FROM THE DIRECTOR: Weather Water Woes

Patterns of weather impact our lives and our communities. How often do you check the weather forecasts as you plan your daily and weekly events? If you’re like me, it’s several times a week and if I have outdoor plans it’s much more often. Weather impacts our decisions in so many ways.

The Twin Cities are on pace to set a new record for rainfall in 2019. So far, the National Weather Service reports that rainfall at the Minneapolis- St. Paul weather station has exceeded historic monthly averages in every month but January of this year. In fact, as of mid-September the Twin Cities has already received more rainfall than normally occurs for the entire year, and we are ahead of the pace of rainfall for the record wettest year (2016).

At Freshwater, the weather is critically important to all we think about and plan for, as well. We consider the patterns of rainfall, heat, humidity, and wind as we work with communities around Minnesota to protect and restore lakes and streams. With all the rain in 2019, for example, Minnehaha Creek is flowing at higher levels and each major storm adds to the concerns of neighbors who have seen eroding creek banks, water standing in yards and wet basements (in addition to the beauty of extended high flows at the Falls). Lake levels have risen in many areas; Grass Lake and Snail Lake in Shoreview are experiencing water levels that require sandbagging and pumping to keep roads open. White Bear Lake, which was at low levels with exposed lake bottom for years, is at higher levels again.

Our annual Weatherguide calendar is a great resource for thinking about, planning for, and comparing the historic patterns of our weather. The new 2020 calendars are now available – purchase yours by ordering online or calling our office. Keep yours on hand as you watch the weather!

— John Linc Stine, executive director, Freshwater