Heavy Rains of June 2002ff000620.gif (7317 bytes)

For some Minnesota communities, June 2002 will go down in history as the wettest month ever. Preliminary data indicate that June 2002 rainfall totals exceeded 10 inches in portions of northwestern, north central, central, and southeastern Minnesota. Rainfall totals exceeding 12 inches were reported in Mahnomen, Norman, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Roseau, and Goodhue counties. Rainfall amounts in excess of 14 inches fell upon portions of Norman, Mahnomen, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, and Roseau counties. 

The rains of June 2002 were produced by slow moving storms tracking along a semi-permanent boundary draped across Minnesota that separated warm moist air to the south from relatively dry, cool air to the north. The slow rate of forward movement of the storms was dictated by a lack of strong upper-air winds. The June 2002 rain totals were the result of torrential 24 to 48 hour events that covered large areas of Minnesota. A significant percentage of the rain fell during four episodes:

June 2002 rainfall totals exceeded historical averages ("normal") by more than six inches in many areas, and by more than 10 inches in some locations. In northwestern Minnesota, the June 2002 rainfall exceeded one half of the normal ANNUAL precipitation.

When compared against all other historical June data, June 2002 precipitation totals ranked at or above the 99th percentile for nearly all of northwestern Minnesota, large areas of north central Minnesota, and some sections of northeastern, central, and southeastern Minnesota. Slightly less than 20 percent of all surface area in Minnesota was at or above the 99th percentile for June rainfall.

Labeled-line, black-and-white Windows Metafile (*.wmf) versions of the color maps shown above can be obtained by right-clicking on one of the following ...

June 2002 Precipitation Totals | June 2002 Departure from Normal | June 2002 Rainfall Rank
... and choosing "Save Target As" or "Save Link As". These versions of the map are useful for insertion into documents that require inexpensive photo-reproduction.

The State Climatology Office thanks Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the affected areas for their prompt and thorough response to our request for precipitation data. Data were also provided by DNR Forestry and the National Weather Service. We thank Minnesota's many volunteer precipitation monitors, whose diligent efforts make detailed analysis of storm events possible.

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URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/june2002.htm
Last modified: July 26, 2002