July 2006 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

Sizzling July 2006 Hottest in 70 Years

Nearly Driest July Since 1975

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for July 2006    

      Thanks in large part to the heat wave that ended the month, the Saint Cloud Airport statistics for July 2006 ended up being nearly as hot as it seemed. The average temperature was 75.1°F, 5.3°F above normal. This made July 2006 the hottest July since 1936 and the 8th warmest July in the 126 years of Saint Cloud temperature records. Above normal temperatures were consistent throughout the month, but two heat waves (at least 3 straight days of highs >= 90°F) seared the area. The 5-day heat wave of July 12-16 produced two days with a high above 95°F on July 15 while the 9-day heat wave of July 23-31 finished the month with 4 straight days of highs of at least 96°F. The last day of the month had a high of 101°F, the first 100+°F high since July 3, 1990. This was only the 58th day in Saint Cloud history with a high of at least 100°F, and only the 9th such hot day since 1950 (7 in 1988, 1 in 1990, 1 in 2006).

      While no record highs fell during the month, there were extremes set in 90°F days that have not been seen in Saint Cloud for many years. The 9-day heat wave at the end of the month was the longest heat wave seen in Saint Cloud since 1964 and tied for the 4th longest in history. The two heat waves accounted for 14 of the 15 days in July 2006 that had at least a 90°F day. That tied 1935 for the 2nd highest number of July 90°F days.

      Despite the often-intense heat, no records fell due mainly to the severe heat Saint Cloud has experienced in the past, especially during the Dust Bowl years of the 1930's. July 1936, the hottest month in Saint Cloud history by more than 2 degrees, was particularly intense. It included the heat wave of July 5-18, the hottest period in Saint Cloud history. During those two weeks, 9 of the 14 days had a high of at least 100 degrees. That July, along with the others in the 1930's still hold many of the July daily temperature records for Saint Cloud.

      Note that Duluth did have its hottest July of all time as the persistent west winds frequently blew down the hill to Lake Superior, keeping the lake air offshore and allowing the heat to reach the city. The overall westerly air flow with the jet stream mainly to the north of the Canadian border kept the strong storms mostly to the north of Minnesota during our hot periods. In Minnesota, the air was mostly too hot aloft to allow thunderstorms to grow. When we did get a few of these storms, the high humidity air was stopped to our south, creating heavy rain in the middle Mississippi and Ohio Valleys and points eastward, while shutting off the good moisture supply this far north.

      Also, the heat was often accompanied by high humidity, which produced a low of at least 75°F for only the 52nd time in Saint Cloud history (yes, these extremely warm lows are more rare than the century mark highs). However, July 30th's low of 76°F was the 15th low of at least 75°F since 1950 and the 7th since 1996.

 Three-Month Dry Spell Reaches Drought Status

      Along with the extreme heat came the continued lack of rain through most of Minnesota. Saint Cloud had only 1.12 inches of rain through 7 PM on July 31. That would have been the 8th driest July in Saint Cloud history, but a slow-moving cold front dumped nearly an inch of rain on Saint Cloud on the evening of July 31. This rain nearly doubled the July rainfall to 2.10 inches, only a hundreth less than last July. Still, the July rainfall was about one and a quarter inches below normal.

      More importantly, Saint Cloud is more than four and three-quarter inches behind on rain since May 15. The conditions were eased somewhat by the rain on the last day of the month (deficits were running as high as 5.65 inches below normal as of July 30). The very hot and dry conditions created the Cavity Lake fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area as well as sporadic fire problems in the northern two-thirds of the state. In addition, there have been low stream levels on most of the rivers, including the Mississippi River. The US Drought Monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center has shown nearly all of Minnesota in a moderate drought and an area from northwestern Minnesota to the Brainerd and Walker areas, then eastward into Wisconsin as being in an extreme drought. The Minnesota State Climatologist Office continues to issue bi-weekly updates on the statewide summer dry period as water shortage continue.

      The good news, in the short term, is that the heat wave has been broken. The hottest air will be pushed into the southern and southeastern portions of the country this week, so we won't see high 90's or higher highs for a while. Also, southern Minnesota has a great chance at a "gully-washing rain" tonight with 2-4 inches possible. Saint Cloud may get a little more rain through tonight, but looks to have a decent chance of more rain at times Friday night through the weekend.

You can examine many more statistics about the heat of the summer thus far on my hot July 2006 weather page.

    July 2006 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
July 2006
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for July (°F)
@8th hottest July in Saint Cloud history; hottest since 1936 10 Hottest/Coldest Julys
July Temperature Extremes
Warmest High Temperature for July 2006 (°F)
July 31st
Coldest High Temperature for July 2006 (°F)
July 4th
Warmest Low Temperature for July 2006 (°F)
76& (tied record)
July 30th
Coldest Low Temperature for July 2006 (°F)
July 5th
Record Temperatures in July 2006
Old Record
Record warm daily average
88°F (tied record)
July 30th
Record set in 1933
Record warm daily average
July 31st
86°F set in 2001
Record warm daily low
76°F (tied record)
July 30th
Record set in 1933

**First high at or above 100 since July 3, 1990; 58th day in Saint Cloud history

Historic Days with highs >=100°F

&52nd day in Saint Cloud history with a low of at least 75°F

Historic Days with lows >= 75°F

Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
July 2006 Days with High Temperatures >= 90°F
2006 Total Days with High Temperature of At Least 90°F
July 2006 Days with High Temperatures >= 100°F
2006 Total Days with High Temperatures >= 100°F
July 2006 Days with Low Temperatures >= 70°F
2006 Total Days with Low Temperatures >= 70°F
July 2006 Days with Low Temperatures >= 75°F
2006 Total Days with Low Temperatures >= 75°F
%Tied with 1935 for 2nd highest number of July 90°F days
$Tied with 1922 for 17th highest number of summer 90°F days
Precipitation (in)
This Year
July 2006 Precipitation (in)
2006 Growing Season (Apr-Jul) Precipitation (in)
2006 Total Precipitation (in)
July Precipitation Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Most Daily Precipitation in July 2006
July 31st
Record Precipitation in June 2006
Precipitation (in)
Old Record
No Daily Precipitation Records Set
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
July 2006 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
July 2006 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
July 2006 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
July 2006 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
July 2006 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation


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