WeatherTalk Blog

First Half of September: Warm and Highly Variable Rainfall

6 days 16 hours ago
First Half of September: Warm and Highly Variable RainfallFollowing the 2nd hottest summer in state history, it should not be surprising that temperatures have been above normal during the first half of September, though only modestly by 1 to 3 degrees F. A few places in the state have reported 80°F or higher on two or three days, while Thursday, September 16th brought the first 90°F readings of the month. On Thursday at least 18 climate stations reported a high temperature of 90°F or higher, topped by 95°F at Milan (Chippewa County). A few places like Embarrass, Brimson, and Hibbing have reported frost already this month, but frost has been absent across most of the state.

Rainfall so far in September has been surplus in many western counties, including Pipestone, Stevens, Traverse, Grant, and Lac Qui Parle, all of which have recorded over 2 inches so far. But much of the state is only near normal or below normal in rainfall so far. The big rainfall event for some was on September 3rd when some climate stations reported record daily amounts, including:
2.12 inches at Browns Valley
2.10 inches at Dawson
2.00 inches at Pipestone
1.95 inches at Wheaton
1.67 inches at Marshall

During Thursday afternoon and evening a strong cold front brought high winds, thunderstorm rain and hail to many parts of central and northern Minnesota. Some areas reported between a half inch and an inch of rainfall from the rapidly moving thunderstorms. A few spots reported record daily rainfall from these thunderstorms, including Mora (1.74”), Babbitt (1.44”), Wold Ridge Environmental Learning Center (1.51”), and Embarrass (1.20”). Many areas reported wind gusts from 45 to 65 mph. MSP airport, along with climate stations in Murray and Brown Counties reported wind gusts over 60 mph, and some areas of the state reported uprooted trees. Hail from 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter was reported from Morrison County in the central part of the state.

Despite the rainfall for some areas the area of Minnesota affected by Severe to Exception Drought has remained the same, about 59 percent, much of it located across the northern third of the state.

Weekly Weather Potpourri: NOAA reported this week that the global climate summary for August of 2021 showed it to be the 6th warmest in history back to 1880. Nine of the ten warmest months of August globally have occurred since 2009.


The NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for the month of October favors warmer than normal conditions to prevail across Minnesota. No surprise there. But somewhat surprising is that the models favor a wetter than normal month of October for most of the state, a hopeful sign for some mitigation of the drought situation.


A new study in the journal Nature documents how the 2019-2020 wildfires in Australia produced some significant anomalous phytoplankton blooms (algal) in the Southern Ocean downwind from the fires. Significant macronutrients and trace metals were carried in the smoke and ash for many hundreds of miles.


MPR listener question: My uncle and aunt just moved to Minnesota from Hawaii last month. They were asking me how cold it gets in September. What are the record lows for this month?
Answer: Not sure about what Minnesota geography to use for the answer. If they moved to the Twin Cities the typical low temperatures are in the 40s and 50s F during September, but it has been as cold as 26°F on several occasions. Statewide the lows typically range from the upper 30s to low 50s F, but have been as low as just 10°F (at Ada on September 22, 1974 and at Montevideo on September 30, 1930). Twin Cities Almanac for September 17th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 73 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 54 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 17th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 96 degrees F in 1895; lowest daily maximum temperature of 47 degrees F in 1918; lowest daily minimum temperature of 34 degrees F in 1943; highest daily minimum temperature of 75 degrees F in 1948; record precipitation of 2.37 inches in 2015. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for September 17th is 52°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 71°F in 1963; and the minimum dew point on this date is 26 degrees F in 1929.

All-time state records for September 17th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) in 1895. The state record low temperature for this date is 14 degrees F at Mahnomen (Mahnomen County) in 1929. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.02 inches at Two Harbors (Lake County) in 1955. No snowfall on this date.


Past Weather Features:


The warmest September 17th in state history was a long time ago, 1895 when over half of the state saw afternoon temperatures reach the 90s F. Portions of Renville, Lyon, McLeod, Chippewa, and Yellow Medicine Counties saw the temperature exceed 100°F.

The coldest September 17th was in 1929. Clear skies, light winds, and low humidity brought widespread frosts to much of the state. Temperatures fell into the 20s F in many central and northern counties. The afternoon high at Babbitt (St Louis County) only reached 43°F.

Thunderstorms brought heavy rains to many northeastern parts of the state over September 16-17, 1955. Many areas saw 3 to 4 inches of rain which flooded some streets and highways in both Duluth and Two Harbors. Large hail was reported as well in some areas.

Outlook: 

Mostly sunny with warming temperatures over the weekend. Many parts of the state will see temperatures in the mid to upper 80s F by Sunday afternoon. Chance for showers and thunderstorms later in the day on Sunday. Continued warm on Monday but with an increasing chance for showers and thunderstorms. Cooler by the middle of next week with below normal temperatures through the balance of the week.

Mark Seeley

2021 Summer Climate Assessment

2 weeks 6 days ago
2021 Summer Climate Assessment:

August ended up as the 7thwarmest in history on a statewide basis, continuing the significantly warmer than normal monthly temperature streak that started in June.  In terms of rainfall, about a third of the state saw below normal rainfall during August, but the month delivered above normal amounts to over 60 percent of the state, helping to mitigate the drought situation.  According to the September 2ndrelease from the US Drought Monitor, the area of Minnesota landscape in Extreme to Exceptional Drought shrunk by roughly 35 percent over the last week of August.  As we start September this week about two-thirds of the state remains in Severe, Extreme, or Exceptional Drought.  More details on the Drought of 2021 can be found at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site:

If we look at the statewide mean monthly temperatures for June through August, 70.6°F, this trails only the summer of 1988, 70.7°F on a statewide basis for hottest summer in state history. For some individual climate stations, 2021 brought the hottest summer in their climate history, including MSP, Duluth, Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Roseau, and Park Rapids.

Despite the surplus rainfall that fell in many places during August, most areas of Minnesota recorded a much drier than normal summer.  Many climate stations reported less than 5 inches of rainfall for the June-August period.  And for some it was indeed record-setting dryness.  Minneota (Lyon County) reported just 4.28 inches of rain, a record dry summer there.  Likewise Embarrass (St Louis County) with 4.53 inches and Ely (St Louis County) with 4.86 inches were record dry as well.

There are some large disparities in the historical rankings of summer’s climate based on general state geography.  We can see this in the table below:

Geographic Region: Historical Ranking of Jun-Aug Temperature and Rainfall Table:                                 

                                                                        Temperature                       Rainfall  

Northwest (Climate Division 1)                       2ndwarmest                     10thdriest     

North-Central (Climate Division 2)                 1stwarmest                      6thdriest

Northeast (Climate Division 3)                        1stwarmest                      7thdriest

West-Central (Climate Division 4)                  2ndwarmest                      41stdriest

Central (Climate Division 5)                           2ndwarmest                       16thdriest

East-Central (Climate Division 6)                   1stwarmest                        8thdriest

Southwest (Climate Division 7)                       3rdwarmest                       20thdriest

South-Central (Climate Division 8)                 9thwarmest                       36thdriest

Southeast (Climate Division 9)                        5thwarmest                       34thwettest

All geographic areas of the state were drier than normal this summer with the exception of the southeastern counties which received abundant rainfall during the last then days of August.  From a temperature standpoint the Northeast, East-Central, and North-Central Counties were the hottest this summer relative to their historical climatology.

25th Annual MPR Minnesota State Fair Weather Quiz:
Despite the fact that Minnesota Public Radio will not be broadcasting programs from the Minnesota State Fair this year, we will broadcast the 25th edition of the MPR Minnesota State Fair Weather Quiz from noon to 1pm on Friday, September 3rd (MPR Day at the Fair). Tom Crann will host from the St Paul radio studios and I will participate remotely. I always look forward to this program and will do my best to provide some interesting, entertaining, educational, and downright nerdy weather questions for you to consider. FM 91,1 in the Twin Cities and check your local FM radio listings for Greater Minnesota.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
Hurricane Ida brought a great deal of destruction to portions of Louisiana over August 29-30, then remnants of the storm brought flooding rains to many northeastern states over September 1-2. In New York, areas around Central Park, La Guardia, and Westchester reported rainfalls of 6-7 inches, while in New Jersey, areas around Newark and Harrison reported 8-9 inches. Street flooding was widespread. Up to 45 deaths were blamed on the storm according to the BBC. The New York City Office of the National Weather Service provided more details.


El Pais reported on the intense and heavy rains that fell over portions of Spain on Wednesday this week causing widespread flash flooding. The State Meteorological Service of Spain (AEMET) reported rainfall rates of over 3 inches in 30 minutes, with some daily totals that exceeded 10 inches. Many roads and highways were washed out and there were power outages.


A recent study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) suggests that future flooding patterns may change significantly, as climate change impacts the frequencies of both drought and intense storms that cause flash flooding. The study's findings could have significant implications for infrastructure design and flood risk mitigation strategies. The study appears in the journal Communications Earth and Environment.

MPR listener question: As we continue to be concerned about the drought of 2021 can you remind us what is the average rainfall in September, and what are the extremes for the state?
Answer: Average or normal rainfall for September across Minnesota ranges from 2.25 inches in some western counties to 3.50 inches in some southeastern counties. Historical extremes have ranged from over 14 inches at Hallock, Zumbrota, Caledonia, Waseca, Windom, and Spring Grove) to just a trace which was recorded at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in September of 1918. Many areas of the state have seen less than a quarter of an inch of rainfall in September historically. The current NOAA outlook actually gives equal chances for above or below normal rainfall across Minnesota during this September.
Twin Cities Almanac for September 3rd: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 77 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 58 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 3rd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 97 degrees F in 1925; lowest daily maximum temperature of 58 degrees F in 1934; lowest daily minimum temperature of 32 degrees F in 1974; highest daily minimum temperature of 73 degrees F in 1960; record precipitation of 1.08 inches in 1887. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for September 3rd is 55°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 74°F in 1964; and the minimum dew point on this date is 31 degrees F in 1974.

