August 2003 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

This Month's Daily Statistics

Subject: Saint Cloud Weather Summary for August 2003 and Summer 2003

Summer Finally Arrives in August

     Summer finally arrived in Saint Cloud during August 2003. However, the summer thunderstorms were missing for most of the state. The August 2003 rainfall at the Saint Cloud Municipal Airport only totalled 0.69 inch, nearly three and a quarter inches below normal. The lack of rain made August 2003 the fourth driest August in Saint Cloud history and the driest August in 30 years. The driest August in Saint Cloud history was in 1933 when only 0.42 inch fell. (Ten driest/wettest Augusts are here.) The only significant rainfall occurred on August 3rd when 0.53 inch fell. This was the only day during which Saint Cloud picked up at least 0.10 inch of rain. The normal number of days is nearly 6 days. (Historic days with at least 0.10 inch here.)

    The abrupt reversal from a wet spring and early summer to the dryness of the past 7 weeks took place on July 14th. More than one and a quarter inch fell on that day. Since then, the Saint Cloud Airport has only picked up 1.35 inch. During these 48 days, the normal amount of rainfall is 5.68 inches. (Daily July and August temperature/rainfall data.) The hot weather also increased moisture loss due to evaporation, causing lawns to brown and lake and river levels to rapidly drop from near record high levels to below normal. In fact, the latest weekly precipitation report from the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office shows that only a narrow swath from Morris through Alexandria, Long Prairie, Little Falls to Mille Lacs Lake and Brainerd has maintained above normal rainfall for the growing season. The latest drought monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center shows that the southern two-thirds of Minnesota are listed as having a Moderate Drought. This does not compare to the last major drought in Minnesota during 1986-1989, but the combination of little rain and hot weather is significant.

     August was truly a summer-like month in temperature as well. The average temperature at the Saint Cloud Municipal Airport was 70.6°F, nearly three and a half degrees above normal. This made August 2003 the 23rd warmest August in Saint Cloud history. However, the cooler weather of the past three days did have an effect. Through August 28th, August 2003 ranked as the 14th warmest August, but the average temperature dropped 1.2°F. The warmest August in Saint Cloud history was still much warmer; August 1900 had an average temperature of 77.1°F and included 14 days with a high of at least 90°F, three of which had highs above 100°F. (Ten warmest/coldest Augusts are here.)

    In contrast to recent summer months, the warm temperatures were due to very warm high temperatures. The average high temperature in August was 84.1°F, 5.2°F above normal. There were 7 days with a high of at least 90°F in August, including a record-breaking 96°F on the 24th and a record-tying 93°F on the 26th.(Historic 90-degree highs are here.) However, these temperatures would not have been record highs had they occurred earlier in the month, since the daily record highs during the first 20 days in August run mainly from the upper 90's to the middle 100's. August's hottest high temperature ever was 105°F, recorded on August 15, 1936.(Saint Cloud August daily records are here). The all-time record high temperature at Saint Cloud is 107°F, hit twice in July 1934 and once in July 1936. (All-time Saint Cloud records are here.) It has now been more than 13 years since Saint Cloud's last 100°F high. The last one was 101°F on July 3, 1990. However, Saint Cloud's longest streak without a 100°F high was nearly 38 years between August 16, 1950 and June 19, 1988 (Historic 100-degree highs are here.)

    August 31 marks the end of meteorological summer. Overall, Summer 2003 ended up nearly a degree warmer than normal, since the hot August balanced out the cooler weather in June. The total rainfall was 7.75 inch, about 4 inches below normal with the entire deficit being produced during the past 7 weeks. This made Summer 2003 the 14th driest summer in Saint Cloud records. Top 10 Wettest/Driest Summers in Saint Cloud history


    August 2003 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
August 2003
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for August (°F)
Days with a high of at least 90°F
Days with a low of 70°F or warmer
3.0 (for year)
August Extremes
Warmest High Temperature for August 2003 (°F)
96 (Broke Record)
August 24th
Coldest High Temperature for August 2003 (°F)
August 29th
Warmest Low Temperature for August 2003 (°F)
August 20th
Coldest Low Temperature for August 2003 (°F)
August 31st
Record Temperatures in August 2003
Old Record
Daily Record Warm High
August 24
94 in 1948, 1949
Daily Record Warm High
93 (tied record)
August 26
1948, 1953, 1991
Precipitation (in)
August 2003
August 2003 Precipitation (in)
Days with Measurable Precipitation
Days with at least 0.10 in
August Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Most Daily Precipitation in August 2003
August 3rd
Record Precipitation in August 2003
Precipitation (in)
Old Record
No Precipitation Records Set
*4th Driest August on Record
Link to 10 Wettest/Driest Augusts

Summer (June 1-August 31) 2003 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
Summer 2003
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for Summer (°F)
Liquid Equivalent Precipitation (in)
Summer 2003
Summer Precipitation (in)


Historic temperature data provided courtesy of the Saint Cloud National Weather Service Office, and NOAA/NWS
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