|HydroClim Minnesota - June 2001
A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota climate conditions and the
resulting impact on water resources.
Distributed on the Wednesday following the first Monday of each month.
State Climatology Office - DNR Waters
WHAT HAS HAPPENED
- May precipitation totals were above normal across
much of Minnesota. Some portions of southwestern, west central, and
central Minnesota reported near average May precipitation, however the
remainder of the state finished one to two inches above normal for the
month. The precipitation was not only heavy in some areas, but unusually
persistent. A very slow moving storm system brought daily rains to some
locations for eight consecutive days (May 19 - May 26).
- when compared with historical data, April plus May 2001 precipitation
totals ranked near all-time record high values for portions of
southeastern, east central, central, northeastern, and north central
Minnesota. April plus May precipitation totals ranked above the 90th
percentile for most other locations.
- a flash flood occurred on May 20 in Nobles county, closing Interstate 90
for more than two hours and causing significant soil erosion. The largest
recorded precipitation total for the event was 6.70 inches in Reading. The
event was of limited geographical extent, affecting only central Nobles
- May temperatures were near to slightly above normal across most of
Minnesota. Mid-May temperatures climbed into the 90's, setting new maximum
temperature records at some locations on the 15th. However the warmth was
offset by cold temperatures during the final two weeks of the month, with
many low maximum temperature records broken on the 22nd and 23rd of May.
WHERE WE STAND NOW
- as of June 4, growing season (beginning April 1)
precipitation totals were more than 150 percent of normal across much of
the state. Growing season precipitation totals exceeded 200 percent of
normal in some north central and northeastern Minnesota counties. By
contrast, growing season precipitation totals for portions of northwestern
Minnesota were near historical averages for the period.
- the June 2 Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) depicts southern central
Minnesota as "Extremely Moist", the wettest designation. All
other southern Minnesota counties, plus central and northeastern
Minnesota, were categorized as experiencing a "Very Moist
Spell". East central, north central, and northwestern Minnesota
communities were undergoing an "Unusual Moist Spell". The Palmer
Drought Severity Index is used for assessing long-term meteorological
- the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reports that topsoil
moisture statewide as of Friday, June 1 was rated 41% surplus, 59%
adequate, 0% short, and 0% very short. The wet conditions continued to
hinder agricultural field work and stress crops.
- streams flows remain high for most of Minnesota's rivers. The U.S.
Geological Survey indicates that stream flows at many locations along the
Red, Minnesota, and Mississippi rivers, and their tributaries, are above
the 90th percentile for the date. For nearly all other locations, stream
flows are above the 75th percentile when compared with historical values
for the date.
- the potential for wildfires is low in nearly all Minnesota counties. The
fire danger rating is categorized as "moderate" in Cook county,
as well as portions of Lake and St. Louis counties.
- the 30-day outlook from the Climate Prediction
Center shows a tilt towards above normal June precipitation for Minnesota.
June is historically the wettest month of the year with precipitation
normals ranging from three and a half inches in the far north to near five
inches in Minnesota's southern tier of counties. The June temperature
outlook calls for below normal conditions in the southwestern one half of
Minnesota, with no significant tendencies away from climatological
probabilities elsewhere in the state. Normal June high temperatures are in
the low to mid 70's early in the month, rising to around 80 by month's
end. Normal June lows are in the low 50's to start the month, and climb to
around 60 as the month ends.
- the 90-day precipitation outlook for June through August tilts towards
above normal precipitation in the southwestern one half of Minnesota, with
no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities elsewhere
in the state. The June though August temperature outlook shows no
significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities.
- the National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river
stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River and Minnesota River basins.
A hydrologic model is initialized using the current conditions of stream
flow and soil moisture across a basin. The model is allowed to run into
the future with multiple scenarios using more than 30 years of
climatological data. The climatological data are weighted by the 90 day
outlooks for temperature and precipitation trends. The model output offers
a complete range of probabilistic values of stream stage and discharge for
numerous forecast points. The product offers a risk assessment tool which
can be used in long-range planning decisions involving flooding or
low-flow concerns. These products are part of the National Weather
Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) and will be
produced near the middle of each month. The AHPS service will be available
for the Mississippi River Basin in the autumn of 2002.
for the Red River basin, http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx/ahps/
for the Minnesota River basin)
FROM THE AUTHOR
NOTES FROM AROUND THE STATE
UPCOMING DATES OF NOTE
- June 14, Climate Prediction Center releases 30/90 day temperature and
WEB SITES FEATURED IN THIS EDITION
http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - Climate Prediction Center
http://www.nass.usda.gov/mn/ - Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service
http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/daily_flow?mn - U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/ - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Division of
Forestry http://www.crh.noaa.gov/fgf - National Weather Service Forecast Office - Grand Forks
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx - National Weather Service Forecast Office - Chanhassen
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