|HydroClim Minnesota - December 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
- November 2004 precipitation totals fell short of normal by one half inch to one inch in most Minnesota counties. For some communities, especially in western and northern Minnesota, November 2004 was among the driest Novembers of the modern record.
- November monthly mean temperatures exceeded historical averages by four to seven degrees across Minnesota. The November temperature pattern demonstrated extraordinary consistency throughout the month. For all Minnesota locations, nearly every day in November had warmer than normal temperatures. This extended a period of autumn warmth that began in September. The temperature extremes for November ranged from 74 degrees at Mankato on the 6th, to -8 degrees at Embarrass on the 29th.
WHERE WE STAND NOW
- as of December 8, a modest snow cover blankets the northern one third of Minnesota. Most locations in these areas have three to six inches of snow on the ground. Snow depths of six to eight inches are reported along the Lake Superior highlands. Snow depths are generally one inch or less in the Red River valley and the southern two thirds of Minnesota.
- as of November 30, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) - U. S. Drought Monitor indicated that all of the state of Minnesota is free of drought designation. The NDMC index is a blend of science and subjectivity where intensity categories are based on six key indicators and numerous supplementary indicators.
- U.S. Geological Survey stream gauging efforts indicate that stream discharge values for roughly one half of Minnesota's rivers are high, ranging between the 75th and 90th percentiles for the date. Stream discharge on most other rivers is near the historical average for the date.
- soil frost is very shallow to nonexistent in southern Minnesota. Soil frost depths are four to six inches in exposed areas in northern Minnesota. Soils in areas of northern Minnesota where snow can be trapped (forests and swamps) have less frost. Historically, soil frost reaches maximum depth in late February.
- nearly all of Minnesota's smaller and shallower lakes are ice covered. Most of Minnesota's larger lakes have at least some areas of ice cover. Ice thickness is highly variable and ice safety is marginal. Those venturing onto the state's water bodies should utilize caution and common sense.
- the December precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. December precipitation normals range from around one half inch in western Minnesota to over one and one quarter inches in eastern sections of the state. The median snow cover at the end of December ranges from over 10 inches on the ground in northeastern Minnesota (20 inches in the Lake Superior highlands), to under 5 inches in southwestern counties.
- the December temperature outlook indicates a tendency towards below normal conditions. Normal December high temperatures are in the mid-20's to near 30 to start the month, dropping to the mid-teens to near 20 by month's end. Normal lows are around 10 degrees early in the month, falling to the mid-single digits above and below zero by late December.
- the 90-day precipitation outlook for December through February indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. The December through February temperature outlook 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. 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
- December 16, 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
- U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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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