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Minnesota Weather

Minnesota Weather

We love to talk about, and sometimes brag about, our ever-changing Minnesota weather. Minnesota provides a true "theater of the seasons."

Minnesota's weather is usually pleasant, however we are well known for our severe weather outbreaks including summer thunderstorms and tornados and winter snowstorms and blizzards.

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You Know You're A Minnesotan

"You know you're a Minnesotan if you have gotten frostbite and sunburn on the same weekend." ~Ed Fischer, You Know You're a Minnesotan If

More than almost any other location on earth, Minnesota experiences all four seasons:

  • Spring often arrives more like a lion than a lamb and is our shortest season. It can be difficult to know, at times, if it really is spring. It might snow one day and be T-shirt weather the next. This is the time when Minnesota residents open up their summer cabins, get the boat ready and anticipate family fun in the sun.
  • Summer is the favorite Minnesota weather season for many people. It it truly glorious. Summer days are long and residents and vistors alike take full advantage of our many activities and attractions. It's a perfect time to be at the lake, at a Minnesota campground or touring the state.
  • I think many Minnesotans would agree that autumn is our favorite season. Minnesota weather in the fall is mild and the season can extend well into November. Fall foliage makes Minnesota an autumn paradise. It is a wonderful time to visit Minnesota. You will find lodging discounts, no crowds and no mosquitoes!
  • Winter weather in Minnesota gets the most press and conversation! Speculation about winter weather predictions is rampant. Snow for Thanksgiving is common and a snowy Easter is also a possibility. One of our most famous winter blizzards occured on Halloween in 1991 and is listed as one of the "top 5 weather events of the 20th century." Minnesotans don't hide from winter weather. We enjoy our winter activities and snowy winter sports.
In Minnesota, the 10 o'clock news is just window-dressing for the 10 o'clock weather. ~Howard Mohr, How to Talk Minnesotan: Revised for the 21st Century

Minnesota Weather Trivia

  • Lake Superior is so large that it creates its own weather. The lake maintains an average temperature of 39 degrees thus creating a cooling effect in summer and a warming effect in winter. Lake Superior also creates its own "lake effect" snowstorms. These occur when moist air blowing inland condenses and falls as snow. This is the reason that Duluth and the North Shore are the snowiest parts of the state.
  • Minnesota averages about 16 snowstorms each year though only a few of those become all out winter blizzards. Snowfall in the northern part of the state is about 60 inches and in the southern part of the state about 40 inches.
  • The Minnesota towns of International Falls and Embarass often win the "nation's icebox" designation.
  • Summer high temperatures in Minnesota average in the mid-80s F in the south to the upper 70s F in the north, with temperatures as hot as 114 °F. possible.
  • Tornadoes can occur in Minnesota from March through November, but the peak tornado month is June, followed by July, May, and August. The state averages 24 tornadoes per year.

2015 was the anniversary year of the "longest night" in Minnesota. In May of 1965, six funnel clouds touched down in the Twin Cities, killing 13 people and injuring more that 680.

If Spring Should Fail

Not all of hope's enchantment

Will canopy our trail;

Doubt will often be our tent,

But oh, if Spring should fail!

~By Lenora Clawson Stryker, Minnesota Verse: An Anthology

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