All-time state records for September 3rd: The state record high temperature for this date is 103 degrees F at New Ulm (Brown County) in 1925. The state record low temperature for this date is 20 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1997. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.44 inches at Mankato (Blue Earth County) in 1996. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:
The hottest September 3rd in state history was in 1925 when over half of Minnesota saw afternoon temperatures in the 90s F. Six climate stations reported a high of 100°F or greater.

Heavy rains dominated the state over the first three days of September in 1926. Many areas reported 2-4 inches of rain, while Little Falls in central Minnesota reported over 5 inches. It turned out to be a very wet month (7-10 inches of rain in many places) and a difficult harvest season for Minnesota farmers.

The coldest September 3rd was in 1974 when widespread frosts occurred, encompassing about half of the state. Over 40 climate stations reported morning lows in the 20s F. Even the Twin Cities reported frost, and one of the earliest endings to a growing season in history

Outlook:
Cool and pleasant over the weekend and on Labor Day. Sunny skies, cooler than normal temperatures and relatively low humidity will prevail. There will be a chance for showers later on Monday and into early Tuesday. Then the rest of nextweek should be dry and cool.

Mark Seeley

Preliminary Climate Summary for August 2021

3 weeks 6 days ago


Preliminary Climate Summary for August 2021:
Warmer than normal was the temperature signal across Minnesota during August of 2021. Most climate stations will report a mean monthly temperature that ranges from 1.5°F to 4.5°F above normal. This August when combined with the monthly temperatures for June and July of this year will give us a mean summer temperature across the state that ranks among the warmest 3 in state history and represents the warmest summer since that of 1988.

The largest temperature departures were in the northern portions of the state, where many new daily maximum temperature records were set during the month. The climate station at Cotton (St Louis County) reported 8 new daily maximum temperature records during August, including a new record high of 96°F on the 20th. Another northern Minnesota climate station, Thorhult (Beltrami County) reported setting 4 new daily maximum temperature records, including 96°F on the 18th. International Falls known as the nation’s icebox reported three new daily maximum temperatures during August including 92°F on the 17th. There were a number of days when the high temperature in the state was reported somewhere in northern Minnesota, a very unusual circumstance for August. The extreme temperatures for the month were 97°F at Red Lake Falls (August 4th) and at Roseau (August 18th), and a minimum of 33°F reported at Embarrass on the 14th.

Rainfall for August was mixed, but mostly (and thankfully) above normal, at least across the southern two-thirds of the state. Much of the northern third of Minnesota reported rainfall totals for August that were closer to normal and well below normal. Many climate stations will report between 4 and 7 inches of rainfall for the month, perhaps even higher with the additional rains expected on Friday and Saturday. Portions of southeastern Minnesota reported have over 7 inches for the month so far, while portions of north-central and northeastern Minnesota are likely to report less than 1 inch. Among the two dozen or more new daily rainfall records reported from the Minnesota climate station network, an amount of 5 inches at La Crescent on August 8th was the largest.

Some strong, damaging wind gusts were reported on August 23 and 26 and there were several Air Quality Alerts released by the MPCA, mostly due to wildfires in both northeastern Minnesota and southwestern Ontario.

Drought Implications from August:Even with the surplus rainfall reported from many places across the state, the drought has persisted and even worsened in some northern areas of the state. The additional rainfalls expected over the coming weekend may benefit some areas and mitigate the areal extent of Severe, Extreme, and Exceptional Drought (currently standing at 88 percent of the state landscape). The climate for the months of September and October will be even more important in terms of their potential to mitigate the 2021 drought even further, as soil moisture recharge from each inch of rainfall is far more efficient during those months than the month of August. There are some signs in the NOAA-CPC model trends that September will start out wetter than normal, at least during the first half of the month.

25th Annual MPR Minnesota State Fair Weather Quiz:
Despite the fact that Minnesota Public Radio will not be broadcasting programs from the Minnesota State Fair this year, we will broadcast the 25th edition of the MPR Minnesota State Fair Weather Quiz from noon to 1pm on Friday, September 3rd (MPR Day at the Fair). Tom Crann will host from the St Paul radio studios and I will participate remotely. I always look forward to this program and will do my best to provide some interesting, entertaining, educational, and downright nerdy weather questions for you to consider. FM 91,1 in the Twin Cities and check your local FM radio listings for Greater Minnesota.
Weekly Weather Potpourri:
Earlier this week, August 20-22 brought record-setting rainfall to many portions of central TN. Areas of Dickson, Humphrey, and Hickman Counties reported rainfall of 11 to 17 inches. There was widespread flooding, power outages, and up to 22 people lost their lives. The NOAA-National Weather Service Office in Nashville provide a spatial analysis of the storm, and the BBC Weather Center also described the damages observed.

Meanwhile over roughly the same period of time (Aug 20-23), Tropical Storm Henri brought some record-setting rainfall amounts to portions of NY, NJ, RI, and MA. Many climate stations reported rainfalls of 6-10 inches and CNN reported on the damages from these storms.

Speaking of storms, the NOAA-National Hurricane Center is tracking Tropical Storm Ida and notes that it is expected to turn into a Hurricane as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico toward the coast of Louisiana. Storm surge, strong winds, and heavy rains (up to 10 inches) are expected to encompass the southeast coastal communities there by Sunday, perhaps in the area of New Orleans.

Scientists from the University of Southhampton have recently published a study that shows that “extensive chains of volcanoes have been responsible for both emitting and then removing atmospheric carbon dioxide over geological time.” The weathering aspects learned from Earth’s surface geology may provide some knowledge for designing pulverized rock system that through their chemical weathering can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at accelerated rates. The authors caution that this is far from a silver lining story, and much more research is needed.

MPR listener question:
Chatting at the Bayside Bar and Grill in Walker, MN this week, after getting a 3-inch rainfall last weekend that flooded many streets. The question came up does flooding in the middle of a drought occur very often?
Answer:
It does occur periodically. During the historical drought of 1910 (arguably the worst in state history), portions of northern Minnesota saw flash flooding resulting from 3-inch rains on July 23rd. Also during the equally historic 1936 drought, 3-inch rains caused flash flooding in Goodhue and Nicollet Counties on August 28th. More recently, during the summer drought of 2012, June weather brought two significant flash floods: on the 14th, 6-8 inch rains fell across portions of Goodhue, Dakota, and Rice Counties leading to widespread flooding along the Cannon and Vermillion Rivers; then on June 19-20 rainfalls of 7-10 inches fell over Duluth and portions of Carlton County, leading to all-time flood crests on the St Louis River. That summer the federal government declared Drought Disasters and Flood Disasters simultaneously in some Minnesota Counties!

Twin Cities Almanac for August 27th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 79 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 60 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 27th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 99 degrees F in 1926; lowest daily maximum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1914; lowest daily minimum temperature of 42 degrees F in 1887; highest daily minimum temperature of 79 degrees F in 2013; record precipitation of 2.80 inches in 1978. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for August 27th is 60°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 77°F in 2013; and the minimum dew point on this date is 33 degrees F in 1935.

All-time state records for August 27th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 103 degrees F at Tracy (Lyon County) in 1973. The state record low temperature for this date is 22 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1986. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.63 inches at Winsted (McLeod County) in 1978. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:


August 27, 1973 was probably the hottest in Minnesota history bringing 90 degrees F to most of the state, and 100°F to seven southwestern counties. The cool spot in the state was Duluth Harbor with an afternoon temperature of only 65°F.

Repeating waves of thunderstorms brought heavy rains across portions of the Twin Cities Metro Area over August 26-27, 1978. Many communities reported 3-5 inches of rainfall. It was part of a very wet August that brought 6 to 10 inches of rainfall to many areas.

A frosty morning greeted campers in northern Minnesota on August 27, 1986. Many portions of St Louis, Roseau, Beltrami, and Marshall Counties reported temperatures ranging from 22°F to 32°F. Tower reported an afternoon high of only 56°F while Duluth only made it to a high of 57°F.

Outlook: 

Generally warmer than normal Saturday with a chance for widespread showers and thunderstorms, heavy in some areas. Drier and cooler on Sunday and Monday. Cooler temperatures will be prevail for much of next week with chances for showers and thunderstorms from later on Monday night into Wednesday and Thursday.



Mark Seeley

Drought Continues to Worsen

1 month ago
Drought Continues to Worsen:
Temperatures continue to run warmer than normal so far this month, typically ranging from 2 to 4 degrees F above normal in most places. Though rainfall has been significant in some areas, many parts of the state geography have seen little or only sparce rains. Drought in Central Counties, North-Central Counties, and Northeastern Counties has worsened. According to the recent update from the State Drought Task Force “the Mississippi River Headwaters watershed, the Rainy River watershed and the Red River watershed are experiencing extreme to exceptional drought that necessitates further restrictions on water use to protect drinking water supplies.” In those watersheds more conservation measures will be mandated or encouraged by the DNR for public water suppliers and for irrigators who use surface waters as a source.

A look at year-to-date (January 1 to August 18) precipitation on a statewide basis shows the average amount of precipitation for the year 2021 so far is under 12 inches. This is an exceptionally low number in a historical context. Some areas of the state have reported year-to-date precipitation deficits that are 9-12 inches below normal (only about half of average). Even if we accept the probability that more rainfall will occur before the end of this month, the total precipitation deficit across the state for the first 8 months of the year, will rival some of the driest years in state history…..like those of 1910, 1929, 1934, 1936, 1976, and even likely be lower than 1988.

