<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> July 2008 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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Driest July Since 1980 Still Doesn't Qualify As a Drought

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for July 2008    

The persistent rainfall that dominated much of the spring in St. Cloud has shut off during the early and middle summer. So, central Minnesota is actually having a significant dry spell. July 2008 rainfall at the St. Cloud Regional Airport totalled 1.39 inches, nearly two inches below the normal amount of 3.34 inches. That makes July 2008 the 14th driest out of the 116 Julys in St. Cloud records and the driest July since 1980. It was also about a quarter inch below last July's rainfall of 1.63 inches. The dry period began on June 15 and has continued through July. During the past month and a half, St. Cloud has only picked up 2.38 inches, nearly three and a half inches short of the normal June 15-July 31 rainfall of 5.83 inches. The rainfall deficit before yesterday's storms in west central and south central Minnesota, according to the dry spell report from the Minnesota State Climatology Office, was as much as 3-5 inches just to our south. The latest Drought Monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center shows all of central Minnesota ranked in the abnormally dry category.

However, this dry spell does not even approach the rainfall shortages during the past two summers. Both of the past two years did included major rainfall deficits. At this time last year, St. Cloud had a deficit of nearly 5 1/2 inches, making 2007 the 7th driest April-July period on record. Other parts of central Minnesota to our west had deficits up to 8-9 inches at some point during the summer. These low water conditions led to near record low stream levels in St. Cloud on both the Sauk and Mississippi Rivers. In 2006, a similar dry period between May 15 and August 22 produced a rainfall deficit as large as 6.47 inches.

Also, our summer dry period has come at the end of a very wet spring. Between March 21 and June 14, St. Cloud picked up 11.04 inches of precipitation, nearly 3 1/4 inches above the normal rainfall of 7.85 inches. So, much of the dry weather period has actually helped the maturing of crops after the wet spring and early summer. 72% of the fields still had topsoil moisture ranked as adequate or surplus, according to the latest Minnesota Ag News. Still, some rainfall would be welcome.

The other factor is that this summer has been markedly cooler than the past two summers, which has kept water loss due to evaporation down from the previous two dry years. In July, the St. Cloud average temperature was 70.4°F, 0.6°F above normal. In fact, central Minnesota has had an incredibly normal start to the summer since the average June St. Cloud temperature was within 0.1°F of normal. In addition, daily temperatures have hung very close to normal during the summer so far. During the past two months, there have been only 4 days in which the average temperature was more than 6 degrees away from normal. That explains only having 2 days so far (both in July) in which the high temperature cracked 90 degrees. On each of those days, the high was only 91°F. In contrast, July 2007 had 7 highs of at least 90 and July 2006 had 15 highs of at least 90 by the end of June. On the other side, St. Cloud had only 7 July 2008 days with a high in the 70's, and none since July 19. Sometimes, normal is just a number but, this summer, normal really describes St. Cloud weather.

Over the short term, the persistent heat in the Rockies and the Plains, noted by the triple digit high temperatures on Yesterday's High Temperature Map from NWS/SUNY-Albany, will try to make an attempt to build northward over the weekend, raising the chance for more 90-degree highs and some tropical humidity. However, this trend has been forecast for most of the past week and hasn't happened yet.

 

    July 2008 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
July 2008
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
83.2
81.6
Average Low Temperature (°F)
57.5
57.9
Mean Temperature for July (°F)
70.4
69.8
  10 Hottest/Coldest Julys
July Temperature Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for July 2008 (°F)
91
July 6th, 11th
Coldest High Temperature for July 2008 (°F)
73
July 19th
Warmest Low Temperature for July 2008 (°F)
67
July 17th
Coldest Low Temperature for July 2008 (°F)
46
July 3rd
Record Temperatures in July 2008
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
No records set
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
July 2008 Days with High Temperatures >= 90°F
2
4.67
2008 Total Days with High Temperature of At Least 90°F
2
11.43
July 2008 Days with Low Temperatures >= 70°F
0
1.72
2008 Total Days with Low Temperatures >= 70°F
0
3.00
Precipitation (in)
This Year
Normal
July 2008 Precipitation (in)
1.39*
3.34
2008 Dry Period Rainfall (June 15-July 31) (in)
2.38
5.83
2008 Growing Season (Apr-Jul) Precipitation (in)*
12.54
12.95
2008 Total Precipitation (in)
14.72
15.80
*14th driest July in St. Cloud Records; Driest Since 1980    
July Precipitation Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in July 2008
0.47
July 11th
Record Precipitation in June 2008
Precipitation (in)
Date
Old Record
No Daily Precipitation Records Set
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
July 2008 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
11
9.3
July 2008 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
5
5.9
July 2008 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
2
4.1
July 2008 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
0
2.5
July 2008 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
0
1.2


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All climate data provided courtesy of NOAA/NWS
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and Minnesota Climatology Working Group, including the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office, University of Minnesota-Saint Paul Campus.

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Last updated: August 1, 2008
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