Mesonet News

Photo of a convective thunderstorm.

Convective versus Stratiform Rain Events and Drought

Carter Swenson | Sep 15, 2023

The improvement of drought is not a linear path, and there is no straightforward solution to the multi-year precipitation deficit. Though, some rain events can help alleviate dry conditions better than others. We will be discussing two types of precipitation events, convective and stratiform rain events with what they are, and how they can impact drought conditions.

Read more
Photo of Delano mesonet station.

Delano Mesonet Addition

Carter Swenson | Sep 13, 2023

On Monday, August 28th, 2023, Hennepin County Emergency Management staff joined forces to assist in the installation of the Delano site, located behind Delano High School. This is the 26th station in the Hennepin West Mesonet network.

Read more
Collage of Hennepin West Mesonet maps showing air temperature, heat index, Wet Bulb Globe Temperature, and relative humidity from August 22, 2023.

August Heat Wave

Carter Swenson | Sep 07, 2023

The National Weather Service in Chanhassen issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Hennepin County from 11am August 22nd, 2023, until August 23th, 2023 at 11pm. Heat index values were expected to reach temperatures in excess of 105° F with little relief expected overnight, with temperatures forecasted to stay in the 70s. After the warning, there will be a heat advisory in effect until the 24th at 7pm.

Read more
Numerous hail stones on the ground with a ruler next to them for size reference.

Mid-August Hail Storm

Carter Swenson | Aug 24, 2023

A severe thunderstorm watch had been issued in the early afternoon of August 11th, with the potential for large hail and damaging winds being the main concern. During the evening commute, multiple severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for Hennepin County.

Read more
Two maps showing air temperature and heat index on July 26, 2023 at 2PM.

Late July Heat Wave Impacts Hennepin County

Carter Swenson | Aug 09, 2023

The Twin Cities National Weather Service had issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Hennepin County the end of July. What does this mean? High temperatures and humidity are causing heat index values to creep towards 100° F, with little chance for cooling in the evenings.

Read more
Graph of precipitation from July 19, 2023.

July Severe Thunderstorms and Drought Update

Carter Swenson | Jul 24, 2023

From Dayton to Shoreview, Hennepin County residents experienced severe winds knocking over lawn furniture and bringing down branches and knocking out power. Winds reached just over 60 mph in northern Hennepin County.

Read more
Portable weather station at Twin Cities Pride 2023.

Portable Weather Station Debut at Twin Cities Pride Festival

Carter Swenson | Jul 24, 2023

This year at the 2023 Twin Cities Pride Festival and Parade, the Hennepin County Emergency Management set up a temporary weather station next to the pitcher's mound at the Parade Stadium beside the Walker Art Center. This allowed emergency personal to monitor weather conditions in real time to warn festival officials for wind and heat concerns at the festival.

Read more
Graph showing average precipitation compared to MSP Airport

Flash Drought by mid-June

Carter Swenson | Jun 16, 2023

As felt the last two years, Hennepin County has fallen into another cycle of flash drought. A flash drought is distinguished by a sudden or rapid increase in severity of drought conditions in an area.

Read more
Hazy photo over field looking at the Maple Grove water tower on June 14, 2023 due to poor air quality.

Record Breaking Poor Air Quality

Carter Swenson | Jun 15, 2023

Residents are breathing a bit easier today after yesterday's record-breaking daily Air Quality Index (AQI) readings, with initial estimates averaging out to roughly 175 AQI.

Read more
The image shows a map of Hennepin County with dots representing each of the mesonets in 2022. The title of the image reads, "Hennepin West Mesonet Extremes of 2022." There are numerous data points on the image depicting things like the highest air temperature, coldest air temperature, most rainfall in 24 hours, and more.

Hennepin West Mesonet Extremes of 2022

Emily Jackson & Carter Swenson | Jun 08, 2023

The drought returns. During the year of 2022, we observed low rainfall totals across Hennepin County, with the lowest total in Rockford, with a total of 12.04 inches from January to September.

Read more
Map of Hennepin County and dots representing each Hennepin West Mesonet station in 2021. Image title is Hennepin West Mesonet Extremes of 2021 with numerous data points depicting the extreme weather events across Hennepin County throughout 2021.

Hennepin West Mesonet Extremes of 2021

Emily Jackson & Carter Swenson | Feb 02, 2022

Long awaited, we are going to look back on the 2021 year of extremes here in Hennepin County, data provided by our mesonet network.

