July 2004 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

This Month's Daily Statistics

The Chill is On!

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for July 2004    

      July 2004 ended up being quite a cool month. The average temperature at the Saint Cloud Regional Airport was 67.9°F, 1.9°F cooler than normal. This made this past month the coolest July since 1996. However, it was not extremely cold, compared to recent history. Four of the five Julys between 1992 and 1996 had a cooler average temperature, especially July 1992 which is the coldest July in Saint Cloud records with an average temperature of 63.1°F. The cool July was produced by two spells of chilly weather. The first one was a short period between July 5 and 8. Temperatures were 9-14°F cooler than normal and included a tie for a record cool low on the 5th and a new record cool low on the 6th. In fact, the July 6 high temperature only reached 58°F, tying several days for the second coldest July high in Saint Cloud records. The only July day with a cooler high was July 3, 1927 when the high was only 57°F. The second chilly spell covered the last 10 days of the month. During this period, high temperatures were only slightly below normal, but there were three days with a low in the 40's, including 46°F on July 24th and 25th, resulting in one broken and one tied record low. During the rest of July, temperatures only rebounded to near normal, except for July 19-21. That three-day period was the closest we came to real summer heat when both of the 90°+F highs occurred with high humidity.

      The total rainfall for July 2004 was actually near normal. A total of 3.49 inches fell at the Saint Cloud Regional Airport, compared to the normal total of 3.34 inches. However, the rainfall was quite variable throughout the area because the rain was produced by thunderstorms. The Saint Cloud State University rain gauge picked up 4.22 inches. This brings the growing season (April 1 - July 31) rainfall at the Saint Cloud Airport to 15.18 inches, about two and a quarter inches above normal. However, Minnesota growing season rainfall from the Minnesota State Climatology Office shows a dramatic change across central Minnesota. While rainfall has been above normal to the south and east of a Sandstone-Mora-Milaca-Sartell-Sauk Centre-Willmar-Granite Falls-Canby, conditions rapidly change to dry conditions to the north. A large part of north central interior Minnesota, including northern Mille Lacs Lake, Brainerd, Grand Rapids, and the Iron Range. In this area, growing season rainfall is at least 20% below normal. The latest Drought Monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center rates parts of the Iron Range into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area as extremely dry, the lowest stage of drought.

     The rainfall total may have been near normal, but the number of rainy days was not. There were 10 days with measurable precipitation, about a day above normal. Through July 31, there have been 72 days with measurable precipitation (Historic Days with Measurable Precipitation), 13 days above normal through 7 months. The normal number of days with measurable precipitation for the year is 97.3. However, conditions can change quickly. Last year at this time, there were 68 days with measurable precipitation, but a drastic change to dry conditions only produced 36 more days with precipitation.

     Three days (July 6th, July 11th, and July 28th) produced most of the July rainfall. Each day had at least half an inch of rain with the latter two days totalling above an inch. The total precipitation on these three days was 2.95 inches, accounting for nearly 85% of the July rainfall. Saint Cloud is also well ahead of pace in days with heavy rainfall. Through July 31, there have been 13 days with at least half an inch of rain; the normal annual days is 16.3 (days with at least 0.50 inch). Through July 31, there have been 5 days with at least an inch of rain. The normal total for the year is 5.5 (days with at least an inch). However, the record number of days with at least an inch of rain is 14 days, set in 1897.

      The cause of the cool weather with the long dry spells in July was the persistence of northwesterly steering winds from northwestern Canada into the southern Prairie Provinces and the Northern Plains for much of the month. This was especially true during the two intense cool periods. Even when the northwest winds ease, we have tended to end up along the cool side of the boundary separating the hot, humid air. With the frequent clouds and thunderstorms in the area, even though they often missed central Minnesota in July, high temperatures were kept down (only 6 above normal highs temperatures of 83°F during the month). This pattern should generally continue through the upcoming week with our temperatures near normal and humid with thunderstorms in the area through mid-week before the northwest flow pushes cooler air into central Minnesota during the second half of the week.

    July 2004 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
July 2004
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for June (°F)
July Temperature Extremes
Warmest High Temperature for July 2004 (°F)
July 21st
Coldest High Temperature for July 2004 (°F)
58 (broke record; see below)
July 6th
Warmest Low Temperature for July 2004 (°F)
July 21st
Coldest Low Temperature for July 2004 (°F)
July 8th, 24th*, 25th*
(*Tied or broke record; see below)
Record Temperatures in July 2004
Old Record
Daily Record Cold High
67 (tie)
July 5th
Tied record set in 1920, 1964
July 6th
60 set in 1965
Monthly Record Cold High near miss
Tied for second coldest July high on record
Coldest: 57 on July 3, 1927
July Daily Temperature and Precipitation Records
Daily Record Warm Average Temperature
June 7th
80 set in 1959
Daily Record Cold Low
46 (tie)
July 24th
Tied record set in 1992
July 25th
48 set in 1915, 1946
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
July 2004 Days with High Temperatures >= 90°F
2004 Total Days with High Temperature of At Least 90°F
July 2004 Days with Low Temperatures >= 70°F
July 2004 Days with Low Temperatures >= 75°F
Precipitation (in)
This Year
July 2004 Precipitation (in)
2004 Growing Season (Apr-Jul) Precipitation (in)
2004 Total Precipitation (in)
July Precipitation Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Most Daily Precipitation in July 2004
July 11th
Record Precipitation in June 2004
Precipitation (in)
Old Record
No Daily Precipitation Records Set
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
July 2004 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
Total 2004 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
(Annual Normal: 97.3)
July 2004 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
July 2004 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
July 2004 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
Total 2004 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
(Annual Normal: 16.8)
July 2004 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
Total 2004 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
(Annual Normal: 5.5)


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