Weather in Minneapolis: Climate, Seasons, Average Monthly Temperature

Minneapolis Skyline Aerial With River And Golden Trees During Autumn

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The Twin City region of Minneapolis and Saint Paul experiences hot and humid summers and freezing cold winters with ample snowfall. So for travelers, late spring and early fall—when the milder temperatures set in—make more suitable times to visit. In July (prime tourist season), temperatures can soar into the 80s. While in January, single-digit temperatures are common and seasonal snowfall amounts can reach upwards of 12 inches.

If you visit in summer, temperatures will be warm, but pack your raincoat as these months are Minneapolis' rainiest. And come September when the kids are back in school, warm summer temperatures prevail, but crowds are low and humidity starts to dwindle.

Fast Climate Facts:

  • Hottest Month: July (83 F/ 28.3 C)
  • Coldest Month: January (24 F/ -4.4C)
  • Wettest Month: June, July, August (4 inches)
Winter in Minneapolis
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Winter in Minneapolis

Winters are tough in Minneapolis—especially if you're traveling from somewhere warm like sunny Californiaor Florida. Around late October or early November, expect temperatures to plummet (just in time for the holidays) when the mercury drops below freezing and stays there for the next six months. This metro area commonly experiences temperatures below 0 F during the winter.

During this time period, blizzards can roll in, dropping several inches of snow and leaving residents with heaps to shovel and plow. After the blizzard, the sun usually surfaces giving way to a crystal-clear day with brilliant blue skies. And while the warm sun seems like a reprieve, temperatures still remain in the 20s, which are just bearable, should you choose to venture outdoors.

During blizzard-free days, temperatures are bitterly cold, especially when Arctic winds move in. Dressing in layers to avoid frostbite is a must and those with young children are usually advised to stay indoors.

Nearing the end of winter, as the mercury ventures above freezing, the snow melts into puddles during the day, but then freezes into ice overnight. Watch your step when venturing to and from your car and look out for black ice should you be driving in the morning.

What to Pack: Don't forget your down jacket should you be venturing to the Twin Cities in the winter. Ample layers, like a merino wool sweater, moisture-wicking long underwear, and even Gore-Tex pants will be necessary for spending time outside. Waterproof, insulated boots with treaded soles are a must for negotiating snowbanks and icy sidewalks. And a hat, gloves or mittens, and a scarf will help shield you from the wind and prevent frostbite.

Average Temperatures by Month:

December: 22 F (-6 C)
January: 17 F (-8 C)
February: 20 F (-7 C)

St. Paul and Mississippi River in Minnesota in spring
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Spring in Minneapolis

The worst thing about Minneapolis' winters isn't the cold, it's actually the duration, with winter sometimes lasting into what most regions would consider spring months. Spring is frustratingly slow to arrive, and then when it does, mud season surfaces with slushy and muddy conditions. While the signs of spring officially start to surface in March, it's not until later in the month when grass pokes through the ground and buds form on the trees.

Spring weather varies in this northern city. March still feels like winter, then April warms up enough for short sleeves, and come May, summer temperatures finally arrive. But not without several dips and rises, a phenomenon known as the "freeze-thaw cycle."

What to Pack: If you're visiting Minneapolis in March, a light down jacket will still be necessary, as temperatures can dip below freezing at night. Come April, expect to wear jeans and short sleeve shirts, with an occasional day during month's end being warm enough for shorts. In May, pack along shorts and sandals, but don't forget your layers. A light sweater, a raincoat, and an umbrella should be enough to shield you from the elements should a spring shower move in.

Average Temperatures by Month:

March: 33 F (0.5 C)
April: 47 F (8 C)
May: 59 F (15 C)

Summer in Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Summer in Minneapolis

Once summer arrives in the Twin Cities, it stays. And it's wonderful! However, mid-summer heat waves can make temperatures rise over 100 F and humid conditions can set in. But the locals don't mind the heat and humidity as much as they dislike the mosquitos. So if you're traveling to this region in the summer, expect to deal with biting pests and pack bug repellent and long-sleeved shirts to wear at dawn and dusk.

Summer evenings are usually warm and pleasant and outdoor entertainment makes restaurant patios popular. Frequent showers and thunderstorms help cut the humidity during any summer month. And storms can be severe enough to bring thunder and lightning, hail, strong winds, flash floods, and occasionally tornadoes.

What to Pack: Pack your summer clothes for a trip to this metro area. Shorts, t-shirts, and spring dresses made from moisture-wicking travel fabrics will keep you cool and dry. Walking sandals or aerated light sneakers are best for exploring the city on foot. And sunglasses, a hat, and a waterproof windbreaker should shield you from whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

Average Temperatures by Month:

June: 69 F (21 C)
July: 74 F (23 C)
August: 71 F (22 C)

Fall in Minneapolis
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Fall in Minneapolis

As Minnesotan's favorite season, fall only lasts a few weeks. Mid-September days start to rank low on the humidity level with winter-like conditions moving in by November. Still, it's a beautiful time to visit the city, as the leaves turn gold and crimson, with colors peaking in early October and piles forming on the ground. Locals covet their outdoor time in the fall, with kids romping in the leaf piles and joggers and bicyclists squeaking out every last bit of pleasant weather until winter sets in.

What to Pack: Your suitcase should include fall clothing that will get you through warm, sunny days and cold nights. In September, you can get away with wearing light pants and short sleeves, but make sure to bring a layer and a jacket. October warrants long sleeve shirts, sweaters, and an insulated coat. And come November, it's time to break out the down again, as well as a scarf and a hat for cooler days.

Average Temperatures by Month:

September: 63 F (17 C)
October: 49 F (9 C)
November: 34 F (1 C)

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours
Month Avg. Temp. Rainfall Daylight Hours
January 17 F 1.0 inches 9 hours
February 20 F 0.8 inches 10 hours
March 33 F 1.9 inches 11 hours
April 47 F 2.3 inches 13 hours
May 59 F 3. 2 inches 14 hours
June 69 F 4.3 inches 15 hours
July 74 F 4.0 inches 15 hours
August 71 F 4.0 inches 14 hours
September 63 F 2.7 inches 13 hours
October 49 F 2.1 inches 11 hours
November 34 F 1.9 inches 10 hours
December 22 F 8.6 inches 9 hours
Article Sources
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  1. US Climate Data. "Climate Minneapolis, Minnesota." December 2020.

  2. Time and Date. "Climate & Weather Averages in Minneapolis." December 2020.