July 2023 Saint Cloud Weather Summary


July 2023 St. Cloud, MN Weather Summary

Record Dry May-July

St. Cloud has set a record for the driest May through July period (records back to 1905) with only 1.83 inch of rain at the St. Cloud Airport this month. And, any rainfall tended to come through isolated thunderstorms. St. Cloud State University had even less July rainfall with a total of 1.08 inches. St. Cloud's total May-July rainfall stands at 3.37 inches, 7.64 inches below average. Second place is 4.38 inches in 1910 (see table below). The July total rain of 1.83 inch ranks as the 24th driest July on record.

Scattered thunderstorms of the past week did produce at least half an inch of rain from the Minnesota River northward into central Minnesota (green areas on the NWS 7-day Minnesota rainfall map). There were a few places in Stearns and Kandiyohi Counties that picked up 2-5 inches of rain (yellow to red). Still, many parts of northern and central Minnesota had less than 8 inches of rain in the past 3 months (green areas on the NWS 90-day Minnesota rainfall map) with pockets of less than 4 inches (light green). St. Cloud's average May-July rainfall is 11.01 inches, so these light green areas are more than 7 inches of rain behind since late spring (red areas on the 90-day departure from average map are more than 8 inches behind).

St. Cloud's 10 Driest May-Julys

1991-2020 Avg: 11.01 inches

Rank Rainfall (in) Year
1 3.37 2023
2 4.38 1910
3 4.91 1988
4 5.66 1929
5 5.76 2021
6 5.79 1936
7 5.85 2007
8 6.12 1931
9 6.20 1934
10 6.24 2006

Reversal from Near Record Rivers in April to Near Record Low Levels in July

The stream level along the Sauk River in western St. Cloud is 0.87 feet, the lowest level since 1988. Note that the Sauk River had the 4th highest level on April 16, when all of the snow melted. The Mississippi River at Riverside Park is at 4.22 feet. Earlier this month, it was closer to 4 feet, which ranks as the 7th lowest level and the lowest since 2021. Again, the Mississippi River reached 9.95 feet on April 17, the third highest level on record. The lowest streamflow is in pockets of central Minnesota north of the Twin Cities (see dark red stations on DNR Minnesota streamflow map and reds on the USGS Minnesota streamflow map).

The one major rainstorm was on July 25-26. This system produced more of the heavy rainfall seen in central Minnesota, with some scattered areas seeing 2-5 inches of rain, including 4.40 inches in Glenwood. Unfortunately, these storms caused wind damage with gusts of 60-80 MPH. There were also scattered storms that produced large hail with the most reports on July 13.

The US Drought Monitor shows three areas of Minnesota in extreme drought (category 3 of the 4 drought possibilities). One is right over the St. Cloud area, overlapping into more of Benton and Sherburne Counties. Another covers much of Anoka County. And, the third is in southeastern Minnesota. Now, the data cutoff was last Tuesday, which was before some of the heaviest rain amounts of the past week (see NWS 7-day Minnesota rainfall map). But, plenty of east central Minnesota didn't get nearly as much relief.

Global Record Temperatures in July, But Not in Minnesota, Despite 90-Degree Highs

Temperature-wise, we've heard a lot about July potentially being the hottest July, and therefore the warmest month, in global temperature records (since the 1880's). However, much of Minnesota has missed this. However, when you take global average temperatures, there are going to be places that are warmer than average (see, for example, red areas on the June 2023 global temperature anomaly chart) and places that are colder than average (see blue areas on that same chart; July's final numbers won't be verified until mid-August). Much of Minnesota in July 2023 is going to be white, close to average. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 0.2 degree above average. Duluth would show up in the blue, since they were 1.5 degrees cooler than average. Rochester would also show up as blue, being 1.1 degrees colder than average.

The final July average temperature at the St. Cloud Regional Airport was 70.4 degrees, 0.1 degree above average.

