State climatologists name Top 5 Minnesota weather events of 2013


After tallying votes from Minnesota weather enthusiasts, the State Climatology Office (SCO) came up with the Top 5 most-notable weather events of 2013.

This year, cold and snow beat out summer heat and storms.

5. Southwest Minnesota ice storm

A major April storm that left nearly an inch of freezing rain in southwest Minnesota and prompted the city of Worthington to declare a state of emergency. Ice-covered tree limbs and utility polls came toppling down on power lines, knocking out electricity for thousands of residents for several days. SCO says the storm cost $71 million in damage.

4. Lack of tornadoes

Only 15 tornadoes were reported in Minnesota in 2013, the lowest total since 1990, according to SCO. WCCO's meteorologist Lauren Casey gives an explanation as to why, noting that kicking off the summer storm season with a colder-than-normal May is not ideal for producing tornadoes.

3. Twin Cities nailed by June storm

Heavy rain and strong wind easily uprooted thousands of trees in the metro, leaving half a million homes and businesses without power. Early damage estimates reached $100 million.

2. Late ice out

State climatologists says Mille Lacs Lake set a record in 2013 for the latest ice out on May 16. It's somewhat of a shocker due to 2012's unusually warm spring when a record early ice out happened at the lake on March 26. Ice-covered lakes in central and northern Minnesota made for an unusual fishing opener -- conditions not seen during an opener in decades.

1. May snow

While most Twin Cities residents didn't see a single flake, a rare snowstorm left more than a foot of snow in southeast Minnesota in early May. About 13 inches fell in Owatonna. SCO says 15.4 inches were recorded in Dodge Center, breaking the 24 hour statewide daily snowfall record.

Honorable mentions include a very snowy April in Duluth, the National Night Out storm in the Twin Cities and the third-warmest State Fair on record.

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