HydroClim Minnesota for Early July 2013

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: July 3, 2013 (distributed one day early)

What happened in June 2013:

  • June rainfall totals were well above historical averages in most Minnesota counties, except in far northern Minnesota where rainfall was somewhat below average. In some communities, especially in southeastern counties, monthly precipitation totals topped the long-term average by more than four inches. A handful of southeast and south central Minnesota locations set new all-time high records for June rainfall.
  • Persistently wet weather during June hampered outdoor activities. Field working conditions for agriculture were often poor, perpetuating planting delays. Occurrences of rural and urban flooding were reported throughout the month. Of particular note was an eight inch-plus rainfall reported in northwest Wilkin County on June 25-26. Severe weather on June 20, 21, and 22 led to historically large power outages. Solar radiation data gathered at the University of Minnesota - St. Paul Campus indicate that June 2013 was the cloudiest June in the 50-year period of record.
  • June average monthly temperatures in Minnesota were quite close to historical averages. This broke a string of four consecutive months of below-average monthly temperatures. Extremes for the month ranged from a high of 93 degrees on the 25th at Marshall (Lyon County), to a low of 26 degrees at Embarrass (St. Louis County) on the 3rd.

Where we stand now:

  • Year-to-date and season-to-date precipitation totals top historical averages in most Minnesota counties. A pocket of relative dryness remains entrenched in northwest Minnesota. Elsewhere however, spring and early summer precipitation totals were ample to excessive. April-through-June precipitation totals in some southeast Minnesota counties were in excess of 24 inches, exceeding the historical average by an astounding 12 or more inches. For much of southeast Minnesota, precipitation totals for April-through-June approached, or broke, all-time highs for the three-month period. For Rochester, it was the record wettest first half of the calendar year.
  • The U. S. Drought Monitor, released on July 3, places small portions of northwest and north central Minnesota in the Moderate Drought category. Just four percent of Minnesota's landscape is in Moderate Drought, a substantial improvement over early April when 67 percent of Minnesota was experiencing Extreme or Severe drought. The U. S. Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where drought categories (Moderate, Severe, etc) are based on several indicators.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey and the Minnesota DNR report that stream discharge values are well above historical medians at many gauging locations.
  • Water levels on Minnesota lakes have responded upward to spring and early summer precipitation after being very low in late 2012.
  • In their June 3 report, the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reported that topsoil moisture was 0% Very Short, 1% Short, 74% Adequate, and 25% Surplus across Minnesota. Subsoil moisture was said to be 5% Short. Soil moisture measurements made at University of Minnesota Research and Outreach Centers indicated adequate to surplus conditions in southern Minnesota.
  • The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as Moderate in northwest and northeast Minnesota, Low elsewhere across the state.

Future prospects:

  • The July precipitation outlook indicates equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions throughout Minnesota. July precipitation normals range from just over three inches in far northwestern Minnesota to over four inches in eastern sections of the state.
  • The July temperature outlook projects equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions across Minnesota. Normal July high temperatures are in the low to mid-80s. Normal July lows are around 60 degrees. July is historically the warmest month of the year in Minnesota.
  • The 90-day precipitation outlook for July through September offers equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions everywhere in Minnesota. The July through September temperature projection also projects equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions.
  • 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.

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Greg Spoden, DNR Climatologist

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