HydroClim Minnesota for Early July 2019

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 9, 2019

What happened in June 2019:

  • June 2019 showed a wide variation in precipitation across the state. In general rainfall totals were below normal in the north and well above normal in the south. The preliminary statewide average precipitation total was 3.86 inches or .44 inches below normal. Rochester continues to be the epicenter of the heaviest rainfall. June had 9.08 inches, 4.40 inches above normal. The combined May and June 2019 total at Rochester is 18.50 inches, the third wettest May-June on record. The driest location in the state was Crookston in Northwest Minnesota that reported only 1.39 inches of rain for June 2019, 2.41 inches short of normal.
    [see: June 2019 Precipitation Total Map  | June 2019 Precipitation Departure Map  | June 2019 Climate Summary Table  |  June 2019 Percent of Normal Precipitation Map ]
  • There were several days of noteworthy storms in Minnesota in June 2019. June 4 was the first severe weather outbreak of 2019. Some damage occurred due to hail and high winds. A wind gust of 85 mph was reported near Henderson and Heidelberg in Le Sueur County. Golf ball-sized hail was reported in Scott and McLeod Counties.
    [see: June 4, 2019 Severe Thunderstorms and Tornado ]
  • An EF-2 tornado was reported on June 8th near Fertile in Polk County on June 8th and twisted grain bins around trees at a farmstead.
    [see: June 8 Fertile, MN Tornado]
  • A cluster of thunderstorms brought strong winds, heavy rains, hail and a tornado to southwest Minnesota on June 20, 2019. The tornado touched down six miles to the north-northwest of Clements in Redwood County and caused some tree and structural damage. Some street flooding was reported in Morgan in Redwood County and golf ball-sized hail was reported near Hazel Run in Yellow Medicine County and at St. James in Watonwan County. Heavy rains also fell in Steele County with a CoCoRaHs observer reporting 2.81 inches near Owatonna.
    [see: Heavy Rains, Hail and a Tornado: June 20, 2019]
  • Rochester was hard hit with intense rains on June 28, 2019 with 4.95 inches reported at the Rochester airport. The Rochester International Airport was closed for several house due to the intense rainfall. Flash flooding on the Middle Fork of the Zumbro River swept away 40-60 cattle off one farm. The highest rainfall total reported was 7.50 inches at Kasson in Dodge County.
    [see: Intense Rains and Flooding near Rochester, June 28, 2019]
  • The preliminary statewide average temperature for June 2019 was 65.4 degrees or .2 degrees below normal. The warmest temperature reported in Minnesota was 97 degrees at Crookston on June 8 and the coldest temperature reported for the month was 25 degrees two miles south of Tower on June 2.
    [see: June 2019 Climate Summary Table  |  2016 June Departure from Normal Temperature Map ]

Where we stand now:

  • Seasonal precipitation so far (April 1 through July 2) shows a continuing pattern of the state split by the very damp central and south, to near normal to below normal precipitation in the north. An arc from southwest though south central to southeast Minnesota is ranked in the 98th percentile, or nearly the wettest on record.
    [see: Seasonal Precipitation Maps for July 2, 2019]
  • The U. S. Drought Monitor map released on July 3 depicts 23% of the state in Abnormally Dry conditions, confined to northern Minnesota. 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 levels continue to be much above normal to high across southern Minnesota, with normal to above normal streamflow across central Minnesota and normal to below normal streamflow across the north.
    [see: Cooperative Stream Gauging   | USGS Stream Flow Conditions]
  • Water levels on Minnesota lakes vary depending on lake and location in the state. On July 8, Minnetonka was at 929.73 feet with 250cfs flowing through Gray's Bay Dam. Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods were both below the median range for early July. Lake Superior was at 603.22 feet on July 5, fourteen inches above the July average and two inches above the record July level set in 1950.
    [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 8 reported that topsoil moisture across Minnesota is 0 percent Very Short, 5 percent Short, 61 percent Adequate, and 34 percent Surplus. Soil moisture levels at Lamberton on June 15 were near 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 most of Minnesota, with Moderate potential over north central and northeast Minnesota, with High potential over the Arrowhead. Historically, 80 percent of all wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May.
    [see: Fire Danger Rating Map]

Future prospects:

  • The July precipitation outlook has a tilt for above normal precipitation in central and southern Minnesota, especially in southwest Minnesota. Northern Minnesota has equal chances for above, normal and below 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 has equal chances for above, normal and below normal. There is a slight tendency for below normal temperatures along the Iowa border. Normal July high temperatures are in the 80s in the south and the upper 70s in the north. Normal July low temperatures are in the 50s in the north, and in the 60s in the south.
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook ]
  • The 90-day precipitation and temperature outlook for July through September indicates above normal precipitation in the southeast and equal chances everywhere else. a tendency of below-normal temperatures in the south, with below normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions over the rest of Minnesota. Looking ahead to the winter of 2019-20, there is a tendency for above normal temperatures, mostly due to the predicted developing El Nino conditions. This was also the prediction last summer for the 2018-19 winter, which wound up having below normal temperatures for Minnesota.
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook   | Dec-Jan_Feb 2019-19]
  • 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:

  • Growing Degree Units continue to lag behind in 2019. At Waseca through June 30, Corn Growing Degree Units at Waseca totaled 767. Normal Corn Degree Day units through June 30 is 870 so 2019 is 12% behind so far this season. Lamberton had 778 Corn Degree Day units compared to the normal of 892 through June 30 or 13% behind normal. With crop progress still running behind, thoughts begin to turn to when will the first frost be? Historically, the 50% date of first frost (32 degrees) at Lamberton and Morris is September 29 and at Waseca is October 1.
    [see: Final Spring/First Fall Freeze & Frost Date Probabilities]

Upcoming dates of note:

  • July 18: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks


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