News Release

New tool provides highly localized climate projections for Minnesota communities

An image of an angler in a lake next to an image of bikers on a path.
Credit: University of Minnesota Extension
MN CliMAT allows the public and professionals to see how even specific towns throughout the state may be impacted in the coming decades. 

A new interactive online tool, MN CliMAT, provides highly localized climate projections across Minnesota — down to the 2.5-mile scale. Users can use data to visualize how even specific towns may be impacted in the coming decades.

Recently launched by the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the tool includes detailed information about temperature, precipitation, lake temperature, ice cover, soil moisture and other variables vital to informing how and where we prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Side by side of two maps of Minnesota showcasing different climate data.
The above maps use MN CliMAT data to compare historical simulations (1995-2014) with modeled values at the end of the century (2080-2099) under a very high emissions scenario (SSP585; see page 12) to show the change in the average annual days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (left) and inches of spring precipitation (right).

“These data are critical for understanding our local climate risks and what future we need to prepare for,” said Heidi Roop, MCAP director. “We’re hearing from engineers, planners, foresters, farmers, homeowners — folks across the board — that they want future climate information relevant to Minnesota to inform and guide their planning and decision-making.”

Available to all at no charge, MN CliMAT can be used by the public, policymakers and a range of sectors and industries. For example:

  • The agricultural industry can estimate future soil moisture, allowing farmers to make needed investments in resilience strategies. 
  • The tourism industry and anglers will benefit from understanding future lake temperatures and ice cover duration, helping to inform how ecosystems and recreation patterns may shift. 
  • Engineers and planners can use the tool to inform how and where to build critical infrastructure meant to last for generations.  

MCAP is also committed to helping the public and professionals learn how to apply the data — staff are offering an ongoing series of webinars and in-person workshops across the state.

“Creating new climate projections is only the first step in planning for climate change,” said Suzi Clark, a climate resilience Extension educator with MCAP. “We want to help people understand the projections and integrate these data into their long-term planning.”

MN CliMAT, which uses the latest generation of global and regional climate models, was funded with support from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, University of Minnesota Extension, and the Minnesota Sea Grant College Program with funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

About MCAP
The University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) is a joint program of University of Minnesota Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. MCAP works to develop critical climate science knowledge, champion climate adaptation leadership and support climate resilience efforts across communities to ensure Minnesota is making needed progress to prepare for our changing climate. MCAP is a leading multi-sector group dedicated to climate adaptation and resilience in the Midwest and partners directly with state, federal and local governments, the private sector, non-profits, Tribes, and community organizations.

Media Contacts

Lori Fligge

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Twin Cities

Allison Sandve

University of Minnesota Extension, Twin Cities