Read more
Hennepin West Mesonet extremes graphic of 2020 data.

Hennepin West Mesonet Extremes of 2020

Emily Harrington | Feb 09, 2021

Our Hennepin West Mesonet network has recorded another year’s worth of weather extreme data. The graphic captures some of those extremes throughout 2020.

Read more
Map of NOAA National Weather Service weather and hazard data viewer with Hennepin West Mesonet stations.

Hennepin West Mesonet Stations in MADIS

Emily Harrington | Apr 15, 2020

As Severe Weather Awareness Week 2020 kicked off this past Monday, we received news that all 21 of our mesonet stations are officially being ingested by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS).

Read more
Coldest wind chill temperatures on February 13, 2020.

February Arctic Blast

Emily Harrington | Feb 18, 2020

A strong arctic cold front swept across the area Wednesday, February 12th, causing temperatures across the region to plummet. The strong winds lead to wind chill advisories and warnings being issued for Minnesota.

Read more
6-hour peak winds across Hennepin County ending at 1:00 pm on January 18, 2020.

Mid-January Winter Storm and Cold Air

Emily Harrington | Jan 21, 2020

A powerful low-pressure system brought 3-6 inches of snow across Hennepin County Friday, January 17th, causing a treacherous afternoon commute.

Read more
Map of the extreme weather conditions measured by Hennepin West Mesonet stations in 2019.

Hennepin West Mesonet Extremes of 2019

Emily Harrington | Jan 13, 2020

As we sit back and reflect on the weather of 2019, we will likely think about the Twin Cities breaking the annual precipitation record at 43.17 inches, but it also makes you wonder what other extremes we experienced last year in Hennepin County.

Read more
Daily minimum wind chills from December 11, 2019.

Snow Opens the Door to Cold

Emily Harrington | Dec 18, 2019

Fresh snowfall of 2 to 4 inches fell across Hennepin County Sunday night into Monday, leading to a messy morning commute for many. This snowfall ushered in arctic air behind it, giving us our first subzero temperatures of the season.

Read more

Unseasonably Cold Start to November

Emily Harrington | Nov 18, 2019

November has started off chilly, with the first two weeks running 12 degrees below average. This cold peaked on Veteran’s Day with record cold high temperatures set in the Twin Cities.

Read more

2019 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Emily Harrington | Oct 22, 2019

At the Hennepin County Board Meeting this afternoon, our director, Eric Waage accepted a 2019 Achievement Award from Commissioner Jan Callison on behalf of the National Association of Counties for the Hennepin West Mesonet project.

Read more

Warm End to NCAA Final Four Tournament

Emily Harrington | Apr 08, 2019

Just as we were getting used to the warmth and occasion shower, we are interrupted with an incoming snow storm.

Read more

Snow, and more snow

Emily Harrington | Feb 26, 2019

Are you sick of the snow? We are too! Up until February this year, much of Minnesota was experiencing a rather brown winter.

Read more

January Extreme Cold

Emily Harrington | Feb 04, 2019

This may be Minnesota, but last week was very cold. So cold that we broke a Twin Cities lowest wind chill event from January 2014.

Read more

Windy New Year

Emily Harrington | Jan 10, 2019

Happy New Year! Earlier this week, we experienced some of our strongest wind gusts yet, this winter. Overnight Monday, we had a cold front that extended from Ontario, down into Minnesota.

Read more

Finally Above the Normal High Temperature since Oct. 3rd

Emily Harrington | Oct 18, 2018

After two weeks below the normal high temperature, we finally made it back above that mark today. The daily climate report from the National Weather Service reports that today's normal high temperature today is 58°, while on October 3rd it was 64°F.

Read more

First Snowfall of Fall 2018

Emily Harrington | Oct 15, 2018

Were you ready for snow yesterday? I was not. It was a beautiful sight in the morning, but makes you realize that winter is just around the corner.

Read more

Muggy Wet Past Week

Emily Harrington | Jun 21, 2018

In the last week, Hennepin County has received a lot of rain. In fact so much rain, that part of the southeastern Hennepin County is in a Flood Warning this afternoon, due to the Minnesota River rising close to flood stage level as of Wednesday morning.

Read more

Hot and Stormy Memorial Day Weekend

Emily Harrington | May 30, 2018

This past weekend did not seem like your typical weekend in May. The air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups and the heat was intense and long lived.

