HydroClim Minnesota for Early July 2016

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 7, 2016

What happened in June 2016:

  • Precipitation totals in June were above normal in northeast and southeast Minnesota and below normal for the rest of the state. The driest locations were located in west central Minnesota where the deficit was about 2.27 inches short of normal. The driest spot was Browns Valley in Traverse County. The June precipitation total there was only .57 inches or 3.21 inches short of the June normal. The wettest areas were in the northeast where the average departure was 1.69 inches above normal. Grand Portage in Cook County was one of the wettest locations with a June total of 8.34 inches of rain for the month, or 4.81 inches above normal.
    [see: June 2016 Precipitation Total Map  | June 2016 Precipitation Departure Map  | June 2016 Climate Summary Table  |  June 2016 Percent of Normal Precipitation Map]
    There were three heavy rain events in June 2016 that stood out.
  • Sluggish storms dumped heavy rain over north central Minnesota and parts of central Minnesota on June 12-13. One of the higher 24-hour totals found was 5.85 inches 5 miles west of Togo in northern Itasca County.
    [see: Heavy Rains: June 12-13, 2016]
  • Minnesota saw another round of heavy rains with a handful of tornadoes in the south on June 14. One of the highest 24-hour rainfall totals with this event was 5.25 inches from a volunteer rain gauge reader 2.4 miles southwest of Mankato.
    [see: Heavy Rain and Tornadoes: June 14, 2016]
  • The final widespread severe storm event of the month was on June 19, 2016 hitting northern Minnesota especially hard. Tragically, one man lost his life by a falling tree at Duncan Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
    [see: Severe Storms and Tornadoes: June 19, 2016]

  • Average monthly temperatures for June were above historical averages at most Minnesota reporting stations. The lone exception was northeast Minnesota, which finished .6 degrees below normal. The warmest departure from normal was southwest Minnesota, which finished 2.9 degrees above normal. Madison had the warmest temperature for the month of June in Minnesota with 100 degrees on June 12 (recorded on June 13) and the coldest location was a tie between Hibbing and Orr with 29 degrees on June 8.
    [see: June 2016 Climate Summary Table  |  2016 June Departure from Normal Temperature Map]

Where we stand now:

  • Seasonal precipitation totals(April 1 through July 5) ranked near or above the historical median in northern and south counties and below normal in central parts of the state.
    [see: Seasonal Precipitation Ranking Map]
  • The U. S. Drought Monitor map released on June 30 depicts portions of west central Minnesota Minnesota as Abnormally Dry and an area of Moderate Drought in west central Minnesota. There is also a very tiny area of Severe Drought in western Traverse County. 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 Central Minnesota, with above normal flows in the northwest. There were also some above normal stream discharge values in southeast Minnesota.
    [see: USGS Stream Flow Conditions]
  • Water levels on most Minnesota lakes vary depending on lake and location in the state. Mille Lacs was below the median lake level for June. On July 6, Minnetonka was at 929.11 with 20cfs flowing through Grays Bay Dam. White Bear Lake was at 922.15 feet on July 6, a rise of .7 feet from one year ago and a rise of 3.31 feet from the record low of 918.84 measured January 10, 2013. Rainy and Lake of the Woods are in the median range for June.
    [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 on July 5 report that topsoil moisture across Minnesota is 4 percent Very Short, 17 percent Short, 70 percent Adequate, and 9 percent Surplus. Soil moisture levels at Lamberton remain high.
    [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. Historically, 80 percent of all wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May.
    [see: Fire Danger Rating Map]

Future prospects:

  • The July precipitation outlook leans towards equal chances for below, above and normal precipitation across Minnesota. July precipitation normals range from just under three inches in northwest Minnesota to about five inches in southeastern counties.
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook  |  July Precipitation Normal Map]
  • The July temperature outlook is leaning toward above normal temperatures throughout Minnesota. Normal July high temperatures are in the 80's in the south and the upper 70's in the north. Normal July low temperatures are in the 50s in the north, and in the 60's in the south.
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook
  • The 90-day precipitation outlook for July through September indicates equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions over northern Minnesota, and a tilt towards above-normal conditions in southern and central Minnesota.
    [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.

From the author:

  • If you have any questions or comments about the HydroClim Newsletter, please let me know.

Upcoming dates of note:

  • July 21: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks


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Pete Boulay, DNR Climatologist

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