|HydroClim Minnesota - June 2004
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
- in eight of the ten months from July 2003 through April 2004, precipitation totals in Minnesota fell short of historical averages. In May 2004, with an abruptness common to Minnesota’s climate, precipitation patterns changed significantly across most of the state. The May 2004 statewide area-averaged precipitation total for Minnesota approached six inches, making May 2004 the fifth wettest May of the 114 year modern record. For many locations in northwest and southern Minnesota, precipitation totals for the month topped seven inches. Precipitation totals in some southeast Minnesota communities exceeded ten inches. Positive precipitation departures from normal topped six inches in some areas, essentially nullifying the precipitation deficits built up over the previous ten months.
- a number of significant precipitation events were reported in May 2004. Perhaps the most notable of these events was the heavy rain (and some snow) that fell upon northwest Minnesota on May 11 and 12. Precipitation totals for the event exceeded four inches over a large area. Overland flooding and stream flooding was reported in Roseau and Marshall counties.
- May 2004 mean monthly temperatures were quite cool, especially in northern Minnesota. May monthly mean temperatures in the northern one third of Minnesota were six or more degrees below normal. In some northern Minnesota communities, May 2004 was among the coldest Mays on record. Elsewhere across the state, mean monthly temperatures were generally two to four degrees below the historical average. The cool weather significantly delayed crop growth and spring green-up, especially in the north. The temperature extremes for the month were 93 degrees at Redwood Falls, Lamberton, and Olivia on May 9; and 10 degrees at Embarrass on May 2.
WHERE WE STAND NOW
- growing season precipitation totals to date (April 1 - early June) are well above normal in most Minnesota counties. Seasonal precipitation totals exceed 150 percent of normal in many locations. In the northwest corner of Minnesota, precipitation totals have topped 200 percent (double) normal for the season. Only in portions of central and north central Minnesota do seasonal precipitation totals fall short of normal. When April plus May 2004 precipitation totals are compared with all other April plus May totals in the historical database, this season's rainfall totals rank among the highest on record in some northwest Minnesota communities, and greater than the 70th percentile across the majority of the state.
- as of June 1, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) - U. S. Drought Monitor indicated that most of the state of Minnesota is free of drought designations. The lone exception is an area encompassing portions of west central, central, and north central Minnesota that is judged to be in the "D0 - Abnormally Dry" category. The NDMC index is a blend of science and subjectivity where intensity categories are based on six key indicators and numerous supplementary indicators.
- the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reports that as of May 28, the state's topsoil moisture was 3% short, 71% adequate, and 26% surplus.
- the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that stream discharge values for approximately one half of Minnesota's rivers rank above the 75th percentile for the date. This is in sharp contrast to early April 2004 when stream flow in nearly one half of Minnesota's rivers ranked below the 25th percentile for the date. Stream levels in northwest Minnesota are very high. Stream discharge in many these areas ranks above the 10th percentile for the date. For those areas of Minnesota not experiencing high flows, most stream discharge values are near the middle of the historical distribution.
- the potential for wildfires is rated by DNR Forestry as "low" across all of Minnesota.
- the June precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. June is historically the wettest month of the year with precipitation normals ranging from three and one half inches in western Minnesota, to over four inches and one half inches in many central and eastern Minnesota counties.
- the June temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center also shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. 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 low temperatures are in the low 50's to start the month, and rise to around 60 as the month ends.
- the 90-day precipitation outlook for June through August shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. The June through August also indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities.
- the National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River, Minnesota River, and Mississippi River basins. A hydrologic model is initialized using current conditions of stream flow and soil moisture across a basin. The model is allowed to run into the future with multiple scenarios using multiple years of historical climatological data. The climatological data are weighted by 90-day climate outlooks for temperature and precipitation trends. Model output offers a complete range of probabilistic values of stream stage and discharge for numerous forecast points. The product provides 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 are produced near the middle of each month.
FROM THE AUTHOR
NOTES FROM AROUND THE STATE
UPCOMING DATES OF NOTE
- June 17, Climate Prediction Center releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooksWEB SITES FEATURED IN THIS EDITION
http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group
http://www.drought.unl.edu/ - National Drought Mitigation Center
http://www.nass.usda.gov/mn/ - Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service
- U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - Climate Prediction Center
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps - National Weather Service, Central Region Headquarters
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