HydroClim Minnesota for Early July 2017

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 6, 2017

What happened in June 2017:

  • Precipitation totals in June were mostly within an inch of normal across the state with some exceptions. A few pockets in southeast and northeast Minnesota were two to three inches above normal as well as a few areas in west central Minnesota. Areas west of the Twin Cities to the South Dakota border were from one to nearly two-and-a-half inches short of normal. The driest spot was Minneota in Lyon County. The June precipitation total there was 1.82 inches or 2.47 inches short of the June normal. The wettest area was at Minnesota City Dam in Winona County with 7.99 inches or 3.66 inches above normal.
    [see: June 2017 Precipitation Total Map  | June 2017 Precipitation Departure Map  | June 2017 Climate Summary Table  |  June 2017 Percent of Normal Precipitation Map ]
    There were three storm event episodes of note in June 2017 that stood out.
  • A line of severe storms moved across the state during the early morning of June 11 and dropped large hail in the northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities. A spokesperson for the Minnesota Insurance Federation noted on July 5th that the claims from this event alone had reached 830 million dollars.
    [see: June 11, 2017 Wind and Hail]
  • Minnesota saw another round of severe storms, with some beneficial rains heavy rains across southern Minnesota June 12. Rainfall totals were in the one half to two inch rain and fell on relatively dry terrain and was most welcome.
  • The final widespread severe storm event of the month was on June 13, 2017 hitting west central Minnesota with four tornadoes. Hail and wind damage was reported in various locations in the state as well.
    [see: Tornadoes and Severe Storms: June 13, 2017]
  • Average monthly temperatures for June were slightly above historical averages at most Minnesota reporting stations. The preliminary statewide average temperature departure was .6 degrees above normal. The warmest departure from normal was south central Minnesota, which finished 1.5 degrees above normal. Rosemount and Waseca had had the warmest temperature for the month of June in Minnesota with 97 degrees on June 10 (recorded on June 11) and the coldest location was at Brimson in St. Louis County with 29 degrees on June 1.
    [see: June 2017 Climate Summary Table  |  2016 June Departure from Normal Temperature Map ]

Where we stand now:

  • Seasonal precipitation totals (April 1 to July 4) ranked above the historical median across eastern Minnesota and near or below the historical median in the northwest.
    [see: Seasonal Precipitation Maps for July 4, 2017]
  • The U. S. Drought Monitor map released on July 4 depicts portions of northwest and west central Minnesota Minnesota as Abnormally Dry with pockets of Moderate Drought in northwest and north central Minnesota. There is also a very tiny area of Abnormally Dry conditions in southwest Minnesota along the Iowa border. 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 normal to above historical medians across Minnesota, with much above normal flows in the northeast. There were a few locations in north west and northcentral Minnesota with below normal flows and one area in west central Minnesota that had much below normal flow conditions.
    [see: USGS Stream Flow Conditions]
  • Water levels on most Minnesota lakes vary depending on lake and location in the state. Mille Lacs was near the median lake level for June. On July 5, Minnetonka was at 929.22 with 20cfs flowing through Grays Bay Dam. White Bear Lake was at 923.40 feet on July 6, a rise of 1.25 feet from one year ago and a rise of 4.56 feet from the record low of 918.84 measured January 10, 2013. Rainy Lake was in the median range for June, with Lake of the Woods falling just below the middle range by the end of June. Lake Superior was at 602.76 feet on July 6, eleven inches higher than the monthly average 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 reported that topsoil moisture across Minnesota is 1 percent Very Short, 8 percent Short, 87 percent Adequate, and 4 percent Surplus. Soil moisture levels at Lamberton on June 15 were near the historical averages.
    [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 below normal precipitation across Minnesota, with the best chances for below normal precipitation across the west central and northwest. Southeast Minnesota has equal chances for below, normal and above normal precipitation. 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 eastern Minnesota, and a tilt towards above-normal conditions in western 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:

  • June 2017 seemed like two different months. The first fifteen days of the month ranked as one of the warmest stretches on record, and then a cool-down occurred around the 18th and the rest of the month was near or below normal. This was not quite enough to balance out the extremely warm start to June. The preliminary statewide averages from June 1-15 was 5.5 degrees above normal with June 16-30 winding up 4.4 degrees below normal. It was this cool down with just enough precipitation to keep expansion of drought at bay in Minnesota. If you have any questions or comments about the HydroClim Newsletter, please let me know.

Upcoming dates of note:

  • July 20: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks


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Pete Boulay, DNR Climatologist

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