed to this historic flooding can be found at the CNN web site.
The BBC reported this week on an early summer Heat Wave that is affected portions of Western Europe as well, and it is expected to linger into the weekend. Both Madrid, Spain and Bordeaux, France reached a high of 102°F earlier this week, while in southern France high temperatures up to 104°F were reported for the first time so early in the summer.. The Heat Wave is expected to break later this weekend.
The Committed to Climate and Energy Education Program (CLEAN) has a new online learning module called “Global and Great Lakes Climate Change.” Intended for students in the middle grades (6-8) this activity concentrates on the analysis of local and global temperature anomaly data that reveals warming trends. Emphasis is on the Great Lakes Region and potential impacts. The full activity takes between 50 and 100 minutes to finish.
MPR listener question: When the dew point climbed to 72°F this week in the Twin Cities it made me feel a bit like home, as I moved here from Louisiana seven years ago. We commonly had dew points in that range down there. What is the highest dew point for the Twin Cities in the month of June?
Answer: The highest dewpoint for MSP during this month is 80°F on June 22, 1983. In fact that was one of the first ever dew point readings that high in the climate history of the state. The Heat Index reached 105°F that day as well.
Twin Cities Almanac for June 17th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 80 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 61 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).
MSP Local Records for June 17th:
MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 97 degrees F in 1933; lowest daily maximum temperature of 54 degrees F in 1876; lowest daily minimum temperature of 42 degrees F in 1960; highest daily minimum temperature of 75 degrees F in 1921; record precipitation of 1.72 inches in 1873. No snow has been reported on this date.
Average dew point for June 17th is 55°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 73°F in 2002; and the minimum dew point on this date is 20 degrees F in 1972.
All-time state records for June 17th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 102 degrees F at Campbell (Wilin County) in 1933. The state record low temperature for this date is 22 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 2000. The state record precipitation for this date is 8.67 inches at Minneota (Lyon County) in 1957. No measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.
Past Weather Features:
Over 80 percent of the state landscape baked in 90 degrees heat on June 17, 1933. Nine counties reported afternoon temperatures of 100°F or greater. The overnight low in Chaska was a tropical-like 75°F.
Probably the coldest June 17th morning was in 2000 when frosts were reported in parts of Pine, Carlton, and St Louis Counties. Temperatures were in the 20s F in both Tower and Embarrass, while the daily high temperature at Isabella (Lake County) only reached 49°F.
June 17, 2010 brought a historic outbreak of tornadoes to Minnesota, 48 such storms in all. Over a six-hour period beginning just before 3:30 PM, 48 tornadoes affected 22 counties in northwestern, west-central, central, east-central, south-central, and southeastern Minnesota. An EF-4 (165 mph winds or greater) tornado ripped through Wadena, severely damaging the high school and many homes. The National Weather Service was challenged to keep up with timely warnings during this stormy period, but did an outstanding job. A more detailed report on this storm can be found at the State Climatology Office web site.
Outlook: Sunny and warmer for Saturday, then relatively hot temperatures with higher dew points take over for Sunday through Tuesday in most places except the far northeastern counties. Temperatures will average well above normal. There will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms this weekend across northern sections of the state, and then in the southern parts of the state by Wednesday. It will be somewhat cooler but still above normal the end of next week.