HydroClim Minnesota - June 2011
A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota's 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
prepared: June 1, 2011 (early distribution)
What happened in May 2011:
- May 2011 precipitation totals were above average across most of Minnesota. Monthly rainfall totals were greater than five inches in many southwest, central, and east central Minnesota communities, topping the historical average by two or more inches. May rainfall totals fell short of the historical average by one-half inch to one inch in far north central and northeast Minnesota.
[see: May 2011 Climate Summary Table | May Precipitation Departure from Normal]
- As was the case during April, tragically severe storms were a dominant feature of the national weather picture during the month of May. Minnesota was not spared nature's fury in May. Severe weather was reported throughout the month, including severe weather outbreaks on the 10th, 22nd, 28th, and 30th.
[see: Severe Storms - May 10 | Minneapolis Tornado - May 22]
- Monthly mean temperatures for May 2011 were somewhat below average across Minnesota. It was the sixth consecutive month of below-average temperatures. May temperatures generally fell short of the historical mean by one to three degrees. Extreme temperature values for May ranged from a high of 96 degrees F at numerous south central Minnesota communities on the 10th, to a low of 18 degrees F at Embarrass and Brimson (St. Louis County) on the 3rd.
[see: May 2011 Climate Summary Table]
Where we stand now:
- Growing season precipitation totals to date (April-plus-May) are above average in nearly all Minnesota locations. Two-month precipitation values have exceeded normal by two or more inches in numerous counties. Growing season precipitation for large portions of central, east central, and north central Minnesota surpass the 90th percentile (one year in ten) when compared with other April-plus-May totals in the historical record. A small section of northeast Minnesota reports below-normal precipitation thus far this season. This is an area still recovering from 2010 growing season precipitation deficits.
[see: Weekly Precipitation Maps]
- The U.S. Geological Survey reports that stream discharge values remain very high in nearly every major Minnesota watershed. River levels remain near or above flood stage at some locations along the Red River, and a few locales along the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Conversely, stream flow in northern Lake County is below the 25th percentile when compared with historical data for the date.
[see: USGS Streamflow | DNR Streamflow | NWS Current Conditions]
- The U. S. Drought Monitor, released on May 26, depicts most of Cook County and much of Lake County as Abnormally Dry. Substantial rain and snow in this area during the autumn and winter improved the drought situation, but stream flow remains low due to the lingering impact of precipitation deficits during the 2010 growing season and spotty rainfall thus far this spring. Although the U.S. Drought Monitor no longer depicts drought in east central Minnesota, some hydrologic systems in this area remain impacted by long-term dryness that began in June of 2008. This long-term precipitation anomaly is responsible for low water levels in larger lakes and wetland complexes across Anoka, Ramsey, Chisago, and Washington counties. The remainder of Minnesota is without drought designation. The U. S. Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where drought categories (Moderate, Severe, etc) are based on several indicators.
[see: U.S. Drought Monitor]
- The Lake Superior water level is at the same elevation as last year at this time, but down 11 inches from the long-term seasonal average. Water levels on a few larger lakes in east central Minnesota lakes remain low. White Bear Lake (Ramsey/Washington county border) water level is up by over one foot after reaching an all-time record low level mark in November 2010.
[see: Corps of Engineers Great Lakes Water Levels | White Bear Lake Water Level]
- As of May 29, the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reported that topsoil moisture was 0% Very Short, 0% Short, 55% Adequate, and 45% Surplus. Because of wet soils, agricultural field work was substantially delayed during May. Soybean planting is 53 percent complete versus a five-year average of 89 percent for this time of year.
[see: Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress and Condition | U. of M. Southwest Research Center (Lamberton) Soil Moisture]
- The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as "Low" across Minnesota.
[see: Fire Danger Rating Map]
- The June precipitation outlook shows a strong bias towards above-normal conditions. 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 and one half inches in many central and eastern Minnesota counties. The historical probability of measurable precipitation for any given day in June ranges from 33 percent in the northwest to near 40 percent in eastern Minnesota.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | June Precipitation Normal Map]
- The June temperature outlook is weighted in favor of below-normal conditions across the state. Normal June high temperatures are in the low to mid 70s early in the month, rising to around 80 by month's end. Normal June low temperatures are in the low 50s to start the month, and rise to around 60 as the month ends.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | June Temperature Normal Map]
- The 90-day precipitation outlook for June through August indicates no significant tendencies away from historical climatological probabilities across Minnesota. The June through August temperature projection tilts towards below-normal conditions throughout Minnesota.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook]
- 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).
[see: National Weather Service North Central River Forecast Center]
From the author:
Notes from around the state:
Upcoming dates of note:
- June 16: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks
Web sites featured in this edition:
- http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group, Minnesota DNR Eco/Water Resources and U of M Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate
- http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/dailyMainW?state=mn&map_type=weekd - U.S. Geological Survey
- http://mndnr.gov/waters - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological and Water Resources
- http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ncrfc - National Weather Service, North Central River Forecast Center
- http://www.drought.unl.edu - National Drought Mitigation Center
- http://www.lre.usace.army.mil - US Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District
- http://www.nass.usda.gov - USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service
- http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu - University of Minnesota, Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton
- http://mndnr.gov/forestry - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry
- http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - National Weather Service, Climate Prediction Center
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