<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> May 2004 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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This Month's Daily Statistics

Drought? What's That

Subject: Saint Cloud Weather Summary for May 2004 and Spring 2004

     After falling behind normal by as much as six-and-three-quarter inches in Saint Cloud, the weather pattern dramatically changed during the second half of May. Saint Cloud remains on the cool side of a front that marked the boundary between summerish heat and humidity, which came as far north as Iowa at times, and relatively cool Canadian air. The result was much more widespread thunderstorms that doused the southern two-thirds and the northern quarter of the state. During May, the Saint Cloud Municipal Airport received 6.73 inches of rainfall, 3.76 inches above normal. This was the most May rainfall since 1965 and the 7th wettest May of the 124 Mays in Saint Cloud history. (Link to 10 Wettest/Driest Mays) All but 0.07 inch fell in the last 16 days of the month. There were three days (May 16, May 23, May 26) with at least an inch of rain, tying May 1938 and May 1965 for the most days with one-inch rainfall in Saint Cloud history (Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation). May 2004 also had 6 days with at least half an inch of rain, tying 1908 and 1937 for the most May days with that much rain (Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation). Saint Cloud State University, due to the hit-and-miss nature of thunderstorms, picked up a total of 7.68 inches of rain.

   The effect of the May rain on the rainfall shortage since last July has been dramatic. At the start of the month, the May 3 growing season precipitation chart from the Minnesota State Climatology Office showed the severe dryness through most of western and central Minnesota. The May 24 growing season precipitation chart is quite different as almost all the red and brown, indicating low precipitation, has changed to near normal yellows and greens in all of central Minnesota, except for a swath of dryness from the Arrowhead to Ortonville and from International Falls to Ada. The worst dry conditions continue from the Brainerd Lakes northeastward to the Iron Range near Hibbing. The same change can be seen between in the six-week loop of the Drought Monitor as the western two-thirds of Minnesota were in severe drought conditions in early May. The latest May 25 Drought Monitor shows that only the Big Stone Lake-Lake Traverse-Ortonville area remained in the severe category and that doesn't count the rainfall since last Tuesday.

     The frequent cloudiness and rainfall during the May kept temperatures chilly. The average temperature was 53.7°F, 2.9°F below normal. This ranks in the coldest quarter of all Mays in Saint Cloud records, but was 2.1°F warmer than just two years ago and 2.5°F milder than May 1997, the 10th coldest May in Saint Cloud records.( Link to 10 Warmest/Coldest Mays; All May statistics)

    May 31 marks the end of meteorological spring. The heavy rainfall of the past 16 days produced a Spring precipitation total of 9.36 inches, nearly 4.89 inches above normal. This makes Spring 2004 the 19th wettest spring of the 108 springs in Saint Cloud records. It also continues the trend of wet springs and/or early summers of the past four years. In both 2001 and 2003, the wet early growing season sharply reversed during the second half of the year. However, it does put into perspective how short term these dry spells have been. Top 10 Wettest Springs in Saint Cloud history

     The cool May weather dropped the average spring temperature to 44.2°F, still 1.3°F above normal. The moist conditions did keep the temperature from dropping below freezing since May 15. If this holds up, it will be a near normal last frost (average: May 10th). However, we are still in a relatively cool weather pattern, although we would have to dry out tremendously to get below freezing during the next few days.

    May 2004 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
May 2004
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
65.1
69.1
Average Low Temperature (°F)
42.3
44.1
Mean Temperature for May (°F)
53.7#
56.6
Record Temperatures in May 2004
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
None set
#32nd coolest May of 124 Mays
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
May 2004 Days with High Temperatures =>90°F
0
0.04
May 2004 Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
0
May 2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
6
2.8

Cold-season 2003-2004 Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F

176
170.4
May Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for May 2004 (°F)
86
May 9th
Coldest High Temperature for May 2004 (°F)
47
May 13th, 23rd
Warmest Low Temperature for May 2004 (°F)
59
May 20th
Coldest Low Temperature for May 2004 (°F)
25
May 3rd
Record Temperatures in May 2004
Temperature(°F)
Date
No Temperature Records Set
Precipitation (in)
May 2004
Normal
May 2004 Precipitation (in)*
6.73
2.97

Total Non-Winter Precipitation July 15, 2003 - May 31, 2004 (in)

(Does not include December 1, 2003- March 31, 2004)

14.46
17.48
May Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in May 2004
1.63 inch
May 16th
Record Precipitation in May 2004
Precipitation (in)
Date
Old Record
Record Daily Rainfall
1.43 inch
May 23rd
1.33 in 1993
*Wettest May since 1965; 7th wettest in Saint Cloud history
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
May 2004 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
14
10.7
May 2004 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
8
6.5
May 2004 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
6
4.4
May 2004 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation@
6
2.2
May 2004 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation#
3
0.7
@Tied with 1908 and 1937 for most May days with at least 0.50 inch of rain
#Tied with 1938 and 1965 for most May days with at least 1.00 inch of rain
Complete list of Saint Cloud May Records
Link to 10 Wettest/Driest Mays
Snowfall (in)
May 2004
Normal
May 2004 Snowfall (in)
None
0.1
Seasonal Snowfall (in) for Cold Season 2003-2004
50.3
46.8

Spring (Mar. 1-May 31) 2004 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
Spring 2004
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
55.8
53.8
Average Low Temperature (°F)
32.5
31.8
Mean Temperature for Spring (°F)
44.2
42.9
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
Spring 2004
Days with High Temperatures => 90°F
1
0.6
Spring 2004
Days with High Temperatures <= 32°F
3
Spring 2004
Days with High Temperatures <= 0°F
3
4.3
Spring 2004
Days with High Temperatures <= -10°F
1
0.6
Spring 2004
Days with Low Temperatures <= 32°F
49
46.5
Spring 2004
Days with Low Temperatures <= 0°F
0
3.6
Spring 2004
Days with Low Temperatures <= -20°F
0
0.1
Spring 2004
Days with Low Temperatures <= -30°F
1
0.6
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
Spring 2004
Normal
Spring Melted Precipitation (in)
9.36*
4.47
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
Spring 2004 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
35
26.2
Spring 2004 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
15
14.7
Spring 2004 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
9
9.3
Spring 2004 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
7
4.4
Spring 2004 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
3
0.7
Snowfall (in)
Spring 2004
Normal
Spring 2004 Snowfall (in)
8.9
11.1
Seasonal Snowfall (in) for Cold Season 2003-2004
50.3
46.8

 



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Last updated: 1-June-2004
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