Of the 7 seasonal outlook models used by the NOAA-CPC-NNME system, only one (GFDL-SPEAR), favors above normal precipitation in Minnesota for the Sep-Nov period, while four of the remaining six outlook models favor below normal precipitation for Minnesota over the same time period......not a good sign. In addition, all seven models favor continued above normal temperature pattern for Minnesota through November. From my perspective it is beginning to look more probable that this drought will linger into 2022, matching up better with the duration of the 1988 drought, rather than the 1976 or 2012 droughts in Minnesota.


New Season Outlook Models from NOAA:
The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center released some new seasonal outlook models on Thursday this week. The outlook for September to November favors above normal temperatures, while also favoring below normal precipitation at least for the western half of the state. The CPC official Drought Outlook released on August 19th this week suggests that the present drought will persist at least through November 30th. Looking at this outlook suggests that soil freezing dates may be pushed back later this year, allowing the soil a longer period of time to absorb autumn precipitation and be recharged to a higher degree. Hopefully this will happen and provide our soils with some recharge, but it is not likely enough to break the grip of the drought.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
Tropical Grace moved across the Yucatan Peninsula this week and was expected to pass into Mexico over Veracruz this weekend. It has the potential to bring 10-15 inches of rainfall along with very strong winds according to the NOAA National Hurricane Center.


With the continuing drought in the Western USA, the BBC reports that “for the first time ever, the US government has declared a water shortage on the Colorado River, a life source to millions in the southwest.” Lake Mead behind the Hoover Dam is at its lowest level since it was formed in the 1930s. Water supplies will be cut by the federal government as Lake Mead is projected to only be at 34 percent capacity by the end of the year.


CNN reported this week on a rare heavy rainfall that occurred over the Greenland Ice Sheet. Nearly 100 percent of the time the precipitation that occurs along the top of the Ice Sheet (at roughly two miles above sea level) is snow. But in this case it was rain which rapidly melted the ice and ran off. This indeed is another indicator of accelerated climate change patterns going on at higher latitude positions in the Northern Hemisphere.


This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features an interesting article about the effects of wildfires on municipal water supplies, something that few people think about. It is critical to better understand this in western USA landscapes where surface transport and storage of water is relatively more important. “Climate change is driving an increase in catastrophic wildfires; consumers see, smell, and taste the effects in their water. Water utilities must prepare for worse times ahead.”

MPR listener question: You have spoken many times about how dew points above 60°F can make the outside air temperature in the summer feel warmer (e.g. produce a Heat Index Value that is greater than the air temperature). And this is especially true when the summertime dew points go above 70°F. But what about low dew points and their effect on making the temperature outside feel cooler?
Answer: This is difficult because the relationship between air temperature and dew point temperature in terms of the change in Heat Index Value is a non-linear one. But in general terms for our climate, when the summer dew point temperature is 55°F or less it makes the outside air temperature feel cooler by a few degrees. In fact when the dew point is 45°F or lower it can make the outside air temperature fee several degrees cooler and even give you a chill when you come out of the water from a swimming pool or lake.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 20th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 80 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 62 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 20th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 97 degrees F in 1972; lowest daily maximum temperature of 62 degrees F in 1966; lowest daily minimum temperature of 40 degrees F in 1950; highest daily minimum temperature of 74 degrees F in 2010; record precipitation of 2.23 inches in 1891. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for August 20th is 58°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 78°F in 1959; and the minimum dew point on this date is 28 degrees F in 2004.

All-time state records for August 20th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at Campbell (Wilkin County) in 1976. The state record low temperature for this date is 25 degrees F at Alborn (St Louis County) in 1934. The state record precipitation for this date is 8.00 inches at Worthington (Nobles County) in 1913. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:
In the midst of the Drought of 1934 August 20th brought a chilly morning to many parts of northern Minnesota, where widespread frosts were reported. In fact, climate observers in Koochiching and St Louis Counties reported morning low temperatures in the mid to upper 20s F. At Big Falls, after starting out the day at 28°F the afternoon high temperature climbed to 73°F, a 45°F rise.

In the midst of the 1976 Drought, August 19-24 brought a Heat Wave to Minnesota. Temperatures on August 20th soared into the 90s F across most of the state, while in 10 western and northern counties the afternoon temperatures exceeded 100°F. The cool spot in the state was Grand Marais with a reading of 80°F.

August 18-20, 2007 brought some of the worst flash flooding ever witnessed in the state, especially to southeastern Minnesota, where rainfall totals of 10 to 17 inches were reported. There were widespread mudslides and road closures. Whitewater State Park had to be closed, while the city of Rushford had to use boats to get around its downtown.

Outlook:
Much cooler over the weekend as temperatures fall below normal. Increasing cloudiness later on Sunday with a chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures will warm closer to normal for Monday through Wednesday of next week with chances for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms each day.
Mark Seeley

Significant Rainfall for Some, Many Areas Missed

1 month 1 week ago
Significant Rainfall for Some, Many Areas Missed:
August 6-8 brought some of the largest amounts of rainfall measured so far this year within the Minnesota climate reporting network. Many areas in west-central, south-central, and southeastern counties reported 1 to 3 inches, while much of northwestern and north-central Minnesota were missed by the rains. Some record daily amounts were reported for August 8th, including:
5.00 inches at La Crescent Dam
3.08 inches at Caledonia
2.71 inches at Winona Dam
1.77 inches at Wheaton
1.43 inches at Browns Valley

The net result on the drought situation across the state was mixed. Some of the geographic area in southern Minnesota designated to be in Severe Drought shrunk, while the Extreme Drought area across central and northern Minnesota expanded. An area of Exceptional Drought emerged roughly from Polk County (northwestern MN) through portions of Koochiching County. About 78 percent of the state landscape remains in Moderate Drought or worse, while 42 percent is designated to be in Extreme or Exceptional Drought. Some areas are now 10 to 12 inches below normal precipitation for the year so far.

At least the NOAA outlook models are beginning to favor above normal rainfall in portions of Minnesota for the remainder of August. But there is a long way to go to effectively mitigate this drought.

Comments on the IPCC 6th Assessment Report for the U.N. on Climate Change released earlier this week (The Physical Science Basis):
We are now into the Second Generation of Scientists who are providing analysis of the scientific evidence documenting the pace, magnitude, spatial variability, and impacts of climate change around the world. The evidence is overwhelming in volume and is based on verifiable facts and measurements. It should not have taken two generations of scientists, over 4 decades of work, and billions of dollars in infrastructure damage from extreme events to convince government leaders that there is an urgent need for change and action to adapt and to mitigate for this.


Associated with the global variations in the measured pace of climate change, Minnesota clearly represents a “bullseye” in the middle of the North American continent, where the pace of climate change, especially the key variables of temperature and precipitation, is very magnified compared to many other geographic areas. More Minnesota citizens are realizing this.


The models used to assess and estimate the pace of climate change are in many respects “underestimating” the rate of change (especially in higher latitudes), and also not keeping up with the range of extremes being measured (such as the 121°F maximum temperature measured in Canada’s British Columbia earlier this summer; 120°F measured in Sicily this week, 30 inches of rain measured in China over a few days last month, or the 100°F temperature measured in Russia’s Siberia (north of the Arctic Circle) last year.


Climate scientists are most sincere and acting as “good citizens” in sounding the alarm on this crisis and pronouncing a Code Red situation. The levels of effort to change policy and implement practices that will adapt to the quickened rate of climate change and help mitigate and slow the future pace of climate change this century are need RIGHT NOW!


In my opinion all units of government in the state of Minnesota, as well as business enterprises, and citizen groups who care about the environment should be reacting to this with strategies that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and build resilience in our managed natural resource systems and societal infrastructure.

Weekly Weather Potpourri: This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features a summary article about the IPCC 6th Assessment Report released earlier this week, and the take-home messages from five of the graphs uses. Very important reading.


According to the NOAA National Hurricane Center it looks like Tropical Storm Fred may bring 4-6 inches of rainfall to many portions of Florida over the weekend and early next week.


According to the BBC the latest Heat Wave in the Mediterranean area of Europe may have produced a new all-time daily temperature record. Earlier this week the Italian Island of Sicily reported a maximum temperature of 48.8°C (nearly 120°F). If verified by the World Meteorological Organization this would surpass the previous all-time high temperature for Europe of 48°C measured at Athens, Greece in 1977.


Severe thunderstorms with strong winds, heavy rain, and hail rampaged across the state of Michigan this week on August 11-12. Some areas saw wind gusts of 75 mph and many areas received 3-5 inches of rain. The high winds brought power outages and by later on Thursday an estimated 850,000 people were without power. The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Detroit provides more details on their web site.

MPR listener question: 
Here in Bemidji, MN we are about 12 inches below normal in annual precipitation this year. Lake levels and stream flows have really declined. This question comes from my son the 8th grader, “would a couple of 6 inch rainfalls save us from this drought?”

Answer:
The answer is NO! Recovery from drought is complicated. A six-inch rainfall would undoubtedly help, but it is too much, too fast. Much of it would runoff and lead to flooding, as soil infiltration rates cannot accommodate rainfall that heavy. A better scenario for recovery from this drought would be to see a weather pattern evolve that brought well above normal precipitation to your area all the way through the autumn season until the soil froze up for winter. I think that is likely a low probability, but we can always hope.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 13th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 81 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 13th:


MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1880; lowest daily maximum temperature of 63 degrees F in 1951; lowest daily minimum temperature of 48 degrees F in 1997; highest daily minimum temperature of 71 degrees F in 2015; record precipitation of 2.05 inches in 2007. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for August 13th is 59°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 78°F in 1995; and the minimum dew point on this date is 37 degrees F in 1933.

All-time state records for August 13th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 108 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1965. The state record low temperature for this date is 25 degrees F at Kelliher (Beltrami County) in 2002. The state record precipitation for this date is 6.41 inches at Grand Meadow (Mower County) in 1911. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:


Campers in northern Minnesota awoke to frosts on August 13, 1964. It was just 32°F at Itasca State Park and only 26°F at Bigfork. Morning temperatures in the 30s F were reported as far south as Windom (Cottonwood County).

