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HydroClim Minnesota for Early February 2014
A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota's climate conditions and the resulting impact on water resources. Distributed on the first Thursday of the month.
State Climatology Office - DNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources, St. Paul
distributed: February 6, 2014
What happened in January 2014:
- January precipitation totals were near to above historical averages across Minnesota. A number of Minnesota communities reported 20 or more inches of snow for the month.
[see: January 2014 Precipitation Map | January 2014 Precipitation Departure Map | January 2014 Climate Summary Table]
- While no single January winter storm brought extraordinary snowfall totals, the month was notable for the frequency of snowfall events. For many stations, measurable snowfall was reported on 15 or more days during the month. This is roughly twice the historical average number of days with measurable snowfall. Strong winds accompanied many of the snowfall events, frequently producing blizzard conditions and hampering travel.
[see: Twin Cities Days with Measurable Snowfall | Blizzard Counts: Red River Valley]
- Average monthly temperatures for January in Minnesota were well below historical averages, finishing 5 to 10 degrees below normal. For some communities, January 2014 ranked among the four or five coldest Januarys of the past 35 years. In a few northern Minnesota locations, the average temperature for the month was below zero. Extremes for the month ranged from a high of 45 degrees at Cass Lake (Cass County) on the 12th, to a low of -47 degrees at Babbitt (St. Louis County) on the 2nd and 3rd. The temperature at all Minnesota locales fell to -20 degrees or lower at least once in January. Cold temperatures and brisk winds caused wind chill temperatures to drop to dangerous levels during the month, leading to numerous school closures.
[see: January 2014 Climate Summary Table | Arctic Blast - January 5-7 | Twin Cities Days at or below Zero Degrees]
Where we stand now:
- The February precipitation outlook indicates equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions across Minnesota. February is Minnesota's driest month on average with precipitation normals ranging from near one-half inch in northwestern Minnesota to just over one inch in far eastern sections of the state. The median snow depth at the end of February ranges from under five inches in southwest Minnesota to over 18 inches on the ground in northeastern Minnesota (greater than 30 inches in the Lake Superior highlands).
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | February Precipitation Normal Map]
- The February temperature outlook tilts heavily towards below-normal conditions across Minnesota. Normal February high temperatures range from the low teens in the north to near 20 in the south early in the month, climbing to the mid-20s to low 30s by month's end. Normal February low temperatures range from near minus 10 degrees in the far north to the single digits above zero in southern Minnesota early in the month; ascending to the low single digits in the north, mid-teens in the south by the end of February.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | February Temperature Normal Map]
- The 90-day precipitation outlook for February through April offers equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions across Minnesota. The February through April temperature projection leans towards below-normal conditions in most Minnesota locales.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook]
- The National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River, Minnesota River, and Mississippi River basins. These products address both high flow and low flow probabilities.
[see: National Weather Service - North Central River Forecast Center]
From the author:
Notes from around the state:
Upcoming dates of note:
- February 20: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks
Web sites featured in this edition:
- http://water.weather.gov/precip/ - National Weather Service, Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service
- http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group, Minnesota DNR Eco/Water Resources and U of M Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate
- http://www.crh.noaa.gov/fgf - National Weather Service, Grand Forks Weather Forecast Office
- http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov - National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center
- http://www.drought.unl.edu - National Drought Mitigation Center
- http://www.rrbdin.org/rddss - Red River Basin Drought Decision Support System, International Water Institute
- http://www.nass.usda.gov - USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service
- http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu - University of Minnesota, Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton
- http://sroc.cfans.umn.edu - University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca
- http://www.mvp-wc.usace.army.mil - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
- http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ncrfc - National Weather Service, North Central River Forecast Center
- http://www.dot.state.mn.us/materials/index.html - Office of Materials & Road Research, MnDOT
- http://mndnr.gov/enforcement - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Enforcement
- http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - National Weather Service, Climate Prediction Center
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Greg Spoden, DNR Climatologist