Minnesota Weather and Climate

The weather and climate of Minnesota is typical of a continental climate with cold, often frigid winters and hot, humid summers. The state's location in the Upper Midwest allows it to experience some of the widest variety of weather in the United States, with each of the four seasons having its own distinct characteristics.

Daily temperatures

Normal daily temperatures range from 12°F (–11°C) in January to 74°F (23°C) in July for Minneapolis - St. Paul.

Average Temperatures in Saint Cloud: Fahrenheit (Celsius)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Winter in Minnesota is characterized by cold (below freezing) temperatures. Snow is the main form of winter precipitation, but freezing rain, ice, sleet, and occasionally rain are all possible during the winter months. Heavy snowfalls can occur from November to April, averaging about 70 inches (178 cm) annually in the northeast near Duluth and 30 inches (76 cm) in the southeast. Blizzards hit Minnesota twice each winter on the average.

Spring is a time of major transition in Minnesota. Snowstorms are common early in the spring (March - early April), but by late-spring temperatures begin to warm up.

Summer heat and humidity predominate in the southern part of the state, while warm and less humid conditions are generally present in the north. Summer high temperatures in Minnesota average in the mid-80s°F (30°C) in the south to the upper 70s°F (25°C) in the northern half of the state.

Autumn weather in Minnesota is largely the reverse of spring weather and is often quite windy. Rain is also common.

What to Pack

Since Minnesota experiences a wide variety of weather, the following list will be useful to bring with you and/or to purchase once you arrive.

All items are optional and the usefulness of each item will vary from person-to-person.

  • Sunglasses
  • Sandals
  • Summer Clothing Items (August and September can still be quite warm)
  • Hat (Light weight, ie. baseball); Wool (winter)
  • Athletic Shoes (for playing sports such as basketball or tennis)
  • Scarf
  • Umbrella
  • Rain Boots
  • Rain Coat
  • Sweaters /Long sleeve shirts (for layering)
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Warm Winter Jacket (Down or Wool Jacket—It’s cold December through March)
  • Snow Boots
  • Slippers/Warm Socks (helpful in the dorms)
  • Snow Pants (for outdoor activities such as skiing)