Welcome to meteorological autumn.
September 1st marks the beginning of the fall season, meteorologically speaking. The months of September, October and November best represent fall for meteorological record keeping purposes.
As for meteorological summer 2010, it will be a record summer to remember in many ways. Frequent severe weather outbreaks highlight the sumemr of 2010.
-Minnesota's 145 tornado reports this year leads the nation. This is the first time on record that Minnesota has led the nation in reported tornadoes.
Keep in mind that many of these are still preliminary reports, and the final numbers may drop by as much as a third, but so will other state totals. Here are the top 7 states to date.
1) Minnesota 145
2) Texas 87
3) Kansas 80
4) Oklahoma 70
5) North Dakota 68
6) Colorado 66
7) Wisconsin 60
Texas and Oklahoma have the best chance at closing the tornado numbers with their typical fall severe weather season, but Minnesota's lead is significant at this point.
-The June 17th tornado outbreak smashed the record for the number of tornadoes in a single day in Minnesota. A total of 48 tornadoes skipped across Minnesota that day. That's nearly double previous record of 27 set on June 16th, 1992.
-A total of 4 EF4 tornadoes blasted Minnesota in 2010 including the devastating June 17th Wadena EF4 twister. They are the strongest tornadoes to hit the state in a decade.
Summer 2010 was significantly warmer than average in Minnesota. Here are some stats for MSP.
-It was the 5th warmest on record for the Twin Cities. (+3.2 degrees)
-It was the 3rd warmest August on record for the Twin Cities. (+6.4 degrees)
-We've suffered through 17 days at or above 90 degrees in the metro this year. The average is 13 days.
Summer 2010 was also wet in many locations in Minnesota, especially in the south. The Twin Cities summer rainfall total of 14.19" is only about 1.5" above average, but other communities recorded record amounts of rain this summer.
-This was the wettest summer on record for La Crosse with 20.93" and Wabasha with 24.59" recorded.
One reason for all the rainfall was the unusually high atmospheric moisture content over Minnesota this summer.
The average dew point for the Twin Cities is 61 degrees since June 1st. That's about 5 degrees above average. That's why it's felt so humid this summer, and the extra moisture has helped fuel storms.
The warm wet summer has a positive side. Minnesota will produce record crop yields this year. The severe weather is scattered enough that crop damage was minimal over the state as a whole.
Many of us will remember the summer of 2010 for a long time to come!
I generally enjoy listening to you on MPR and reading the Updraft blog to learn more about our weather patterns and forecasts here, and I'd like to thank you for that.
However, this summer I have noticed a significant change in the tone of discussion when the weather starts to get warm or humid. Please know that some of us look forward to 90 degree days and dewpoints in the 70s. So, no, I did NOT suffer through seventeen 90 degree days this year, I thoroughly ENJOYED every single one of them because I know that January will be back and July is what makes that possible.
(I would argue that our over-dependence on refrigerating every indoor space all summer only makes adapting to the heat more difficult. If you haven't heard about Stan Cox, he's worth reading about: Link. Like Stan, I survived all summer without AC with the help of ceiling fans and open windows at night.)
I've lived in other parts of the country that are renown for "great" weather and Minnesota called me back because everywhere else was BORING. The same thing day after day after day with no extremes either cold or hot or rainy or snowy.
If you're not happy about summer here, then I'll expect that you'll be rejoicing when temps plummet to twenty below and colder this winter. I hear San Diego has "perfect" weather, too....
I think the reports regarding the comfort levels pertain to normal people.
I, too, embrace the variety of weather we enjoy here in Minnesota. But the extremes are extreme, and calling days where the dewpoints are in the 70s uncomfortable is simply accurate reporting.