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 Climate of Minnesota

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taixyz1992
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Number of posts : 409
Registration date : 2010-11-14

PostSubject: Climate of Minnesota   Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:05 pm

The climate of Minnesota is typical of a continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. The state's location in the Upper Midwest allows it to experience some of the widest variety of weather in the United States, with each of the four seasons having its own distinct characteristics. The areas near Lake Superior in the Minnesota Arrowhead region experience weather unique from the rest of the state. The moderating effect of Lake Superior keeps the surrounding area relatively cooler in the summer and relatively warmer in the winter, giving that region more of a maritime climate. On the Köppen climate classification, the southern third of Minnesota—roughly from the Twin Cities region southward—falls in the hot summer humid continental climate zone (Dfa), and the northern two-thirds of Minnesota falls in the warm summer humid continental climate zone (Dfb).

Winter in Minnesota is characterized by cold (below freezing) temperatures. Snow is the main form of winter precipitation, but freezing rain, ice, sleet, and occasionally rain are all possible during the winter months. Common storm systems include Alberta clippers or Panhandle hooks; some of which evolve into blizzards. Annual snowfall extremes have ranged from over 170 inches (432 cm) in the rugged Superior Highlands of the North Shore to as little as 10 inches (25 cm) in southern Minnesota. Temperatures as low as −60 °F (−51 °C) have occurred during Minnesota winters. Spring is a time of major transition in Minnesota. Snowstorms are common early in the spring, but by late-spring as temperatures begin to moderate the state can experience tornado outbreaks, a risk which diminishes but does not cease through the summer and into the fall.

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