A very hot, sticky day prevailed on August 13, 1965 when afternoon temperatures surpassed 90 degrees F across most of the state. Ten climate stations reported 100 degrees F or warmer. The overnight low at Little Falls only went down to 74°F.

In the middle of the famous Drought of 1988, August 13 brought the heaviest rainfall of the year. Large, slow-moving thunderstorms brought 3 to 5 inches of rain to many portions of northern Minnesota, from Baudette, to Hibbing, and over to Two Harbors. The 5.75 inches reported at Hibbing remains the largest single day rainfall amount in their entire climate history (91 years).

Outlook: 

Mostly sunny weekend coming up with temperature that are above seasonal normals. Continued sunny on Monday, then increasing clouds Tuesday with a chance for showers later in the day. Continued chance for widely scattered thunderstorms and showers on Wednesday and Thursday as well, with temperatures trending closer to normal.

Mark Seeley

Preliminary Climate Summary for July 2021

1 month 3 weeks ago
Preliminary Climate Summary for July 2021:July of 2021 will be remembered by Minnesotans for worsening drought, Heat Advisories, and frequent poor air quality due to smoke from Canadian wildfires.

Warm and dry are the two most appropriate climate words for July. Most climate stations reported a mean monthly temperature that was from 1°F to 4°F above normal. Combined with the near-record warm June, the June-July two month period in 2021 is the 3rd warmest in history on a statewide basis (only 1933 and 1988 were warmer). Extreme temperatures for July were 102°F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) on July 4th and just 32°F at Seagull Lake (Cook County) on July 8th.

Many areas saw 10 to 12 days with afternoon high temperatures of 90°F or greater. MSP Airport reported 10 such days, adding to the 12 recorded during June. The 22 days with 90°F or above at MSP for the months of June and July in 2021 rank 3rd historically (tied with 1894 and 2012). There were 30 such days in 1988 for the two-month period and 26 such days for the same period in 1933.

The National Weather Service had to issue many Heat Advisories and Excessive Heat Warnings during the month. July 28th brought the greatest Heat Index Values, ranging from 100°F to 117°F. There were many days with dew points in the 70s F, greatly inflating the Heat Index. MSP set a new daily high dew point record on July 28th with a reading of 79°F.

According to NOAA 39 daily maximum temperature records were set or tied within the Minnesota climate station network during the month, many in northern counties. In addition, another 25 daily warm minimum temperature records were set or tied.

Only a handful of climate stations in southeastern Minnesota record above normal rainfall during July (some in Wabasha, Houston, Winona, Faribault, and Olmsted Counties). Hokah topped the list with 6.22 inches. Most of the state reported below normal rainfall, and many climate stations reported less than 1 inch total, as well as just 5 or 6 days with measurable rain. Some of the lowest total rainfall numbers are listed below:
Red Lake Falls 0.23” (Driest July in History)
Grand Portage 0.50” (Driest July in History)
Hallock 0.64” (3rd Driest July in History)
Redwood Falls 0.71” (7th Driest July in History)
Thorhult 0.73” (2nd Driest July in History)
Mora 0.82” (2nd Driest July in History)
St Cloud 0.83” (6th Driest July in History)
MSP Airport 0.87” (8th Driest July in History)

The total at Red Lake Falls represents the driest July there historically (climate records since 1913). The half inch of rain at Grand Portage for the month also represents their driest July ever (records back to 1895). The July rainfall total at MSP is the lowest since 1982.

Combing the statewide average rainfall for July (about 1.90 inches) with the statewide average rainfall for June (about 1.80 inches) places the June-July two-month period as the 3rd driest in state history (surpassed only by 1910 and 1936).

Only 13 daily rainfall records were set or tied within the state climate network, the largest being 2.12 inches at Wabasha on July 7th. Many climate stations are now showing deficits of 7 to 10 inches below normal for the year so far.

During July of 2021 in Minnesota all measures and symptoms of drought worsened. To begin the month about 11 percent of the state was in Severe Drought, with no areas in Extreme Drought. By the end of the month 75 percent of the state was designated to be in at least Severe Drought and 22 percent in Extreme Drought. Lake levels and stream flows declined, fire risk increased, crop condition ratings fell, water restrictions were put into place and the State Drought Task Force began to meet.

In addition, the MPCA noted that some of the worst ever air quality was measured across the state due to the wildfires in Canada. July of 2021 will certainly be memorable in the history books for many negative impacts.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
The BBC reports this week that portions of Turkey, Greece, and Italy are expected to see their Heat Wave continue with temperatures approaching 100°F in places next week. A static high-pressure system is dominate there.


Strong thunderstorms brought heavy rains, wind damage, and even a few tornadoes to portions of Wisconsin and Illinois on Thursday night, July 28th. Wind gusts over 60 and 70 mph were measured across Wisconsin and portions of northern Illinois. According to the Weather Underground there were also a number of power outages.


There is an interesting article in this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin about climate litigation and the difficulty in tying individual weather events and climate episodes to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Lawyers are getting better at presenting evidence, but it may be slow to evolve.

MPR listener question: The extreme temperatures in the Pacific Northwest recently got me to thinking. Minnesotans are used to being the "icebox of the nation" in winter, but has there ever been a day when Minnesota reported the maximum temperature in the country? I'm thinking maybe during the 1936 drought, but that may be a stretch.

Answer: Despite all the maximum temperature records set in Minnesota during July of 1936 to the best of my knowledge there were no reports of temperature from our state that represented the hottest temperature in the nation. Many other states were recording maximum temperatures from 114°F to 120°F that month.

But I do know that there is a date when Minnesota reported the highest Heat Index Value (calculated from temperature and dew point) in the nation. It was July 19, 2011 when between 3pm and 5pm in the afternoon Moorhead Municipal Airport reported a temperature of 95°F with a dew point of 88°F, and a Heat Index of 134°F!

Twin Cities Almanac for July 30th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 30th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 100 degrees F in 1933; lowest daily maximum temperature of 63 degrees F in 1956; lowest daily minimum temperature of 50 degrees F in 1971; highest daily minimum temperature of 79 degrees F in 2006; record precipitation of 1.65 inches in 1872. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 30th is 60°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 81°F in 1999; and the minimum dew point on this date is 35 degrees F in 1936.

All-time state records for July 30th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 107 degrees F at Milan (Chippewa County) in 1933. The state record low temperature for this date is 31 degrees F at Virginia (St Louis County) in 1984. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.84 inches at Dodge Center (Dodge County) in 1950. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:


July 30, 1964 brought a taste of autumn to portions of northern Minnesota as morning low temperatures dipped into the 30s F across portions of St Louis and Itasca Counties. Morning frost was reported from the Iron Range.

July 30, 1999 brought a hot and humid day to Minnesota with Heat Index Values ranging as high as 110°F to 120°F. It was a difficult 70 mile bike ride from New Prague to Hastings for the MS Tram riders, many of whom had to dropout because they could not stay hydrated. Faribault reported a record Heat Index of 123°F.

Outlook: 

A mostly sunny and dry spell of weather coming up, with near normal temperatures. Haze and smoke may continue in some areas. Getting warmer towards the end of next week with a chance for showers by Thursday.

Mark Seeley

Some Drought Perspectives and Prospects

2 months ago
Some Drought Perspectives and Prospects:
Drought continued to worsen this week across Minnesota despite some spotty light showers in places. Climate observers around Montevideo, Bemidji, Warroad, Breckenridge, and Park Rapids actually reported rainfall amounts close to 1 inch this week, but those were exceptions. Most areas received very little rainfall. Temperatures averaged 2 to 4°F above normal this week keeping evaporative demand higher than normal.

The US Drought Monitor reported 98 percent of the Minnesota landscape is in the grip of at least Moderate Drought, close to 72 percent is in Severe to Extreme Drought, and 18.5 percent is in Extreme Drought. Many areas of the state are now showing year-to-date precipitation deficiencies of 6 to 10 inches. Symptoms of this persistent weather pattern continue to emerge with crops showing signs of stress 53% of corn and soybean crops are in just poor to fair condition), watering restrictions being advised, higher fire danger, and exceptionally low flows in some rivers and streams.

Aggravated by higher-than-normal temperatures as well as expectations for infrequent rainfall further worsening of the drought is expected for the remainder of July and August. Further, almost all of the tools of the North American Multi-Model Ensemble Outlooks used by NOAA suggest that the drought will linger or even worsen through October. It would probably take the complete opposite climate pattern through October (cooler than normal temperatures and twice normal rainfall) to mitigate the present drought.

Some points worth noting:

Many local units of government are prepping already for a worsening drought.

The 2021 Drought emerged and accelerated during the summer season much like the historical droughts of 1894, 1936, 1976, 1988 (started in summer 1987), and 2006. The drought of 1894 saw recovery by Spring 1896, the drought of 1936 saw recovery by Spring of 1938, the drought of 1976 saw recovery by Summer of 1977, the drought of 1988 saw recovery by Spring of 1991, and the drought of 2006 saw recovery by Autumn of 2007.

But historical drought analogies may not be valid for perspective as our climate is changing so dramatically and fast that any forthcoming shifts in current weather patterns may not closely mimic those of the past.

Of the seven tools used in North American Multi-Model Ensemble Outlooks (NNME), virtually all show higher than normal temperatures prevailing across Minnesota through October of this year (leading to higher evaporation and evapotranspiration rates). Further, only one of the seven tools in the NNME Outlooks for precipitation suggests some improvement across Minnesota for the period through October. Four of the outlooks suggest a somewhat static drier than normal pattern will prevail through October, while two others suggest a near-normal precipitation pattern will prevail through October. Not a good sign.

