Minneapolis has a humid continental climate. The weather patterns in the city range from cold and snowy in the winter, to warm and stormy in the summer. Minneapolis often deals with two air masses: one that is cool and dry from Canada, and the other that is warm and moist from the Gulf of Mexico. They both control much of Minneapolis’ year-round weather. The city also sees a good amount of precipitation yearly. The normal amount is 29.40 inches.


In a typical winter, occasional arctic air blasts sweep into Minneapolis, often producing dangerous wind chills. Daytime highs are normally in the 20s, while nighttime lows are in the single digits. However, sub-zero digits are also common for Minneapolis, and the city can experience the entire month of January without temperatures rising above the freezing mark at all.

Most of the winter precipitation falls in the form of snow. About thirty inches of the white stuff falls from December through February. Blizzards sometimes whip Minneapolis, producing crippling snowfall amounts of at least a foot, gusty winds, and bone-chilling temperatures in the single digits.


Spring is known to be very variant in terms of temperatures and weather patterns for Minneapolis. Temperatures can be in the 70s as highs in early April. But later in the month, those temperatures can fall into the 20s, along with some accumulating snow. Early spring is still cold and snowy, as temperatures in March average 32 degrees, with the normal snowfall being just over ten inches. But temperatures will gradually warm up into the 70s by the time May rolls around. Rainfall amounts with be more common at this point of the season, thanks to thunderstorms that begin to appear throughout the area. And as typical as it sounds for the midwestern United States, those springtime storms can reach severe limits, producing tornadoes, large hail, and high damaging winds.


Summers are often warm and can be humid at times in Minneapolis. Air masses from the Gulf of Mexico are responsible for bringing high humidity levels. Temperatures in the 80s will normally be recorded as highs; the 60s are the normal lows. However, heat waves from the United States’ Southwest can creep into the city, bringing 90-degree and even triple-digit readings.

Summer is Minneapolis’ wettest season. Thunderstorms, sometimes severe, occasionally plague the city, dumping heavy rainfall amounts. Normal monthly precipitation amounts from June to August average just over four inches.


The weather patterns can change as fast as those in the spring in Minneapolis. Daytime temperatures in September can still be warm in the 80s and 70s, but series of cool Canadian air masses arrive, knocking them into the 60s and 50s. Normal precipitation amounts are moderate – over two inches for September and October – but the weather can turn out to be cold and snowy later in the season, as the normal highs in November are around the freezing mark of 32 degrees, with the month’s normal snowfall is nearly ten inches.

Just like most of the Midwest, Minneapolis experiences four distinct seasons. Winters are chilly, and summers are muggy. Visitors and tourists may believe that the best time of year to go to Minneapolis is either in the summer, or early autumn months, when the weather are most likely to be pleasant and sunny.

Note: The temperature statistics are in degrees Fahrenheit and the overall climate data is based on the 1971-2000 records from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.


National Weather Service Office – Twin Cities