Read more

Rainy End of the Week

Emily Harrington | May 09, 2018

Temperatures around the 80s this past weekend and Monday were awfully warm and dry. Hennepin County was put into an extreme fire danger rating Monday, due to the dry conditions and wind speeds reaching almost 27 miles per hour in Medina, MN.

Read more

Mid-April Snow Storm

Emily Harrington | Apr 14, 2018

The snow just doesn’t want to stop this year. Hennepin County is still in a Winter Storm Warning, that was issued from Friday, April 13th at 10 p.m. until Sunday, April 15th at 1 a.m., by the National Weather Service. This historic winter storm, has forced MnDOT to shut down numerous roads in southwest Minnesota, and will continue to drop more snow well into Sunday.

Read more

First Day of Spring

Emily Harrington | Mar 20, 2018

Spring is typically a time with sunny skies, rain showers, and thunderstorms but the beginning of...

Read more

Warmer End to February

Emily Harrington | Feb 28, 2018

The beginning of February was chilly, but Hennepin County gradually warmed up throughout the month. The average maximum temperatures during the second half of the month were at least double those during the first half.

Read more

Bold North: Coldest Super Bowl

Emily Harrington | Feb 06, 2018

Super Bowl LII goers experienced the coldest Super Bowl in history yesterday. Although it wasn’t out of the ordinary for native Minnesotans, people were thankful the game was played indoors at the U.S. Bank Stadium.

Read more

Temperatures Drop After Yesterday's Snowfall

Emily Harrington | Jan 24, 2018

By Sunday, January 21st, most schools in the Twin Cities and southern MN closed due to the inclement winter storm. Snow began falling before sunrise Monday, and was persistent well into the evening.

Read more

Coldest End of the Year in 132 Years

Emily Harrington | Jan 08, 2018

2017 ended with a week of cold temperatures. The daily average temperature of the mesonet stations were below zero most days between December 25th and the 31st.

Read more

Below Average High Temps since Oct. 27

Emily Harrington | Dec 01, 2017

The end of October and much of November seemed a bit colder than usual. All of the Mesonet Stations recorded a number of days the maximum temperatures were below the maximum daily average temperature, according to the National Weather Service Climate Reports.

Read more

October Warm-up Last Week

Sarah Karel | Oct 24, 2017

October is almost over and it looks like our highest monthly temperatures across the mesonet just missed the 80 degree mark.

Read more

October Rainfall Already More Than September

Sarah Karel | Oct 11, 2017

For most mesonet stations, the first five days of October have seen more rain than the entire month of September – only Maple Grove had more rain in September. This recent rain was mainly due to a slow moving system that brought a lot of moisture into Minnesota.

Read more

Cooler August Than Usual

Sarah Karel | Sep 12, 2017

Brrr! Did August seem cooler than usual to you? Farmers around the Twin Cities would probably agree with you. Below-average temperatures last month caused plants like tomatoes and peppers not to ripen and change colors

Read more

July Heat

Sarah Karel | Jul 25, 2017

Last Monday was a hot day for those working outside, with temperatures across the region in the upper 80s and low 90s. This heat was also shown from the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) readings in the mid-80s. WBGT measures heat stress on a body, and readings of mid-80s signify that a person shouldn’t be outside for more than two hours without a 30-minute break. The higher WBGT readings from the weekend did not continue into Monday, but they did max out around 87°F on Monday. *

Read more

March Maximum Wind Gusts

March Maximum Wind Gusts | Mar 13, 2017

We saw some strong winds last week in the metro. The Mesonet Stations recorded several high wind gusts across Hennepin County. All of the highest wind gusts so far, this month were recorded on either March 7th or 8th.

Read more

February Warm-Up

Sarah Karel | Feb 17, 2017

Is Punxatawney Phil, the groundhog, right about six more weeks of winter? So far, it feels like spring is already here.

Read more

December Wind Chills

Sarah Karel | Jan 12, 2017

Hennepin County saw some chilly temperatures in December! We were particularly cold on the 17th and 18th, with consistent wind chills around and below zero. Wind chill is an apparent temperature designed to be representative of the effect temperature and wind speed have on exposed skin.

Read more

2 Stations Broke Minimum Temperature Records

Sarah Karel | Dec 21, 2016

It was definitely cold this past weekend, but not quite record breaking, at the ‘official’ level anyways. The official low temperature for Hennepin County at the MSP Airport was -20 oF. To break an official record, we would have had to have a temperature below -24 oF. How does this compare to other sensors around the Hennepin West Mesonet? The image below shows the minimum temperature from across the region area of the Hennepin West Mesonet.

