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 8, 2022
What happened in May 2022:
- The general wet pattern that began in March continued into May for most of the state, the only exception was in the south central. The wettest region was in a swath from southwest Minnesota through St. Cloud and into the Arrowhead. Some places from Yellow Medicine County to Benton County finished May five inches above normal or more. Also experiencing very wet conditions was along the Canadian border. One of the higher totals found was at Collegeville in Stearns County with 9.04 inches or 5.08 inches above normal. One of the lower precipitation totals found was 2.08 inches or 2.05 inches below normal at Albert Lea in Freeborn County. The statewide preliminary precipitation total was 4.98 inches or 1.10 inches above normal.
[see: May 2022 Precipitation Total Map | May 2022 Precipitation Departure Map | May 2022 Climate Summary Table | May 2022 Percent of Normal Precipitation Map]
- May 2022 was very stormy with multiple severe weather events. Six different calendar days had some combination of tornadoes, hail larger than golf balls, and hurricane-force winds (in excess of 74 mph). Many of these days had all three, and most featured "double-headers," with both early and late-day significant severe weather events. Although severe thunderstorms did not strike every single Minnesota town during May, some places were struck multiple times, and every part of the state except for the extreme northwest had damaging storms within 25 miles at some point.
[see: May-hem: A Stormy and Damaging May 2022]
- May had spells of cool and warm conditions and finished with above normal temperatures overall statewide. The preliminary statewide average temperature was .8 degrees above the 1991-2010 normal. The coldest temperature statewide found was 21 degrees at Brimson on May 4th. The warmest temperature of the month was 97 degrees at St. James on May 13.
[see: Minnesota Climate Trends Tool | May 2022 Climate Summary Table | 2022 May Departure from Normal Temperature Map]
Where we stand now:
- Seasonal precipitation so far (April 1 through June 7) shows that central and northern Minnesota have above normal precipitation, with near normal in the south, and slightly below normal in the far south. Northwest and north central Minnesota are seeing some of the wettest conditions on record.
[see: Weekly Precipitation Maps]
- The U. S. Drought Monitor map released on June 2, shows Abnormally Dry conditions over less than 2% of the state, confined to the far south central. This is quite a difference than one year ago when73% of the state was Abnormally Dry and 13% of the state was in Moderate Drought . 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 stream flows are normal to much above normal statewide with a few areas reporting high flows on the Minnesota and Red River of the North locations.
[see: USGS Stream Flow Conditions]
- Water levels on most Minnesota lakes vary depending on lake and location in the state. Mille Lacs Lake level for May and early June is just above the median level. The level on Lake Minnetonka on June 8 was at 929.18 feet with 212 cfs flowing through Gray's Bay Dam. White Bear Lake was 924.08 feet on June 8, about six inches lower than this time last year. The lake level of Lake of the Woods was in the 95th percentile and about three feet higher than the median for early June. Lake Superior was forecast to be 602.20 feet for June 4, one inch higher than a year ago and eight inches above the median.
[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 June 5 reported that topsoil moisture across Minnesota is 0 percent Very Short, 2 percent Short, 74 percent Adequate, and 23 percent Surplus. Soil moisture readings at Lamberton on May 15 shows the moisture profile well above historical averages.
[see: Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress and Condition | U. of M. Southwest Research & Outreach Center (Lamberton)]
- Spring 2022 has been a fairly quiet season for wildfires in Minnesota. The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as Low over northwest and west central Minnesota, Moderate over southern, central and parts of northern Minnesota, and High over Duluth and the Brainerd Lakes area. Historically, 80 percent of all wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May.
[see: Fire Danger Rating Map]
- The precipitation outlook for June 2022 has equal chances for above, normal and below normal precipitation for 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]
- So far though June 8, 2022 is running cooler than normal and much cooler than in June 2021. Looking at the Climate Prediction Center, there is a fairly strong tendency for below normal temperatures for June 2022 in Minnesota, especially in the northwest. 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 for above, normal and below normal precipitation for all but the far southwest, which will tilt toward below normal precipitation. The June through August temperature projection shows a tendency for above normal temperatures in the south, central and along the shore of Lake Superior and equal chances across the rest of the northland.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook]
From the author:
- Is there a correlation of 90 degree days in May to a hot summer? Maybe! Although good hot days in May are pretty common, the Twin Cities has had two or more 90 F high temperatures during May less than a fifth of the time, historically. Those years have usually gone on to have above-average numbers of 90-degree days too. In 2022, the Twin Cities did see 2 days of 90 or above so will there be a hot summer? Stay tuned! Do Hot Days in May Foretell a Hot Summer?
Upcoming dates of note:
- June 16: National Weather Service releases 30/90-day temperature and precipitation outlooks