HydroClim Minnesota for Early June 2024

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 14, 2024

What happened in May 2024:

  • May was a wet month across Minnesota. Most places finished with well above normal precipitation. The statewide preliminary total was 5.75 inches or 1.94 inches above normal. One of the highest precipitation totals found so far was 8.51 inches or 3.68 inches above normal near Sherburn in Martin County. One of the lower precipitation totals found so far was 3.45 inches at Grand Portage in Cook County, but that was above their May normal by .34 inches. 
    [see: May 2024 Precipitation Total Map  | May 2024 Precipitation Departure Map  | May 2024 Climate Summary Table  |  May 2024 Percent of Normal Precipitation Map]
  • A strong weather system responsible for extraordinary tornado damage in Iowa also produced hail and damaging winds in Minnesota on Monday May 20 and Tuesday 21, 2024, as well as widespread heavy rainfall. In general, the highest rainfall totals were oriented in southwest-to-northeast streaks scattered around western, central, southern, and southeastern Minnesota. The National Weather Service Cooperative observer at Milan recorded a storm total of 4.05 inches, with 3.72 inches falling on Tuesday. Numerous Cooperative and CoCoRaHS observers in the southern and eastern Twin Cities recorded 3-4 inches of rain, and even the northeastern Minnesota observers at Orr, Tower, and Wolf Ridge recorded over three inches of rain. Duluth recorded a total of 1.58 inches, International Falls saw 1.44 inches, and the Twin Cities recorded 2.55 inches, with 2.33 inches on the 21st--which was the largest daily total in nearly four years, since 2.37 inches fell on June 29, 2020.
    [see: Heavy Rain and Storms: May 20-21]
  • Not only was it a wet month, but it was a warm month too. The preliminary average of May 2024 was 57.2 degrees, which is 1.8 degrees warmer than normal. The warmest temperature found so far was 92 degrees on May 17 at Granite Falls in west central Minnesota and at Marshall in southwest Minnesota on May 18. The coldest temperature of the month was 24 degrees at Brimson in northeast Minnesota on May 10.
    [see: Minnesota Climate Trends Tool | May 2024 Climate Summary Table  |  2024 May Departure from Normal Temperature Map]

Where we stand now:

  • Seasonal precipitation so far (April 1 through June 11) shows that almost the entire state has seen a surplus of moisture so far for the growing season. There are even sites in central and southern Minnesota that are nearly twice the normal accumulation. A few areas in north central Minnesota are near normal. 
    [see: Weekly Precipitation Maps]
  • The wet spring really made a dramatic impact on the drought conditions in Minnesota. The U. S. Drought Monitor map released on June 13, shows the entire state free of any dryness measurement for the first time since April 2020. 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 across the central and south with mostly near normal stream flows in the north.
    [see: USGS Stream Flow Conditions]
  • Water levels on most Minnesota lakes vary depending on lake and location in the state. Mille Lacs was at 11.57 ft, about a tenth of a foot above the median. The level on Lake Minnetonka on June 10 was at 929.56 feet with 150 cfs flowing through Gray's Bay Dam. White Bear Lake was 922.5 feet, about seven tenths of a foot lower than this time last year. The lake level of Lake of the Woods was in the upper half of the median range for this time of year. Lake Superior was forecast to be 601.71 feet for June 14, eleven inches lower than a year ago and nine inches below the median. Lake Superior is forecast to rise two inches by July 14, 2024. 
    [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 10 reported that topsoil moisture across Minnesota is 0 percent Very Short, 2 percent Short, 64 percent Adequate, and 30 percent Surplus. Soil moisture readings at Lamberton on June 1 shows the moisture profile 1.60 inches above the historical average and the highest level for June 1 in at least five years.
    [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 over all but parts of northwest Minnesota, where some counties have Moderate fire danger. Historically, 80 percent of all wildfires in Minnesota occur during April and May.
    [see: Fire Danger Rating Map]

Future Prospects

  • The precipitation outlook for June 2024 has equal chances for below, normal and above normal precipitation. 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 14, the month is running warmer than normal. Looking at the Climate Prediction Center, there is a fairly strong tendency for above normal temperatures for June 2024 in Minnesota. 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. The June through August temperature projection shows a tendency for above normal temperatures in the northeast with equal chances of below normal and above normal temperatures across the rest of the state. 
    [see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook]

From the author:

  • After experiencing warm but very dry conditions across Minnesota in January and February of 2024, a more active pattern brought much wetter conditions to the state during the spring, along with continued warmth. Meteorological Spring, March through May, exceeded the 1991-2020 average (or "normal") precipitation across all of Minnesota, with about half the state exceeding normal precipitation by over 50%.
    [see: A Wet and Warm Spring 2024 in Minnesota.]

Upcoming dates of note:

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

Back to top