HydroClim Minnesota for Early July 2015

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 1, 2015 (distribution advanced one day)

What happened in June 2015:

  • June monthly precipitation totals were variable across Minnesota, but overall were close to historical averages. Even in those areas receiving below-average June rainfall, the rains were well-timed and beneficial.
  • Average monthly temperatures for June were very close to historical averages across Minnesota. Extremes for June ranged from a high of 99 degrees F at Madison (Lac qui Parle County) on the 9th, to a low of 25 degrees F at Embarrass (St. Louis County) and Brimson (St. Louis County) on the 1st.

Where we stand now:

  • Seasonal precipitation totals (April through June) rank at or above the historical median across nearly all of Minnesota.
  • The U. S. Drought Monitor indicates that Minnesota is free of any drought designation. Small areas of the state are placed in the Abnormally Dry category. In the present scenario, Abnormally Dry is defined as "coming out of drought". Any lingering low water levels are the result of a dry 2014 autumn, below average snowfall during the 2014-2015 winter, and a dry early spring. 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 reports that stream discharge values along nearly all of Minnesota's major rivers are near or above the historical median for the date.
  • Water levels on most Minnesota ponds, wetlands, and lakes responded upward to spring and early-summer rainfall.
  • In their June 29 report, the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reported that topsoil moisture was 1 percent Short, 87 percent Adequate, and 12 percent Surplus.
  • The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as Low across most of Minnesota. The wildfire danger rating in far northwest Minnesota is considered Moderate.

Future prospects:

  • The July precipitation outlook offers equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions in most Minnesota counties. The July outlook leans towards above-normal rainfall in far southwest Minnesota. July precipitation normals range from just over three inches in far northwest Minnesota to over four inches in eastern sections of the state.
  • The July temperature outlook favors below-normal conditions across Minnesota. Historically, July is Minnesota's warmest month. Normal July high temperatures are in the low to mid-80s. Normal July lows are around 60 degrees.
  • The 90-day precipitation outlook for July through September tilts towards above-normal conditions in the southern one-half of Minnesota. For northern Minnesota, the 90-day precipitation outlook indicates equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions. The July through September temperature projection offers equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions statewide.
  • 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.

Pete Boulay, DNR Climatologist

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