Cool Summer 2004
If you've noticed that the summer of 2004 has been a cool one, you're right! Just how cool has it been anyway? May, June, July, and now August (so far) have been below normal in the Twin Cities. Highs on Tuesday, August 10th struggled to reach 60 degrees in the Twin Cities and the rest of Minnesota. Highs in the 50's are rare for August in the Twin Cities and have only happened nine times in the past 114 years. The coldest maximum temperature for August on record for the Twin Cities is 54 set on August 3, 1915. That year was the coldest summer on record, using June July and August for counting statistics.
Twin Cities maximum temperatures below 60 in August. 1891-2004
Year Month Day High Low
1915 8 2 59 49
1915 8 3 54 49
1915 8 24 56 51
1940 8 24 58 55
1944 8 31 56 52
1958 8 31 58 52
1966 8 21 59 54
1974 8 3 57 54
2004 8 10 59 52
Here are some places that set record cold maximum temperatures on Tuesday August 10, 2004
City Old record New Record
Twin Cities 62 1994 59 2004
St. Cloud 66 1994 57 2004
Duluth 55 1951 53 2004
Falls 57 1951 49 2004*
Wheaton 68 1997 63 2004
Fargo 61 1902 59 2004
* This is the coldest maximum temperature for the whole month of August at International Falls. The Duluth National
Weather Service issued the following statement about the record cool maximum in International Falls.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
235 PM CDT WED AUG 11 2004
...COLDEST MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORD FOR AUGUST BROKEN AT INTERNATIONAL FALLS...
THE HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 49 DEGREES AT INTERNATIONAL FALLS
YESTERDAY AUGUST 10TH WILL GO INTO THE RECORD BOOKS AS THE
COLDEST MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED DURING THE ENTIRE
MONTH OF AUGUST. THE PREVIOUS RECORD COLD MAX TEMPERATURE
WAS 51 DEGREES SET BACK ON THE 24TH OF AUGUST IN 1950.
THIS IS ALSO ONLY...THE SIXTH TIME THE HIGH TEMPERATURE HAS
REMAINED IN THE 40S DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS OF JUNE...JULY
AND AUGUST AT INTERNATIONAL FALLS.
OTHER DATES WITH A MAX TEMPERATURE IN THE 40S DURING SUMMER.
JUNE 1898 1ST (46) 2ND (49)
JUNE 1920 3RD (45)
JUNE 1953 5TH (46)
JUNE 1963 10TH (49)
NONE IN JULY...AND UNTIL YESTERDAY THERE HAD BEEN NO HIGH
TEMPERATURES IN THE 40S RECORDED DURING AUGUST.
A NEW DAILY LOW MAXIMUM HIGH TEMPERATURE WAS SET AT DULUTH
YESTERDAY AUGUST 10TH WITH A HIGH OF ONLY 53 DEGREES. THE OLD
RECORD LOW MAX TEMPERATURE FOR THE 10TH WAS 55 SET IN 1951.
DULUTH'S RECORD LOW MAX TEMPERATURE FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF AUGUST WAS 50 DEGREES SET ON THE 30TH IN 1892.
SO HOW DOES THIS COOL SUMMER WEATHER OF 2004 COMPARE TO
THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE SO FAR FOR JUNE...JULY AND
AUGUST AT INTERNATIONAL FALLS IS 59.2 DEGREES. THIS...SO
FAR...WOULD BE 3RD COLDEST SUMMER ON RECORD AT THE FALLS.
DULUTH'S AVERAGE TEMPERATURE SO FAR...FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS OF 2004...IS 60.8 DEGREES. THIS IS NOT IN THE TOP TEN ALL-TIME
COLDEST SUMMERS BUT IT WOULD BE THE 10TH COLDEST AT THE
SO WHY SO COOL THIS SUMMER? THE COOL SUMMER OF 2004 IS A
RESULT OF UNSEASONABLY LARGE AND PERSISTENT UPPER LEVEL LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEMS OVER CENTRAL CANADA. THESE TYPES OF STORM SYSTEMS ARE MORE LIKELY DURING THE LATE FALL THROUGH THE
WINTER INTO SPRING.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE MINNESOTA STATE CLIMATOLOGY OFFICE
FOR RESEARCHING THE TEMPERATURE DATA FOR INTERNATIONAL FALLS.
In addition, the Twin Cities tied a record cold low temperature on August 11. The record is 47 degrees set in 1968 and the mercury matched that in 2004.
How will the summer of 2004 shape up? Given the current National Weather Service forecast for the next week and assuming the rest of the month is normal, 2004 would barely finish in the top 20 coldest summers for the Twin Cities. 1992 and 1993 both would beat 2004 for coolness. In fact 1992 has the #2 spot for all time coolest summers in the Twin Cities and 1993 is in 17th place.
Has it been cooler elsewhere? You bet! International Falls had the coldest May-July on record. Elsewhere in the midwest it has been cool as well including the Dakotas and Iowa. Oklahoma had its 6th coolest July on record. In fact most places east of the Rocky Mountains are in the midst of a cool summer. The few areas that had a warmer than normal July were in the Pacific Northwest, Nevada and parts of California. We may be having a cool summer here, but we have lots of company.
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Last modified: August 10, 2004