Top Five Weather Events of 2013 in Minnesota

Here are candidates for the top five weather events of 2013 from the Minnesota State Climatology Office. Do you agree? If you disagree with this list, please visit us on Facebook and post your top five weather events for Minnesota. There was no runaway favorite for the top weather event of 2013 for Minnesota. Cold and snowy won out over summertime storminess in people's memories for 2013. Votes were tallied from a sample of weather enthusiasts in Minnesota. Below are the top five.

#5 Southwest Minnesota Ice Storm of April 9-10

Devastating ice storm over Worthington and Luverne in Southwest Minnesota, freezing rain coated wires and tree branches up to 8 tenths of an inch thick. The City of Worthington declared a state of emergency and clean up took two and a half months. This storm caused 71 million dollars in damage.

#4 Lack of Tornadoes in 2013

While 2013 had its share of severe storms, tornadic activity in Minnesota was minimal. Only 15 tornadoes were reported in Minnesota in 2013, the lowest total since 1990. Not only was the tornado count low in Minnesota, it was also the lowest in years across the Nation.

#3 High Wind and Heavy Rain Event of June 21, 2013

The most damaging severe storm to hit the Twin Cities in 2013 was the high wind and heavy rain event of June 21. A complex of severe thunderstorms swept across the Twin Cities on Friday, June 21st in the evening and in their wake left half a million Xcel Energy customers without power. Wet soil from previously heavy rains allowed trees to be uprooted easily. Flash flooding also occurred with the heavy rainfall. A State Climatology Office Facebook user posted a video of the June 21 storm at Lake Calhoun.

#2 2013 Cold Spring/Late Ice Out

This was a very close to being #1. The effect of the cold spring 2013 was an even bigger shocker because of the record early warm spring just a year before. Mille Lacs went from setting a record early ice out in 2012 on March 26 to setting the record latest ice out in 2013 on May 16. The late spring caused delayed planting of crops and gardens.

#1 Historic May 1-3 Snow

This snowstorm just clipped the Twin Cities. A westward shift of just 50 miles of the storm track and the Twin Cities Airport would have had a new May record snowstorm. It was a different story over southeast Minnesota where Rochester measured 14.5 inches of snow, which was all melted by the 6th of May. The 24 hour statewide daily snowfall record was broken with 15.4 inches at Dodge Center, the previous record was 12 inches set in May 8, 1938 in Windom (Cottonwood County) and May 3, 1954 near Leonard (Clearwater County). Officially, at the Twin Cities International Airport there was only a half inch of snow measured.

Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mention #1 Cold and Snowy Late Winter in Duluth

Duluth saw 50.8 inches of snow in April, breaking the old April record by 19.2 inches and the total snow for any month by .7 of an inch (The old record was November 1991 with 50.1 inches.) Despite the snowy month, the last five days of April in Duluth had highs in the 60's melting nearly all the snow by the end of the month.

Honorable Mention #2 National Night Out Storm: August 6

Strong winds and hail sent paper plates flying and put a damper on National Night Out activities across the Twin Cities as severe storms swept across the state. This storm also caused extensive damage to crops and vehicles in its path with hail up to 2 inches in diameter.

Honorable Mention #3 Third Warmest Minnesota State Fair on Record

Hot weather is no stranger to the Minnesota State Fair. This one might have been in the top five had not for more pleasant conditions arriving for the fair's final days. As it was the 2013 fair was the 3rd warmest with records going back to 1885. Misting fans were in vogue at the 2013 fair with hottest temperature of 97 degrees on August 26. The 80 degree minimum temperature on the 26th set a new record for the latest 80 degree minimum temperature.

The Washington Post featured the Top 5 US weather stories of 2013.


Last modified: January 14, 2014
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