How could this be when St. Cloud had 7 days with a high of at least 90 degrees, well above the 4.7 day July average? Because St. Cloud had 10 days with a high lower than 80 degrees and 13 days with a low cooler than 55 degrees. Last week's heat merely brought the average back to normal. There's no question that the US had an extremely hot July, but Minnesota only occasionally tasted that extreme heat.

St. Cloud temperature is still running well above average for the summer so far (June and July combined), thanks to the 5th hottest June in St. Cloud records.

For 2023 so far, St. Cloud has seen 16 days with a high of at least 90 degrees. In the past 20 years (since 2001), only 5 years (2006,2007,2012,2021,2023) have had at least 16 days with a high of 90+. The hottest temperature was 95 degrees on July 27. The 4 days from July 25-28 did qualify as a heat wave (4 straight days with a high of at least 90), but didn't come close to the worst heat wave in July. JJuly 5-18, 1936 still holds the records for many of the hottest temperatures. St. Cloud had 9 of the 14 days with a high over 100, including July 6-14 record highs that still stand today. July 13 is tied for St. Cloud's all-time record high of 107 degrees. There have been only 60 days with a high of at least 100 degrees in St. Cloud records. Only 11 of those days have happened since 1950, with 7 of those during the last prolonged heat wave of drought in 1988.

The last period with stifling heat and humidity was July 17-20, 2011. The temperatures were in the middle 90's, but the dew points were in the upper 70's to lower 80's, pushing heat indices well past 110 degrees.

Over a longer term, how is St. Cloud doing? The overall average since the start of last summer is warmer than average. Since the beginning of last summer, the only colder than average periods were in December, when we had the coldest outbreak of the winter season, and March and April, when the persistent snowstorms kept a snow cover on the ground for much longer than average. Otherwise, most months have been milder than average. Overall, the past 14 months are warmer than average by 1.7 degrees.

St. Cloud Monthly Temperatures and Anomalies June 2022-July 2023
Month June Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June Jul Tot
Temp (°F) 69.3 71.6 68.8 62.0 48.5 31.8 15.8 17.2 16.1 23.7 40.9 62.5 71.5 70.4  
Anomaly(°F) +3.3 +1.3 +1.1 +2.5 +2.8 +0.9 -2.0 +5.4 0.0 -5.5 -2.4 +6.3 +5.5 0.1 +1.7




     July 2023 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
July 2023
1991-2020 Normals
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for July (°F)
Daily St. Cloud July Records 10 Hottest/Coldest Julys
July Temperature Extremes
Warmest High Temperature for July 2023 (°F)
July 27
Coldest High Temperature for July 2023 (°F)
July 5
Warmest Low Temperature for July 2023 (°F)
July 26
Coldest Low Temperature for July 2023 (°F)
July 11
Record Temperatures in July 2023
Temperature (°F)
Old Record
No daily temperature records set
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
July 2023 Days with High Temperatures >= 90°F
2023 Total Days with High Temperature of At Least 90°F
2023 Total Days with High Temperature of At Least 100°F
July 2023 Days with Low Temperatures >= 70°F
2023 Total Days with Days with Low Temperatures of At Least 70°F
July 2022 Days with Low Temperatures >= 75°F
0 (Last: July 4, 2012)
Precipitation (in)
This Year
1991-2020 Normals
July 2023 Rainfall (in)
2023 Dry Period (May 1-July 31) Rainfall (in)
3.37 (lowest on record)
2022 Year to Date (January 1 through July 31)
July Precipitation Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Most Daily Precipitation in July 2023
0.58 inch
July 24
Record Precipitation in July 2023
Precipitation (in)
Old Record
No daily precipitation records set
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
July 2023 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
Jan-July 2023 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
July 2023 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
Jan-July 2023 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
July 2023 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
Jan-July 2023 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
July 2023 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
Jan-July 2023 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
July 2023 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
Jan-July 2023 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation


 Last Updated: August 1, 2023


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

Send comments to:

Connect with SCSU