Friday, September 14, 2018

Minnesota: A Land of Extremes

Gabrielle Here:

One of my favorite exhibits at the Minnesota Historical Society is called Weather Permitting. It focuses on the extreme weather we experience in Minnesota, and even has a simulated tornado, which you learn about while sitting in a basement. From tornadoes to blizzards to record-breaking temperatures, we see it all here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

For almost two centuries, since 1819, the state has kept nearly continuous meteorological records. I thought it would be fun to share some of the extreme records in Minnesota weather over the past 130 years! You may be surprised.

Minneapolis, Minnesota Weather Station - 1890
Minnesota Extremes:

Highest Temperature was July 29, 1917 (and July 6, 1936) at 117 °F.

Highest heat index was July 19, 2011 at 130 °F degrees.

Lowest Temperature was Feb. 1996 (I remember!) at -60 °F

Lowest Wind Chill was January 9th, 1982 at -71 °F.

Largest single-day change was a 71 °F drop on April 3, 1982.

Most snow in one snowstorm was Jan. 6-8th, 1994 with 47 inches.

Earliest recorded snow was on August 31, 1949

Latest recorded snow was on June 4, 1935

In 2010 we broke many state-wide records for the number of tornadoes in one day (48), in one month (71) and in one year (113). That summer (the year my twins were born) I had to bring my children down into our basement six times, which surprised me, because in the eight years we lived in that house, I had never had to bring them down there before.

I didn't mention the record rain, hail, flooding or droughts we've had. More proof that you never know what to expect in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Needless to say, Minnesota is a state of extreme weather. It's one of the reasons we live here (I think).

What about you? Do you have extreme weather where you live? Have you ever had to take shelter in a basement for a tornado? Ever weathered a blizzard? Had school canceled because of cold weather?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events.

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1 comment:

  1. I can answer yes to all your questions except for hiding in a basement. Not many basement in Oklahoma. We hid in my parents' bedroom closet. We have quick-changing weather here too at times. I remember taking my boys to visit my mil. The boys were in tank tops and shorts, and while we were there, the temperature dropped from the upper 80s to the 50s in about two hours. Poor kids were freezing. I've often wondered how pioneers endured the long, harsh winters in the northern states.