|HydroClim Minnesota - February 2005
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
- January 2005 monthly precipitation totals were near to above historical averages in most Minnesota communities. Precipitation totals exceeded average by more than one inch in portions of central and northeastern Minnesota. Duluth reported its second snowiest January on record (45.7 inches), and many northeastern Minnesota locations received more than 40 inches of snow for the month.
- a number of significant weather events occurred during January 2005. A wintry mix of weather on January 1 brought heavy snows to northern Minnesota and a sheet of freezing rain and sleet to southeastern counties. On January 12, a narrow swath of three to eight inches of snow fell across western and central Minnesota. Lake effect snow blanketed "north shore" communities with a foot or more of snow on January 20, 21, and 22. On January 21, a strong storm system dropped into Minnesota from the Canadian prairie, leaving behind six to nine inches of snow across west central, central, and southeastern Minnesota. For many east central Minnesota communities this was the first substantial snow of the season.
- January 2005 monthly mean temperatures were slightly below average in the northern one third of Minnesota, and somewhat above average in the southern two thirds of the state. A bitterly cold period during the middle of the month was offset by above average temperatures later in January.
The temperature extremes for January ranged from 49 degrees at Lamberton (Redwood county) and Worthington on the 25th, to -54 degrees at Embarrass (St. Louis county) on the 17th. Cold minimum temperatures on January 16 and 17 were record-breaking in some northern Minnesota communities.
WHERE WE STAND NOW
- tomorrow's (February 10) snow depth map will depict a snow cover of one foot or more across much of the northern one third of Minnesota. Two or more feet of snow is on the ground in portions of St. Louis county, and all of Lake and Cook counties. Snow depths exceed three feet along some stretches of the Lake Superior highlands. In the southern one half of the state, snow cover is sparse or even nonexistent due to very warm temperatures during the first week of February.
- as of February 1, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) - U. S. Drought Monitor indicated that many counties in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota fall 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.
- in those portions of northeastern and north central Minnesota with adequate snow cover before the mid-January cold snap, soil frost depths under sod are around 12 inches. Elsewhere around the state, soil frost depths under sod are 20 to 30 inches. Historically, soil frost reaches maximum depth in late February.
- the February precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. Historically, February is Minnesota's driest month with precipitation normals ranging from near one half inch in northwestern Minnesota to just over one inch in far eastern sections of the state. The median snow depth at the end of February ranges from under 5 inches in southwest Minnesota to over 18 inches on the ground in northeastern Minnesota (greater than 30 inches in the Lake Superior highlands).
- the February temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates a strong tilt towards above normal conditions statewide. Normal February high temperatures range the low-teens in the north to near 20 in the south early in the month, climbing to the mid-20's to low 30's by month's end. Normal February low temperatures range from near minus 10 degrees in the far north to the single digits above zero in southern Minnesota early in the month; ascending to the low single digits in the north, mid-teens in the south by the end of February.
- the 90-day precipitation outlook for February through April indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. The February through April temperature outlook also shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across the state.
- 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.
(see: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps )
FROM THE AUTHOR
NOTES FROM AROUND THE STATE
- noneUPCOMING DATES OF NOTE
- February 17, Climate Prediction Center releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooksWEB SITES FEATURED IN THIS EDITION
- February 25, River Forecast Center releases probabilistic spring flood outlooks
http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group
http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu - Midwest Regional Climate Center
http://www.drought.unl.edu/ - National Drought Mitigation Center
- 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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