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: June 2, 2016
What happened in May 2016:
- Thunderstorms were hit or miss across the state with the wettest areas being southwest and northwest Minnesota and also just south and west of the Twin Cities Metro Area. The largest precipitation departure from normal in the positive direction was Worthington, which wound up being 3.43 inches above normal for the month. In general, there was .5 to 1.5 inch surplus precipitation from Sioux Falls to Hutchinson. The Hutchinson area in western McLeod County saw around six inches of rain for the month, with about 4.5 inches falling in the last 8 days of the month. Parts of Goodhue County saw three inches of rain over the last week of May and on the last day of the month with 4.45 inches falling on May 31 at Crookston in Polk County.
Not all locations had above normal precipitation, and large area from the Twin Cities to St. Cloud to Alexandria on north to International Falls was short of normal for the month of May. The largest departure from normal on the dry side was Bruno in east central Minnesota, which was 2.18 inches short of normal. The Twin Cities International Airport finished .94 inches below normal.
[see: May 2016 Precipitation Total Map | May 2016 Precipitation Departure Map | May 2016 Climate Summary Table | May 2016 Percent of Normal Precipitation Map]
- Average monthly temperatures for May were near or above historical averages at most Minnesota reporting stations. Frost was reported across much of the state on May 14 and 15th. One cold spot was Waseca dipping to 28 degrees on May 15. The warmest temperature found in the state for May was 94 degrees at Marshall on May 6, Wolf Ridge in Lake County was not far behind with 93.
[see: May 2016 Climate Summary Table | 2016 May Departure from Normal Temperature Map]
Where we stand now:
- The U. S. Drought Monitor map released on June 2 depicts portions of northern, west central Minnesota and a small part of southeast Minnesota as Abnormally Dry. The map shows no other areas in Minnesota in a dryness category. The U.S. Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where drought categories (Moderate, Severe, etc.) are based on several indicators.
[see: Drought Conditions Overview]
- The U.S. Geological Survey reports that stream discharge values are below historical medians across Northern Minnesota, with high flows in the northwest in response to heavy rains in the final days of May. There were also some above normal stream discharge values in south central Minnesota.
[see: USGS Stream Flow Conditions]
- Water levels on most Minnesota lakes are near the middle of the historical data distribution for this time of year. Mille Lacs has slipped below the median lake level for May.
[see: Mille Lacs Lake Water Level | Lake Minnetonka Water Level | White Bear Lake Water Level | Lake of the Woods Control Board Basin Data | Corps of Engineers Great Lakes Water Levels]
- The Agricultural Statistics Service reports that topsoil moisture across Minnesota is 2 percent Very Short, 9 percent Short, 77 percent Adequate, and 12 percent Surplus.
[see: Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress and Condition | U. of M. Southwest Research & Outreach Center (Lamberton)]
- The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as Low across Minnesota. Cooler and damp weather this week has reduced wildfire potential. Historically, 80 percent of all wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May.
[see: Fire Danger Rating Map]
- The June precipitation outlook leans towards equal chances for below, above and normal precipitation across Minnesota. June precipitation normals range from just over three inches in northwest Minnesota to about five inches in southeastern counties.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | June Precipitation Normal Map]
- The June temperature outlook has equal chances for below, normal and above normal temperatures throughout Minnesota, with a small area of a tendency for below normal temperatures in the southwest. Normal June high temperatures are in the low to mid 70s early in the month, rising to around 80 by month's end. Normal June low temperatures are in the low 50s to start the month, and rise to around 60 as the month ends.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | June Temperature Normal Map]
- The 90-day precipitation outlook for June through August indicates equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions over most of Minnesota, and a tilt towards above-normal conditions in far southwest Minnesota. The June through August temperature projection favors above-normal conditions statewide.
[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:
- If you have any questions or comments about the HydroClim Newsletter, please let me know.
Upcoming dates of note:
- June 16: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks
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Pete Boulay, DNR Climatologist