"The Cold Spot". Embarrass, Minnesota

Embarrass, Minnesota is a small town about 90 miles north of Duluth on the Mesabi Iron range. The community’s website boasts their town is “The Cold Spot", and rightly so.


Embarrass has a long string of record cold temperatures. The official National Weather Service Cooperative Observer recorded a morning low temperature of 57 degrees F below zero on February 2nd, 1996.  In 2005 the thermometer at Embarrass again dipped into the 50s with a morning of  54 degrees below zero the morning of January 17th.  The spring of 2009 saw several nights in the negative 30s; the last on March 13th with a morning low of 36 degrees below zero.

The summer of 2009 is proving that Embarrass truly is “The Cold Spot”.  June brought four nights falling well below freezing, in the 20s.  Embarrass, MN has reached the 80 degree mark just twice as of August 2nd.  The last time was June 27th where a high temperature of 81 degrees was observed.

July 2009 was cooler than normal across the region and will go into the history book as the 3rd coldest observed for the state of Minnesota. However, Embarrass puts the icing on the cake with an impressive 17 days in July, climatologically the warmest month of the year, with overnight lows in the 30s; six of which were 35 degrees or cooler.  August is also off to a cool start as well. The first two mornings of the month at Embarrass brought fall-like readings of 40 and 37 degrees.

The period of record at Embarrass does not reach back far enough to ascertain an official 30 year climate normal as defined by the National Climate Data Center (NCDC). However, the dedicated official NWS observer at Embarrass has been reporting daily high and low temperatures, as well as any rain or snowfall amounts, for the past 15 years. For reference purposes, the average temperature for July, from the 15 years of observations, is 60.7 degrees. The month of July 2009 at Embarrass came in with an average temperature of 53.2 degrees; nearly 8 degrees cooler than their 15 year average and almost 6 degrees cooler than July 2009 at International Falls.

The 15 year average maximum and minimum temperatures for the month of July at Embarrass are 74.6 
and 46.8 degrees respectively. In contrast, July 2009 saw an average maximum and minimum temperature of only 65.9 and 40.6 degrees.

To view the daily reports from Embarrass, and all of the NWS Cooperative Observers, check out the Northland Daily Weather Round-Up

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