Should the drought linger through the autumn season, it becomes more likely that it will persist into 2022, because we lose out on the primary soil moisture recharge period for our state (Sep-Nov). In addition, fire danger in the autumn season can become more problematic as low-pressure systems deepen and high pressure systems strengthen, bringing more frequent strong winds and lower humidity to Minnesota.

Readers are encouraged to use the update Drought Condition reports at the DNR web site:

Weekly Weather Potpourri:NOAA features an interesting article by Rebecca Lindsey that describes the incredible Heat Wave in the Pacific Northwest earlier this summer. It was truly record-setting and unprecedented for its amplitude, duration and areal extent. Many scientists have come to the conclusion that it was a once in 1000- year event.


The Joint Typhoon Warning Center was tracking Typhoon In-Fa this week, moving east and north of Taiwan. It had sustained winds near 100 mph, producing sea waves between 35-40 feet. The storm is expected to make landfall along the coast of China this weekend.


The Weather Channel and the BBC reported on the devastation and deaths associated with the flooding rains in central China this week. Up to 33 deaths have been blamed on the flooding. Over 30 inches of rain fell in parts of that country near Zhengzhou (about 35 degrees north latitude) within a 72-hour period this week causing dramatic flash flooding. Again, the storm system was similar to that which hit parts of Europe last week in that it was stalled or very slow moving.


Science Daily reports this week on a new study from Lancaster University that reveals how climate change may present a threat to some countries that rely heavily on fisheries to meet their nutritional requirements. “New projections examining more than 800 fish species in more than 157 countries have revealed how two major and growing, pressures -- climate change and over-fishing -- could impact the availability of vital micronutrients from our oceans.”

MPR listener question: When were the longest droughts in state history recorded?
Answer: This is difficult to answer in that there are several hydrological features to consider in determining when a drought is officially over. Since statehood (1858) there have been at least two dozen droughts in Minnesota that have been documented in one form or another. They have varied from months to years in their longevity. Here are some of the longest lasting in Minnesota history: (all did not affect the entire state for the full duration)
Winter 1921 to Summer 1924
Autumn 1930 to Summer 1935
Summer 1936 to Spring 1938
Summer 1987 to Spring 1991

Twin Cities Almanac for July 23rd: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 23rd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 105 degrees F in 1934; lowest daily maximum temperature of 67 degrees F in 1962; lowest daily minimum temperature of 47 degrees F in 1876; highest daily minimum temperature of 80 degrees F in 1934; record precipitation of 9.15 inches in 1987. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 23rd is 61°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 80°F in 2005; and the minimum dew point on this date is 40 degrees F in 1998.

All-time state records for July 23rd:
The state record high temperature for this date is 108 degrees F at Milan (Chippewa County) in 1934. The state record low temperature for this date is 28 degrees F at Kelliher (Beltrami County) in 2002. The state record precipitation for this date is 9.15 inches at MSP (Hennepin County) in 1987. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:
The morning of July 23, 1925 brought a cold chill to those living in Crow Wing, Itasca, Carlton, and Cass Counties as the morning low temperature dipped into the 30s F. At Grand Rapids the temperature in the morning started out at 36°F but climbed all the way to 84°F by late afternoon.

July 23, 1934 was the hottest in state history as over 40 climate stations reported afternoon high temperatures of 100 degrees F or greater. Four climate stations reported an overnight low of 80°F.

July 23, 1987 brought the greatest rain ever measured to the Twin Cities area. During the evening between 5 and 10 inches of rainfall flooded the roads, highways and interstate system. At one point the rainfall intensity approached 3 inches per hour. Many basements flooded, and a number of cars were abandoned on the highways and interstates.

Outlook:
A more consistently hot weather pattern will settle in over the weekend, with many areas seeing high temperatures from the mid 80s to mid 90s F through much of next week. It will also be generally dry, but with chances for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms Tuesday through Friday.

Mark Seeley

Some Rain, But Not Enough Statewide

2 months 1 week ago
Some Rain, But Not Enough Statewide:
Welcome rains occurred in portions of western and southern Minnesota this week. Some areas received over 1 inch of rainfall, and portions of Houston, Chisago, McLeod, Anoka, Hennepin, Wright, and Carver Counties reported over 2 inches. A few places reported record daily rainfall for July 14 or July 15, including:
Caledonia 1.93”
Wells 1.92”
Lester Prairie 2.55”
Hokah 2.67”

Many areas were missed by the rains and the US Drought Monitor updated on July 15th showed an increase in the state landscape designated to be in Severe or Extreme Drought (now over 52 percent of the landscape). The Extreme Drought category presently encompasses much of Beltrami and Hubbard Counties in northern Minnesota and a portion of Stearns County in central Minnesota. Overall close to 98 percent of the state is in at least the Moderate Drought category.

You can find more drought details about the state at the DNR web site.

After a drier than normal June, some areas of the state have reported less than two tenths of inch in rainfall so far this month. Of further note, some areas of the state show precipitation deficiencies for the year (departures from normal) than range from minus 7 to minus 9 inches.

The outlook for the remainder of July shows few chances for rainfall, except briefly during the last week of the month.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
The BBC reported this week on flooding in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands where many roads were washed out and people had to evacuate their homes. Record-setting rainfalls over a 48-hour period surpassed the normal July monthly totals ( 4-6 inches) in many areas as a slow-moving low-pressure area brought continuous rain. Over 100 deaths were blamed on the storms.


The AGU-EOS Bulletin this week featured an article about the IPCC future scenarios for climate change mitigation. An excerpt includes “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showcased 50 scenarios to limit global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial temperatures. A new study finds that only half of those scenarios are realistic.” Even during the COVID epidemic, global carbon dioxide emissions were only reduced by about 6 percent, and the future pace of reductions has to accelerate to limit global climate change.

MPR listener question: Has there ever been a place in Minnesota that received virtually no rainfall during July? Where and when?
Answer: The driest July in state history was in 1936 when the statewide average rainfall was only 0.81 inches. That July Little Falls reported no measurable rainfall, only a trace, while Cambridge reported only 0.01 inches. Other communities, including Milan and Fergus Falls reported less than a tenth of an inch. Bear in mind too that July of 1936 was the hottest in state history as well.

Twin Cities Almanac for July 16th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 84 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 65 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 16th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 102 degrees F in 1926; lowest daily maximum temperature of 66 degrees F in 1900; lowest daily minimum temperature of 51 degrees F in 1958; highest daily minimum temperature of 80 degrees F in 1931; record precipitation of 1.28 inches in 1908. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 16th is 62°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 77°F in 2011; and the minimum dew point on this date is 42 degrees F in 2009.

All-time state records for July 16th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 113 degrees F at Wheaton (Traverse County) in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 32 degrees F at Sawbill Camp (Cook County) in 1940. The state record precipitation for this date is 6.38 inches at Moorhead (Clay County) in 1993. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:


July 16, 1936 was right in the middle of the worst Heat Wave in state history. Over 50 communities reported afternoon high temperatures of 100°F or greater. The overnight low at Albert Lea was 80°F. The cool spot was Grand Marais harbor with a reading of 69°F.

Campers in northern Minnesota campgrounds were begging for a hot cup of coffee on the morning of July 16, 1979. Many areas were reporting morning temperatures in the 30s F. It was only 33°F at Tower, but later rose to an afternoon high of 73°F.

July 16, 1993 brought heavy thunderstorms to northwestern Minnesota. Record-setting rains fell on Becker, Clay, Beltrami, and Clearwater Counties. Many climate stations reported 5-6 inches of rain. Campers in Itasca State Park were drenched as campgrounds flooded.

Outlook: 

A mostly sunny weekend ahead with temperatures warming up to above normal values. Skies may still be hazy due to smoke from wildfires. Continued warming next week with many areas seeing afternoon highs from the mid 80s to mid 90s F. Chance for widely scattered showers in northern sections of the state on Wednesday, but little or no rain expected elsewhere around the state next week.

Mark Seeley

Hot Start to July, with Rain and a Brief Cool Respite

2 months 2 weeks ago
Hot Start to July, with Rain and a Brief Cool Respite:

July followed the temperature pattern of June, starting out hot, then offering a brief cool respite. The July 4th weekend brought temperatures of 95°F or greater to 34 communities around the state, topping out at 99°F at Granite Falls, a new daily record there. A few other northern Minnesota climate stations reported record daily high temperature on July 4th as well, including 98°F at Itasca State Park, 94°F at Cass Lake, 93°F at Gunflint Lake, and 90°F at Tower. Grand Marais along Lake Superior reported a high of only 78°F. With some moderation this week temperatures for the first full week of July averaged from 2 to 4 degrees F warmer than normal.

July 5-6 brought some much-needed rain to the state with cooler temperatures. Many areas reported between a half inch and an inch of rainfall, as several bands of showers and thunderstorms crossed the state. Much of northwestern Minnesota missed out on the rain, while portions of Winona, Wabasha, and McLeod Counties reported over 2 inches. In fact Wabasha reported a new record daily rainfall of 2.12 inches on the morning of July 7th. Overall, the lighter amounts of rainfall across the state were not enough to slow the development of the summer drought. The US Drought Monitor this week shows that close to 93 percent of the state is in at least Moderate Drought, while nearly 40 percent of the state is in Severe Drought (affecting portions of 45 Counties, mostly in the western half of Minnesota). More and more Minnesota crops are reported to be in only poor to fair condition as a result of this continuing pattern.

The cool temperatures over July 7 and 8 brought some record lows. A few of these were:
33°F at Cotton
34°F at Hibbing
35°F at Floodwood
44°F at Mora 

A few additional climate stations reported lows in the 30s F on Friday morning (July 9th) but not record-setting values. In addition, a number of climate stations reported daytime highs only in the 60s F on July 8th. However, the cooler temperatures will just be a brief pattern, as most of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center models suggest that the rest of the month will be warmer and drier than normal.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


This week, the BBC Weather Center took a more detailed look at the recent Heat Wave and Wildfires in Western Canada. There is definitely a link between the two, with an amplified probability due to climate change.


