Minnesota Nice: The Land of 10,000 Lakes is Having One of the “Nicest” Summers on Record
Has this summer seemed especially pleasant to you? You're not alone. The Minnesota DNR says it is actually one of the best on record. Anyone that has lived in (or visited) the Upper Midwest for any length of time knows that weather is an A-topic of conversation in any social situation. Often times it involves a gripe about how cold or snowy it's been, or about how "gosh darn hot and humid" it is in the summer months.
This summer's weather chatter has largely been about how "nice" it has been. Sure, there have been a few stormy days and bumps along the road, but there have been no excessive heat waves, cold spells, or especially rainy periods. The Minnesota DNR's data agrees, calling this summer one of the best ever based on a weather index they use to categorize the pleasantness (or unpleasantness) of our seasons.
The DNR's summer "glory index" uses measurable scientific criteria like temperature, humidity, and precipitation to create an index of our perception of the summer season, similar to how their winter "misery index" uses a multitude of factors to categorize how painful the winter season is for us. It is worth noting that the DNR only creates these indices for the Twin Cities, but we've had roughly the same (if not better) weather than they have this season.
The 2015 Glory Index says that so far, this summer has the third best ranking since they started creating rankings in the early 1900s. The two years better than this year were 1922 and 2008. They do point out that several years on the list started out very strong, and fell in the rankings due to excessively hot or rainy conditions during August.
The good news is that the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center is calling for average temperatures and average precipitation for Minnesota and Wisconsin through the next month. With August traditionally being warm and not excessively rainy, things are looking good to possibly continue our trend of having one of the nicest summers on record. That said, August is also known for at least one good late-summer heat wave to get everyone sweating for a few days. Stay tuned.