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Minnesota Travel Guide

Minnesota — Weather

Minnesota may be beautiful, but it endures some of the most brutal weather in the entire United States. Both winter and summer suffer from extremes so that neither season is particularly inviting. The winters are definitely the toughest time of year in Minnesota, even if you are used to living in cold climates. From November through March the daytime highs around Minneapolis-St Paul rarely get above 30°F and nightly lows are well below freezing. Snow falls often and heavy across the state, occasionally turning to freezing ice. Winter lows have been recorded more than once to less than -50°F.

The lake effect moderates the weather a bit along the shore of Lake Superior. This means slightly warmer winters and cooler summers. In the southern region, summers are hotter and more humid than the north averaging in the mid-80s°F, but high humidity levels make it feel closer to the upper 90s. This weather spawns around 40 major thunderstorms every year, almost all in the summer. The state also experiences about 20 tornadoes a year, mostly in June and the other summer months.

Spring and fall are the wildest seasons as dramatic atmospheric change take place,  characterized by windy weather and mercurial temperature fluctuations. April is the windiest followed by October.

Best Time to Visit Minnesota

Fall is one of the most popular times a year to visit Minnesota. By the beginning of September the air has cooled considerably and the summer rain has dried up for a bit. As October approaches, the hardwood trees burst into color and the skies are reliably blue. But it’s a short window of amazing weather as snow can be falling as early as the end of October. Summers are also very busy, especially in the northern regions where the climate is cooler and humidity levels are kinder. There are few hotels deals from June through October, but November to April is the low season so it’s more likely you'll find savings then.

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