Tropical Storm Elsa dropped abundant rainfall over portions of the Florida Gulf Coast this week. Areas around Naples, Fort Myers reported over 5 inches, while further north around Port Charlotte and Northport reported 8-10 inches with some flash flooding. More details about TS Elsa can be found on the web at the Weather Channel.


A recent paper in the journal Nature Food written by MIT scientists describes a new seed coating technology that protects crop seeds from drought during their germination phase, and also provides added nutrient value. This may be highly beneficial to ensuring the success of seeding crops in normally arid lands or in unusually dry soils before Spring rains arrive.

MPR listener question:

We heard you say last week that June of this year was the 2nd warmest on record for Minnesota. How did it rank for our neighboring states?

Answer:

Good question. Based on the preliminary climate data, I found the following:
Wisconsin 2nd warmest
North Dakota 3rd warmest
South Dakota 5th warmest
Iowa 7th warmest

And further west, it looks like Nebraska 2nd warmest

Twin Cities Almanac for July 9th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 84 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 9th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 99 degrees F in 1976; lowest daily maximum temperature of 67 degrees F in 1873; lowest daily minimum temperature of 48 degrees F in 1895; highest daily minimum temperature of 82 degrees F in 1936; record precipitation of 2.55 inches in 2000. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 9th is 60°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 75°F in 1989; and the minimum dew point on this date is 36 degrees F in 2001.

All-time state records for July 9th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 110 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 30 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1900. The state record precipitation for this date is 6.00 inches at Forest City (Meeker County) in 1858. No snowfall on this date.


Past Weather Features:


By far the warmest July 9th in state history was in 1936 when over 30 communities reported afternoon high temperatures of 100°F or greater. Overnight lows in both the Twin Cities and
Winona never dropped below 80°F.

July 9, 1977 brought a cool morning to northern Minnesota communities, with portions of Roseau, Lake of the Woods, St Louis, and Crow Wing Counties reporting temperatures in the 30s F.

Strong thunderstorms moved south to north over eastern Minnesota on July 9, 2000 dropping 2 to 4 inches of rainfall and some hail. Hinckley reported over 4 inches of rain.

Outlook: 

The weekend will start out slightly cooler than normal, then warm up to near normal by Sunday. Continued warming next week with a chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms for Tuesday through Thursday. Daytime highs will reach the upper 80s to low 90s F by next weekend.

Mark Seeley

June Climate Summary

2 months 3 weeks ago
June Climate Summary:On a statewide basis June of 2021 was the 2nd warmest in history, trailing only 1933, and slightly warmer than 1988. Around the state the mean temperature for the month was mostly 4 to 6 degrees F warmer than normal. Some temperature rankings for June of 2021 for selected cities:
MSP 2nd only to 1933
Rochester 2nd only to 1933
Milan 2nd only to 1933
Brainerd 2nd only to 1933
Duluth warmest June in history
St Cloud 4th warmest in history
International Falls 7th warmest in history

Extremes for the month were 104°F at Warren (Marshall County) and Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) during the early June Heat Wave and at the other end of the scale just 20°F at Cotton (St Louis County) on June 1st. Many areas of the state saw afternoon temperatures reach 90°F or greater on 12 or more days. Milan (Chippewa County) reported 17 such days.

Within the state’s climate station network 244 daily maximum temperature records were set or tied during the month. Similarly, 203 warm daily minimum temperature records were set or tied.

The vast majority of Minnesota climate stations reported less than normal rainfall during June, and the most rainfall came on the last few days of the month. Only portions of Winona, Fillmore, Waseca, Wabasha, Houston, and Nicollet Counties reported over 5 inches for the month. Most places reported between 1.5 and 2.5 inches. A few places had a record or near record dry June. These included:
Browns Valley (Traverse County) 0.56 inches, driest in history
Lamberton (Redwood County) 0.49 inches, driest in history
Hutchinson (McLeod County) 0.64 inches, 2nd driest in history
Milan (Chippewa County) 0.78 inches, 2nd driest in history

Five climate stations reported record-setting rainfalls on June 27, including 3.30 inches at La Crescent Dam (Houston County).

The general absence of rainfall during June was associated with some very high solar radiation measurements. Pete Boulay from the Minnesota State Climatology Office reports that this June brought the most measured solar radiation since June of 1988.

There was little change in the Drought Monitoring depiction for Minnesota during the last week of June. About 82 percent of the state landscape is in at least Moderate Drought Status, while portions of 12 southern counties and portions of 11 northwestern counties remain in the Severe Drought Category. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center updated outlook for the month of July (released on June 30th) favors warmer than normal temperatures for the month, as well as a weather pattern that favors less than normal rainfall.

Weekly Weather Potpourri: The BBC reported this week on the Heat Wave in Western Canada and the northwestern USA. A new all-time high temperature record for Canada was set at Lytton in British Columbia with a reading of 121°F on Tuesday, June 29th. In the Pacific Northwest of the USA Portland, OR hit 115°F and Seattle, WA saw 108°F earlier this week, both all-time records. Being in a area where air conditioning is not a widespread attribute of buildings, many deaths are already associated with this Heat Wave. Tom Di Liberto of NOAA writes an explanation about this Heat Wave as well.

Last August, sea ice north of Greenland showed its vulnerability to the long-term effects of climate change, according to a study published July 1 in the open-access journal Communications Earth & Environment. The study focused on sea ice in August 2020 in the Wandel Sea, an area that used to be covered year-round in thick, multi-year ice. Unknown is how more open water in this region would affect ice-dependent species over the short and long terms.

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features an article about how better seasonal forecasting could help water supply planners in California and the western states where season to season water availability is extremely variable. Better understanding of large scale climate features in the Pacific Ocean can help and perhaps add to the accuracy of seasonal forecasts.

MPR listener question: Just concluded the driest June in Redwood County history according to many family members. Trying to think positive rainfall thoughts for the month of July. Can you tell us what has been the wettest July here, and what has been the greatest number of days with rain during the month?
Answer: Sure. From the Redwood Falls records back to 1892 your wettest June was in 2018 with 8.88 inches reported. Lamberton, also in Redwood County, reported 9.84 inches in July of 1963. In terms of days with rain, both 1972 and 1993 brought 20 days with rain in July.
Twin Cities Almanac for July 2nd: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for July 2nd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 99 degrees F in 2012; lowest daily maximum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1892; lowest daily minimum temperature of 49 degrees F in 1924; highest daily minimum temperature of 77 degrees F in 2012; record precipitation of 2.18 inches in 1992. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for July 2nd is 59°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 75°F in 1949; and the minimum dew point on this date is 38 degrees F in 1917.

All-time state records for July 2nd:
The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1925. The state record low temperature for this date is 22 degrees F at Camp Norris (Lake of the Woods) in 2009. The state record precipitation for this date is 6.44 inches at Newfolden (Marshall County) in 1901. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:


July 2, 1911 was the hottest in state history. It brought temperatures of 90 degrees F or greater to most of the state which was in the grip of a 7-day Heat Wave that had started on June 29th. Thirteen climate stations reported 100°F or greater while the overnight low temperature at Winona only reached 81°F.

A strong thunderstorm complex moved over north-central Minnesota on July 2, 1975 bringing hail, strong winds, and heavy rainfall. Parts of Beltrami, Aitkin, Cass, Pennington, Marshall, and Itasca Counties received 3 to 6 inches of rainfall. Flash flooding was reported in parts of Beltrami and Cass Counties where roads were closed for a time.

July 2, 2009 was the coldest in state history with frost reported at 55 Minnesota climate stations. Cloquet, MN reported a high temperature of 91°F and a low of 29°F, a remarkable daily range.

Outlook: 

Warm over the weekend with daily afternoon temperatures from the mid 80s to mid 90s F. Increasing cloudiness late on Sunday and into Monday with a chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures dropping back to near normal by the middle of next week, with a chance for showers or thunderstorms towards the end of the week.

Mark Seeley

Potential Record Driest June for Some

2 months 4 weeks ago
Potential Record Driest June for Some:

Last weekend brought some welcome rain to many parts of the state. Though highly variable, many areas received over half an inch, while others, especially in southern and eastern counties reported between 1 and 1.5 inches. On the high-end portions of Steele and Winona Counties reported over 2 inches.


On the other hand, many western, far northern, and some central counties were left without rainfall, or with very little (less than a tenth of an inch). In fact, a number of long-term climate stations are threatening to set records for the driest month of June in their history. The list below shows some of them. 

Browns Valley (Traverse County) for June so far 0.35”, record driest 0.57” in 1988
Jordan (Scott County) for June so far 0.22”, record driest 0.29” in 1988
Windom (Cottonwood County) for June so far 0.38”, record driest 0.96” in 1988
Willmar (Kandiyohi County) for June so far 0.27”, record driest 0.43” in 1900
Lamberton (Redwood County) for June so far 0.06”, record driest 0.77” in 1988
Worthington (Nobles County) for June so far 0.21”, record driest 0.60” in 1912
Winnebago (Faribault County) for June so far 0.22”, record driest 0.72” in 1988
Redwood Falls (Redwood County) for June so far 0.28”, record driest 0.37” in 1988

Many other locations around the state are reporting rainfall so far that would rank among their five driest Junes in history. For most of these areas the best chance for additional rainfall this month comes this weekend, with 30-50 percent probability. But some climate stations may not see any additional rainfall before the end of the month next Wednesday.

