Twin Cities Weather
You certainly can't get bored with the weather living in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. We have four distinct seasons, and each comes with its own unique splendor and wealth of outdoor activities. You won't find Twin Cities residents staying indoors because of the weather.
You have surely heard that our winters are cold. Yes, it is cold. But if you dress warmly and in layers, you can manage just perfectly. While we have some of the coldest winters of any major metropolitan area in the US, we have less humidity than other areas so it doesn't feel as cold. This is true because we are not close to the ocean or any of the Great Lakes; our local rivers and smaller lakes provide all the beauty and fun without increasing our humidity as much as the larger bodies of water. Locals often call it a "dry cold."
There is an excellent chance of having a white Christmas each year. Snow typically falls first around October and can fall as late as March. Our average winter sees about 50 inches of snow. Locals bundle up and play in the snow. Popular activities are sledding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, building snowmen, and of course, the occasional snowball fights among friends.
Spring brings both awesome thunderstorms and mild rain showers. You can enjoy incredible views of the skies with the ominous clouds and lightening. Some days may be a bit mushy from the winter snow melt and the occasional late snowfall that quickly turns to slush. May and June are the wettest months of the year; our average annual precipitation is around 26 inches.
Spring is also when the temperatures start warming up, and the trees and plants portray their beautiful shades of green and colorful flowers again. When the snow melts, it can sometimes swell the rivers. This water swell can sometimes produce floods. In the historic Flood of 1952, where the Mississippi River overflowed into hundreds of acres of farmland and cities; an estimated 2,000 families were homeless for several weeks as a result. More recently, the Flood of 1997 crested at 22 feet and affected many residents and businesses in Saint Paul.
Minnehaha Falls is especially spectacular in early spring because the runoff of winter's snow melt creates quite a rush of water over the falls.
Summers in the Twin Cities are especially sunny and pleasant. Some days can be downright muggy and hot with temperatures ranging from the 70s to 90s F. The average in July is the low 80s with late July and early August typically referred to the Dog Days of summer because they are the hottest times of the year. This is when the mosquitoes are out in full force, although a windy day can often chase them away. Water activities are especially popular in summer and you'll naturally find the freeways busy on the weekends as locals head out to the area lakes.
Brilliant colored leaves and fall colors abound in autumn as temperatures begin to drop. While most days are sunny, it is time to start bundling up and preparing for winter. You may get lucky enough to be awestruck by the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. That's right - from a Twin Cities vantage point, you can enjoy these rare, shimmering lights in shades of red and green. This phenomenon often occurs in the fall, but it is impossible to predict exactly when it will occur.
Average Monthly Temperatures for Minneapolis-Saint Paul Areas (degrees Fahrenheit):
|January ||11.8 |