In this article, we shall be talking about the weather and climate in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the Twin Cities metropolitan area, as a whole. Now, without further ado, let me describe to you the climate and weather in this area.
The climate of Minneapolis–Saint Paul is the long-term weather trends and historical events of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area in east-central Minnesota. Minneapolis and St. Paul, together known as the Twin Cities, is the core of the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States. With a population of 3.6 million people, the region contains approximately 60% of the population of Minnesota. Due to its location in the northern and central portion of the U.S., the Twin Cities has the coldest average temperature of any major metropolitan area in the nation. Winters can be cold, summer is warm to hot and frequently humid, snowfall is common in the winter and thunderstorms with heavy rainfall occur during the spring, summer, and autumn. Though winter can be cold, the area receives more sunlight hours in mid-winter than many other warmer parts of the country, including all of the Great Lakes states, the Pacific Northwest, parts of the South, and almost all of the Northeast. Unless otherwise indicated, all normals data presented below are based on data at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, the official Twin Cities climatology station, from the 1981−2010 normals period.
The climate of the Twin Cities is classified as hot-summer humid continental (Köppen Dfa). A feature of the humid continental climate in the United States is that weather can be unpredictable with extremes occurring in many phases of measurements. For example, the Twin Cities has a hotter all-time record high temperature of 108 °F (42 °C) than the entire state of Florida, despite being located nearly 1000 miles farther from the equator. Conversely, temperatures during the winter months are colder in the Twin Cities than in any other major metropolitan area in the continental United States and are about equal to those in Anchorage, Alaska, which is around 1,000 miles (1,600 km) closer to the North Pole. The Twin Cities can also experience droughts, floods, and on average are windier than Chicago, Illinois (the “Windy City”, although that is not the origin of the phrase).
Because of its location in the center of North America, the Twin Cities region is subjected to some of the widest range of temperatures in the United States. Temperatures in the Twin Cities region range from an average of 15.6 °F (−9.1 °C) in January to 73.8 °F (23.2 °C) in July. With no natural barriers to block cold air from pouring south from Canada, the Twin Cities are subjected to many arctic air masses throughout the winter months. These arctic air masses bring with them cold temperatures and sometimes strong winds. The Twin Cities has a comparable average summer temperature to other nearby metropolitan areas such as Chicago, but the arctic outbreaks during the winter push the average winter temperature of the Twin Cities below that of Chicago’s. Despite being located just 350 miles (563 km) from Chicago, the Twin Cities’ average January temperature of 15.6 °F (−9.1 °C) is below Chicago’s 23.8 °F (−4.6 °C). During summer months, Minneapolis can be subject to hot temperatures from May to September, and high humidity.