Minnesota s Climatic Conditions, Outlook, and Impacts on Agriculture. Today. 1. The weather and climate of 2017 to date

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1 Minnesota s Climatic Conditions, Outlook, and Impacts on Agriculture Kenny Blumenfeld, State Climatology Office Crop Insurance Conference, Sep 13, 2017 Today 1. The weather and climate of 2017 to date 2. Other recent observations and trends of note + Impacts 3. Looking ahead (??) 4. Things to watch over next several months 2

2 Weather and climate of 2017 to date 1. Predominantly warm conditions have prevailed Mild winter ended early (60s and 70s in Feb and early March) Heat extremes in check Cooler/near normal since late winter 2. Mix of wet and dry conditions Especially northwest and far southwest MN 3 Warm conditions Temperature Departure (F) MN 2017 Temperature Departures from 20 th Century Averages* Jan 17 Feb 17 Mar 17 Apr 17 May 17 Jun 17 Jul 17 Aug 17 Month *Printout different from slides because of timing 4

3 Warm conditions Temperature Anomaly, Jan 2017 July 2017 National Centers for Environmental Information, 5 Warm conditions Warmth related to elevated lows, more so than highs Jan Jul Low Departures Jan Jul High Departures National Centers for Environmental Information, 6

4 Warm conditions Normal to slightly above avg. number of hot days (Max Temp. 90 F +) 5 10 east and south, west and southwest Only two official 100 degree readings so far 7 Mix of wet and dry conditions Precip. Departure (in.) MN 2017 Precip. Departures from 20 th Century Averages* Jan 17 Feb 17 Mar 17 Apr 17 May 17 Jun 17 Jul 17 Aug 17 Month *Printout different from slides because of timing 8

5 Wet and dry conditions Precipitation deficits in northwest Dry July yielded to a generally normal to wet August. Fortunately, May/June precip largely adequate. Combined with cool weather, kept drought intensity at bay. *Printout different from slides because of timing 9 Wet and dry conditions Drought status as of 09/05* *Printout different from slides because of timing 10

6 Wet and dry conditions Soil moisture dipped below historical averages during July in southern MN August rains led to recovery Upper 18 now replenished (northwestern MN still in drought though!) 11 Wet and dry conditions Heavy/extreme rainfall event Aug Widespread 2 + rains Max of 9.45 at Redwood Falls Largest reported rainfall since June 2012 in Two Harbors Other reports of 5 8 in area along MN River 9/22/

7 Of Note Three tornadoes on March 6, earliest on record in Minnesota Top: Clarks Grove. Bottom: Elk Lake. Courtesy NWS Chanhassen 13 Other observations and trends of note (so far) very different from 2016, which was combined warmest/wettest year on record in MN also lacked extreme heat, but had: Very long growing season Very wet growing season High numbers of thunderstorms At least three extreme rainfall events Devastating storm activity in northern MN Virtually no drought in MN 14

8 Other observations and trends of note 2016 in Review 15 Other observations and trends of note 2016: Unprecedented warmth and wetness 16

9 Other observations and trends of note 2016: State record annual precipitation at Waseca (56.24 ) Other individual season records, especially eastern and southern MN 17 Other observations and trends of note Extreme and Mega rains Not a mega but high impact 18

10 Other observations and trends of note Extreme and Mega rains Kandiyohi Cty Arena and Track Aug 11 Other observations and trends of note Temperature Departure (F) Entire state in extensive, multi year warm regime (31 of 37 months) MN Recent Temperature Departures from 20th Century Averages Aug 14 Sep 14 Oct 14 Nov 14 Dec 14 Jan 15 Feb 15 Mar 15 Apr 15 May 15 Jun 15 Jul 15 Aug 15 Sep 15 Oct 15 Nov 15 Dec 15 Jan 16 Feb 16 Mar 16 Apr 16 May 16 Jun 16 Jul 16 Aug 16 Sep 16 Oct 16 Nov 16 Dec 16 Jan 17 Feb 17 Mar 17 Apr 17 May 17 Jun 17 Jul 17 Aug 17 20

11 Other observations and trends of note State has gotten much warmer & wetter past three decades 21 Other observations and trends of note State has gotten much warmer & wetter past three decades 22

12 Other observations and trends of note Warming varies across regions, seasons, and times of day Total temperature change, Annual Average Winter Lows Summer Highs 23 Other observations and trends of note All seasons getting wetter in MN 24

13 Other observations and trends of note Heavy and extreme rains showing long term increase 25 Other observations and trends of note Minnesota summer maximum temperatures: no trend 26

14 Other observations and trends of note Heat extremes not increasing 27 Other observations and trends of note Warming trends shaped by loss of cold 28

15 Other observations and trends of note No long term drought increases observed Minnesota Palmer Drought Severity Index, PDSI Value Wet years Dry years 29 Other observations and trends of note No tornado/severe thunderstorm increases + current tornado drought 7 years without F/EF 3 in MN; longest stretch on record, since

16 Other observations and trends of note Snowfall Snow showing mixed signals 1. Shorter snowcover season 2. Decreased peak snowcover (depth) 3. Greater maximum snowfall (some stations) 4. Intermittent snowpack more common southern MN (still plenty of real winter northern MN!) 31 Assorted effects/impacts 1. Longer growing seasons have been observed (esp. 2016) 2. False starts have become more common Warm conditions followed by deep freeze 3. Inundated fields from excessive rainfall (increased use of tile drainage) 4. Ability for foreign species/invasives to establish 5. Recent tendency for growing season to start wet, and then dry out (present year included) 32

17 Looking ahead Keep in mind, nobody really knows any of this! (The Climate Prediction Center has a difficult time making seasonal forecasts for our region.) 33 Looking ahead For example, last winter 34

18 Looking ahead Source: Climate Prediction Center 35 Looking ahead Sept into Oct: cold and warm? (static image not representative)* *Printout different from slides because of timing 36

19 Looking ahead And also wet? (animation, static image not representative*) *Printout different from slides because of timing 37 Looking ahead September 2017 November 2017 Outlook Source: Climate Prediction Center 38

20 Looking ahead November 2017 January 2018 Outlook Source: Climate Prediction Center 39 Things to watch 1. What happens with dry conditions in northwest MN? Does pattern shift to rainfall favorability? 2. Do wet or dry conditions predominate statewide over fall and winter? 3. How late will the 2017 growing season last? 4. What happens with autumn hydroclimate? What will soil moisture conditions be like as we head into winter? 5. How does winter snowpack behave? Long duration and abundant, or fleeting and scarce? What s the risk of alfalfa injury from delayed snowcover? 40

21 In Summary 1. Major warm regime since 2014, part of longer term warming trend Has occurred without major increases in excessive heat has been dry in northwest MN, but normal to slightly wet elsewhere 3. Trend of recent decades and exemplified by 2016, has been towards increased wetness 4. Extreme rainfall has become more common 5. Outlooks are mixed through early October, but forecasters anticipating warm fall and early winter 6. Precipitation outlook less certain, so local trends should be monitored. Thank You! Kenny Blumenfeld /22/

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