The latest Drought Monitor data shows that portions of 26 Minnesota counties are in Severe Drought, while overall at least 75 percent of the state landscape is in Moderate to Severe Drought. The geographic areas within the state which show Severe Drought are mostly in the south and west, similar to what 2012 and 1988 looked like. But the overall severity of the drought does not yet approach those summers. Unfortunately, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center Drought Outlook through September of this year shows a high probability of Drought persisting across southern and western areas of the state.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

This week Tom Di Liberto of NOAA wrote a summary of the Record Heat Wave in the Western USA earlier this month. Salt Lake City, Utah, tied its all-time record when temperatures hit 107 degrees on June 15, the last day of a three-day streak of high temperatures over 100 degrees. From June 13-19, high temperatures averaged 100 degrees. Billings, Montana, also tied its all-time high of 108 degrees. Several other locations in NM, CO, NV, AZ, CA, UT, WY, and MT set new high temperature records as well.


Also, the BBC reported on the intense Heat Wave in Eastern Europe this week which brought record temperatures to many cities. Record values were reported from parts of Estonia, Finland, and Russia. Moscow tied the all-time high temperature record for June with a reading of 95°F. Some heavy, intense thunderstorms followed the passing of the Heat Wave.


An expected Heat Wave will build in the northwestern USA (Oregon and Washington) and western Canada this weekend and may bring record-setting high temperatures for this time of year. Some areas will experience afternoon temperatures well over 100° and for two or more days. The Weather Channel reported more details on this.


And finally, in other heat related news this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin highlights an article about the famous Heat Wave in Siberia during 2020 which set hundreds of high temperature records. The recent study finds that the exceptional temperatures seen in Siberia in the first half of 2020 would have been extremely unlikely without anthropogenic climate change. Reduced ice and snow cover features in northern Siberia contributed to the amplified warmth there as well.

MPR listener question:

I am a roofer in the Twin Cities area and in recent years give my crew more frequent breaks when the dew point is going to be 70°F or higher. Can you tell me how many days this has happened so far this month (June)?

Answer:

Yes, according to the NOAA data the Twin Cities dew point has registered 70°F or higher for some time of day on June 9, June 10, June 23, and June 24. The 72°F dew point on June 24 (Thursday this week) was the highest of the year so far.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 25th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 82 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 62 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 25th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1934; lowest daily maximum temperature of 63 degrees F in 1968; lowest daily minimum temperature of 46 degrees F in 1957; highest daily minimum temperature of 75 degrees F in 1901; record precipitation of 2.88 inches in 1978. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for June 25th is 55°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 76°F in 1943; and the minimum dew point on this date is 38 degrees F in 1940.

All-time state records for June 25th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 109 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1933. The state record low temperature for this date is 25 degrees F at Kelliher (Beltrami County) in 2001. The state record precipitation for this date is 6.60 inches at Elk River (Sherburne County) in 2003. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:


June 25, 1933 marked the start of a six-day Heat Wave that ended the month. Temperature soared to record daily values several times during the week, with 21 climate stations reporting highs of 100°F or higher.

Cold temperatures prevailed across northern Minnesota on June 25, 1982. Many areas of Polk, St Louis, Roseau, and Kittson Counties reported morning lows from the low to mid 30s F. A few places even reported frost (31°F at Warroad).

A multi-day onslaught of thunderstorm complexes brought extraordinarily heavy rainfall and severe weather to central and southern Minnesota for the period June 21 through June 25, 2003. Rainfall amounts surpassed six inches in some areas of Kandiyohi, Renville, Meeker, Wright, Sherburne, Hennepin and Chisago counties during the week. A few areas reported over 8 inches. More details were reported by the Minnesota State Climatology Office.
 

Outlook:


Near normal temperatures over the weekend with a chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorm on Saturday and most of Sunday. Continued chances for scattered showers and thunderstorms on Monday through Wednesday as well as temperatures remain near seasonal normals.


Mark Seeley

Record Temperatures from the First Half of June

3 months ago
Record Temperatures from the First Half of June:For only the third time in state history June 1-15 brought a statewide mean temperature over 70°F. Here are the top 3 warmest June 1-15 periods based on statewide averaging:

1. 2021 73.4°F

2. 1988 71.1°F

3. 1976 70.9°F


The associated statewide average rainfall for the first half of June with these three years:

0.47 inches in 2021

0.62 inches in 1988

1.93 inches in 1976


Both 1976 and 1988 produced mid to late summer severe drought across much of the state. So far, a number of climate stations in Minnesota are averaging 80°F or greater for the month. The second half of June will see some moderation in temperature, and even a few days that bring below normal values. But it is likely this June as a whole will be ranked among the top three warmest in history.


Within the Minnesota climate network 233 daily maximum temperature records were set or tied during the first half of the month, including some that touched the century mark:
101° at Georgetown (Clay County) on June 4 and 5
101°F at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County) on June 5, 100°F on June 10
100°F at Park Rapids (Hubbard County) on June 4
102°F at Crookston (Polk County) on June 5
104°F at Milan (Chippewa County) on June 5, and 102°F on June 6
101°F at Red Lake Falls (Red Lake County) on June 5
102°F at Redwood Falls (Redwood County) on June 5
103°F at Benson (Swift County) on June 6, 100°F on June 9, 101°F on June 10 and 11
103°F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on June 6, 100°F on June 11
101°F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) on June 6
102°F at Lamberton (Redwood County) on June 6
101°F at Litchfield (Meeker County) on June 6, 100°F on June 11
102°F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) on June 6
102 at Marshall (Lyon County) on June 6, 100°F on June 11 and 12
100°F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on June 6, 100°F on June 11
100°F at Tracy (Lyon County) on June 11


Also, within the state climate network there were 197 record warm minimum temperatures reported during the first half of the month, including many readings in the low to mid 70s F.  Dew points slowly climbed into the 60s F and even low 70s F producing Heat Index Values over 101°F in some places.

The first half of June brought much less than normal rainfall to most places in Minnesota. Over half of the stations in the climate reporting network have reported less than a quarter of an inch for the month, and some places have reported no measurable rainfall. Rochester reported its first measurable rainfall (0.05”) this month on Thursday. The lack of rainfall combined with the warmer temperatures have accelerated the development of drought around the state. According to the US Drought Monitor over 55 percent of the Minnesota landscape is in at least moderate drought, and portions of 12 counties (south and west) are in severe drought. Further, according to the NOAA Drought Seasonal Outlook released on June 17 this week, drought is expected to persist across much of western and southern Minnesota through the month of September. The Palmer Drought Severity Index for Minnesota is nearing the lowest value it has been for this time of summer since 1988. The Minnesota inter-agency Drought Task Force has resumed meetings.

University of Minnesota Extension agronomists have provided some early assessment of what drought stress might do to the state’s major crops-corn and soybeans.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The BBC reported on the dangerous Heat Wave in the southwest USA this week, including the states of UT, AZ, NV, and CA. Temperatures soared to well over 105°F in many places. Las Vegas reported 113°F while Phoenix and Tucson reported 115°F. Death Valley, CA reported 125°F with a low temperature of 91°F on June 16th.


According to the latest monthly global climate data from NOAA May 2021 was among the top-ten warmest Mays on record. Temperatures were much above average across parts of northern, western and southeastern Asia, Africa, northern South America and across parts of the Pacific, Atlantic, and the Indian Oceans. Temperatures were cooler than average across parts of North America, the eastern Pacific Ocean, central Europe, central Asia and India. Temperature for May in Minnesota was very nearly normal.


When animals are hot their food consumption goes down. According to research done by the Australian National University this means that climate change could be contributing to more deaths among Australia's iconic marsupials, like the greater glider, than previously thought. Even night-time temperatures can get hot enough to cause nocturnal animals to lose their appetite during heatwaves. You can read more from Science Daily.

MPR listener question: With the drought taking hold this month across Minnesota we wondered has there ever been a month of June that delivered no rainfall?
Answer: There are a few cases reported of no measurable rainfall or only a trace of rainfall for the entire month of June. One of the more notable ones was just a trace of rainfall during June of 1910 at Rochester. That year and month also only produced 0.11 inches at Duluth, their lowest ever. June of 1988 brought only 0.05 inches of rain to St Cloud, 0.09 inches to Hutchinson, and 0.22 inches to the Twin Cities, all record low values. June of 2000 brought only 0.03 inches to Hallock (Kittson County) in the northern Red River Valley. All of those values really represent the extreme absence of rainfall in June historically.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 18th: 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 60 degrees F (plus or minus 6 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 18th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1953; lowest daily maximum temperature of 50 degrees F in 1876; lowest daily minimum temperature of 39 degrees F in 1876; highest daily minimum temperature of 74 degrees F in 1931; record precipitation of 1.14 inches in 1956. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for June 18th is 55°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 76°F in 1953; and the minimum dew point on this date is 37 degrees F in 2004.

All-time state records for June 18th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 106 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1933. The state record low temperature for this date is 26 degrees F at Kelliher (Beltrami County) in 2001. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.15 inches at Faribault (Rice County) in 1956. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:


1933 brought the hottest June 18th in state history with almost everywhere in the state recording afternoon temperatures in the 90s F or higher. Seventeen climate stations hit or surpassed the century mark on the thermometer, topped by 106°F at Beardsley. Grand Marais harbor just saw a high of 59°F.

June 14-18, 1956 brought heavy rains to many parts of Minnesota as day after day produced afternoon thunderstorms. Many areas reported 4-5 inches of rainfall. Faribault (Rice County) reported over 8 inches of rain during that period, and there was widespread flooding.

Outlook: 

Somewhat cooler temperatures on Saturday, but with increasing clouds later in the day. Good chance for showers and thunderstorms Saturday night and into Sunday. Continuing chance for showers on Monday, with much cooler temperatures. A few days of cooler than normal weather through Wednesday of next week, then increasing temperatures Thursday through Saturday. Some chance of showers towards the end of next week.