Read more

Second Warmest November on Record

Sarah Karel | Dec 06, 2016

Did you notice November wasn’t that cold? We sure did! According to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Chanhassen, the Twin Cities had an average temperature of 44.1°F for the month, which is 10.4°F above normal. Since it was so warm, we saw less snow than normal as

Read more

When did the Growing Season End?

Sarah Karel | Nov 21, 2016

The record breaking growing season for the Twin Cities ‘officially’ ended on November 18, 2016. This means that on November 18th, 2016 the minimum temperature dropped to 32 degrees. This is the latest in the season the Twin Cities have gone without seeing a 32 degrees or

Read more

June, July, August 8th Wettest Summer on Record

Sarah Karel | Sep 01, 2016

According to the National Weather Service, June, July, and August combined is ranked 8th wettest summer on record with 17.40 inches of rain at the MSP Airport. Let’s look and see how that compares to a few of our mesonet stations: Medina, maple Grove, and Plymouth.

Read more

June 25, 2016: Phew – It’s hot out there!

Sarah Karel | Jun 28, 2016

If you stepped outside at all on Saturday June 25, 2016, you might have thought: “It is definitely summertime in Minnesota!” Check out the map below of the Heat Indices at just 11:00 AM. That’s right, we had widespread heat indices in the 90s!

Read more

New Website Design Tips

Sarah Karel | Jun 05, 2016

Read on below to find out some tips to get you what you are looking for.
Current Conditions: See the box in the upper left hand corner that says HCEM Medina Mesonet? Click the arrow to the right to change to the station you wish to see current conditions from.

Read more

2016 Spring Flood Outlook

Sarah Karel | Feb 19, 2016

Have you ever wondered what goes into forecast for flooding in the spring? First, what is the forecast for Hennepin County looking like? Right now it looks like Hennepin has a slightly above normal for risk for spring flooding. Here is why:

Read more

2016 Feb 2nd Snow Storm

Sarah Karel | Feb 03, 2016

Once the snow rolled in, it didn’t take long to get snow accumulations across Hennepin County yesterday! How much did you receive at your location? Send us a Tweet @HennepinEM or drop us a note on our Facebook Wall! Did you know we take a daily snow depth reading using a snowboard and ruler at our Hennepin West Mesonet location in Medina?

Read more

2015 Hennepin West Mesonet Extremes: Review

Sarah Karel | Jan 04, 2016

Another year has come to an end. 2015 was the first year for a lot of stations, so a lot of station ‘records’ were broken. Here are a few of the highlights. June 9th, 2015 was the warmest day from the Hennepin West Mesonet Sensors with the highest reading coming in a 94oF at the Dayton, Excelsior, Lorett0

Read more

Broken Record!

Sarah Karel | Nov 20, 2015

Yesterday for the first time this fall, we reached 30 degrees! This is the latest ever in the 142 record for the Twin Cities.

Read more

Rain, rain and more rain

Sarah Karel | Nov 17, 2015

Rain…Rain…and more Rain. Wet and gloomy has been the story for the past two days, as it will continue through the evening and into tomorrow.

Read more

November 2015 Strong Low Pressure System

Sarah Karel | Nov 13, 2015

We had quite the Low Pressure system come through Wednesday and Thursday. If you heard thunder outside on Wednesday and second guessed what the date was (Yes, it really was November 11, 2015!), then you realized how warm we really were.

Read more

On This Day in Weather History

Sarah Karel | Sep 04, 2015

On this day in 1941..

Read more

On This Day in Weather History

Sarah Karel | Sep 02, 2015

On this day in 1992 and 1996..

Read more

Happy First Day of Meteorological Fall!

Sarah Karel | Sep 01, 2015

Today may be the first day of meteorological fall, but the temperatures sure tell us otherwise. All week we look to be in the Mid-80s! Don’t worry, next week we look to be more towards normal for this time of year.

Read more

How to Find Total Monthly Rainfall from a Specific Station

Sarah Karel | Jul 01, 2015

Now that June is over, are you curious how much rain the station close to you received?

Read more

Comparing June 2014 and 2015 Rainfall

Sarah Karel | Jun 29, 2015

Does it seem like we have been getting rain a lot this June? As of June 29th, 2015 MSP Airport has recorded 3.55 inches of rain, which is only 0.19 inch over normal this time of year. How does this compare to 2014 you ask? By the end of June 2014, MSP Airport recorded 11.36 inches

Read more