The climate of Minnesota is typical of a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Minnesota's location in the Upper Midwest allows it to experience some of the widest variety of weather in the United States, with each of the four seasons having its own distinct characteristics.

What is the average annual precipitation in Minnesota?

  • The average annual precipitation (rainfall plus the water equivalent found in snowfall) in Minnesota ranges from nearly 18 inches in the far northwest to more than 32 inches in the southeast. Austin's average is 34.5 inches. See the normal precipitation maps for Minnesota.

What is the average annual snowfall in Minnesota?

  • The average annual snowfall in Minnesota varies from 36 inches in the southwest to more than 70 inches along the Lake Superior "snow belt." Austin's average snowfall is 39.1 inches.  

Where can I obtain Minnesota climate data?

Minnesota climate data can be obtained from the DNR Waters State Climatology Office. This office manages and disseminates historical climate data in order to address questions involving the impact of climate on Minnesota and its citizens. The State Climatology Office can be reached by telephone at 651-296-4214, via e-mail at, or through the Climatology Working Group website.