Mark Seeley

Record Heat for Early June

3 months 1 week ago
Record Heat for Early June:Heat has been the dominant signature of the weather pattern across Minnesota over the first 10 days of June. In fact, based on average temperatures reported from all the climate stations in the state it has been the hottest first 10 days of June in state history, with temperatures ranging from 11 to 14 degrees above normal for the entire 10 day period, and up to 23 degrees above normal on individual days. At least 35 climate stations have reported a maximum temperature of 100°F this week, with many overnight low temperatures remaining in the 70s F.

Dew points have gradually increased over the week from the 40s and 50s F to the 60s F and even near 70°F, making the Heat Index approach or exceed 100 degrees in places. Some Heat Index values ranged from 105 to 110 degrees F this week.

Within the Minnesota climate station network over 300 new daily warm maximum and warm minimum temperature records were set, including a reading of 98°F at International Falls on June 4th, the earliest date ever for such a temperature there. In addition, three new statewide warm maximum daily temperature records were set this week, along with two statewide warm daily minimum temperature records. These were:

June 4 maximum temperature of 101°F at Georgetown (Clay County)

June 5 maximum temperature of 103°F at Milan (Chippewa County)

June 7 maximum temperature of 104°F at Warren (Marshall County)

June 6 minimum temperature of 79°F at Sabin (Clay County)

June 10 minimum temperature of 79°F at La Crescent (Houston County)


There have been very few weekly periods in state history that have produced 5 or more statewide warm temperature records (February 1981, March 2000 and 2012, May 1934, June 1933, July 1936, August 1976, and September 1931, and December 1998). So it is likely this early Heat Wave of June 2021 will be long remembered.

Little rainfall fell this week, except in some parts of far northern Minnesota where over an inch of rainfall was reported. Gunflint Lake (Cook County) and Orr (St Louis County) reported over 2 inches of rain. The heat this week coupled with the absence of rainfall in most places has accelerated produced drought concerns over many areas of the state. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor portions of 6 Minnesota counties are in severe drought, and 55 counties are designated in moderate drought, with the rest of the state drier than normal, but not yet in drought. Some areas of southern and western Minnesota have received less than 50 percent of normal precipitation for the year so far. Further the outlook models show continued trend for hot and dry through most of the rest of the month. Many lawns are already showing signs of browning, and some tress are under stress as well.

More updates on the June Heat Wave can be found at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site.


Weekly Weather Potpourri:
The Weather Channel reported this week that parts of Arkansas and Mississippi received up to 20 inches of rainfall this week causing widespread flash flooding in many areas. Rohwer, AR reported 20.57 inches with nearly 10 inches coming on June 9th. Charleston and Lambert, MS received over a foot of rain


A recent study from Imperial College scientists shows that transmission of COVID-19 virus varies seasonally, but warmer temperatures alone are not enough to prevent transmission. In this study “results show that summer weather cannot be considered a substitute for mitigation policies, but that lower autumn and winter temperatures may lead to an increase in transmission intensity in the absence of policy interventions or behavioral changes.”

MPR listener question: With the Twin Cities reporting a record number of consecutive days with high temperatures of 90°F or greater this month (9 days), we were wondering what is the statewide record for such a streak of days in June, and what is the overall records streak for summer?
Answer: Indeed, the consecutive days over 90 degrees in the Twin Cities during the month of June is exceptional. There were 14 such days from July 5 to July 18, 1936 which is the summertime record in the Twin Cities. The record amount of consecutive days with 90°F or above in June is from Milan (Chippewa County), MN with 16 such days (June 15-30, 1933). The record for summertime is 25 such days at Beardsley (Big Stone County), July 4 to July 28, 1936.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 11th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 78 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 57 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 11th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 96 degrees F in 1956; lowest daily maximum temperature of 55 degrees F in 1877; lowest daily minimum temperature of 40 degrees F in 1903; highest daily minimum temperature of 74 degrees F in 1956; record precipitation of 2.58 inches in 1975. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for June 11th is 55°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 71°F in 1953; and the minimum dew point on this date is 31 degrees F in 1962.

All-time state records for June 11th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 102 degrees F at Fairmont (Martin County) in 1933. The state record low temperature for this date is 24 degrees F at Fort Ripley (Crow Wing County) in 1877. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.31 inches at Camp Norris (Lake of the Woods County) in 2002. No snowfall on this date.

Past Weather Features:
June 11, 1877 brought April-like weather to many parts of Minnesota. Low temperatures were in the teens and twenties across northern counties. Duluth saw a high temperature of only 42°F, and in the Twin Cities the afternoon temperature only reached 55°F.


June 9-11, 2002 brought a series of strong thunderstorms to northwestern and north-central Minnesota. Record-setting rainfall amounts were reported with as much as 14.55 inches near Lake of the Woods. Widespread flooding occurred on the rivers and streams in the area.  The Minnesota State Climatology Office offers a narrative review of these storms.

Outlook:
Cooler on Saturday with lower dew points. Then warmer again on Sunday. Continued warm and dry next week with daytime temperatures from the mid 80s F to mid 90s F. Slight chance for rain and thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday, especially in northern areas of the state.

Mark Seeley

Heat Settles In

3 months 2 weeks ago

Heat Settles In:

Afternoon temperatures on Thursday, June 3rd rose into the 90s F across much of Minnesota, rivaling the high temperatures set for the year so far that occurred over May 1 and 2 last month, when 20 counties reported high temperatures from 90-95°F. Temperatures on Thursday ranged from 90°F to 93°F across 26 Minnesota counties. In many areas the temperatures rose above the forecasted highs and the afternoon relative humidity bottomed out between 15 and 30 percent. Because of the high temperatures, low humidity and dry soil seven northwestern counties from Norman to Kittson County were placed in a Red Flag Warning by the National Weather Service. The heat and the Red Flag Warnings in northwestern Minnesota will likely carry over into the weekend as a number of daily all-time high temperature records may be threatened for Saturday, June 5th. Sunday will be hot as well before late day cloudiness and perhaps a few thunderstorms cool temperatures down. Friday morning (June 4th) brought record warm minimum temperatures to both MSP (73°F) and Marshall (71°F).

Perhaps more importantly, the NOAA medium range forecast models predict well above normal temperatures to dominate Minnesota and nearby states well into the third week of June. It is likely that many days may bring high temperatures in the 90s F. Last June (2020) ranked as the 9th warmest in state history, bringing 9 or 10 days of 90°F temperatures to many parts of the state. Six climate stations even saw 100°F or hotter last June. The way this June weather pattern is unfolding may bring a like amount of days, or perhaps even more. The hottest June in state history was in 1933 when many places reported 20 or more days with afternoon highs of 90°F or greater.

One other disconcerting trend seen in the forecast models is for less than normal rainfall this month. The combination of hot temperatures and persistent dry conditions will not bode well for farmers and gardeners, but at least most gardeners have the ability to water their plants.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


There is an interesting article featured from NOAA this week about the valuable information gained from the buoyed observation networks. These instrumented buoys provide data on ocean temperature and wave heights, as well as ocean acidification. They are also used for atmospheric measurements like pressure, temperature, and wind and help forecast tsunamis.


Jonathan Erdman wrote an interesting article for the Weather Channel this week highlighting which weather elements produce the most annual deaths in the USA. It is not tornadoes, floods, or hurricanes. It is heat. Excessive heat caused an average of 138 deaths per year from 1990 to 2019. More detailed statistics can be found in the article, along with safety tips for coping with the heat.


This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features an article about the inflated annual health care costs in the USA due to climate change and fossil fuel usage. It is estimated to cost $830 billion each year. These estimates come from expenditures associated with doctor visits, prescriptions, emergency room visits, physical therapy, allergy treatments, mental health care, and premature death. Also factored in were downstream costs like lost work hours and lost wages. The costs stem either directly or indirectly from burning fossil fuels.

MPR listener question:


Wondering what is the hottest temperature recorded in the month of June in Minnesota? Would you also know the lowest relative humidity measured during the same month?

Answer:

The highest measured temperature in June for Minnesota was 110°F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) on June 29, 1931. I do not know the absolute answer to the second question, but during Junes of 1910, 1933, 1936, and 1988 afternoon relative humidity readings between 8 and 15 percent were reported, almost like the Desert Southwest.

Twin Cities Almanac for June 4th:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 75 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 55 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for June 4th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 96 degrees F in 1968; lowest daily maximum temperature of 56 degrees F in 2002; lowest daily minimum temperature of 38 degrees F in 1998; highest daily minimum temperature of 70 degrees F in 1934; record precipitation of 1.92 inches in 1880. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for May 28th is 51°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 76°F in 1925; and the minimum dew point on this date is 29 degrees F in 2009.

All-time state records for June 4th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 100 degrees F at Lamberton (Redwood County) in 1968. The state record low temperature for this date is 21 degrees F at Bigfork (Itasca County) in 1964. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.30 inches at Zumbrota (Wabasha County) in 1958. Record snowfall is 1.5 inches at Mizpah (Koochiching County) in 1935.

Past Weather Features:


One of the wettest starts to June occurred in 1944 when during the first 5 days of the month many areas of the state reported 4-5 inches of rainfall. Areas around Gull Lake and Milaca received over 4 inches of rainfall and some hail on June 4th, and Milaca ended up reporting over 15 inches of rainfall during the month.

The hottest June 4th in state history was in 1968 when over 75 communities reported afternoon high temperatures in the 90s F. The coldest spot in the state was Grand Portage on Lake Superior with an afternoon high temperature of just 70°F.

Many parts of northern Minnesota reported frost on June 4, 1985. Frosts were reported from observers in St Louis, Kanabec, Carlton, Lake, Beltrami, and Cass Counties. The afternoon high temperature at Grand Marais only reached 49°F.

Outlook: 

Record or near record heat on Saturday and still hot on Sunday, but with increasing chances for thunderstorms later in the day. Though not record-setting, temperatures will remain well above normal all of next week with chances for scattered thunderstorms on Tuesday through Thursday.

Mark Seeley
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