University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota


Climate and Clothing

The weather in Minnesota will change quite a bit during your stay!  Make the most of Minnesota's wide range of weather conditions by being prepared.

Minnesota has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. In the summer the weather is generally warm and humid. In autumn, leaves turn colors and the temperature gradually starts to drop.

Winter in Minnesota is usually very long, from November through March. During the winter months, cloudy, warmer days may bring a snowfall. Daylight is very short and the nights are long during the winter. During the winter months the air is very dry and cold.

image: Winter

By spring you will be ready for warmer weather and green grass. During spring it gradually warms up, the sun starts setting later and later in the afternoon/evening, and the air becomes more humid. It also tends to rain a lot and the weather can be very unpredictable.

For current weather conditions in Minneapolis/St. Paul go to: Minneapolis Forecast
Or check out:


It is possible that with the appropriate clothing you can enjoy each season that Minnesota has to offer. For both fall and spring it is always a good idea to have a light jacket with you. The day usually starts and ends with cooler temperatures. Otherwise during the day you may only need to wear pants and a long-sleeve shirt. During the summer, students will usually be wearing shorts and t-shirts.

Dressing in Layers

When walking in cold weather, you need to dress in layers that will wick away moisture, insulate from the cold, and keep out the wind and rain. From head to toe and inside to outside, here is what to wear.

Inner layer (next to the skin): Your base layer should wick sweat away from your body to keep your skin dry. Cotton should not be used - save your t-shirts for other purposes. Good long underwear pieces are appropriate for both an inner layer shirt and pants; they are made from fabrics such as Thermion, polypropylene, Thermax, Thinsulate, and silk.

Insulating layer: This layer will keep you warm and can be shed once you warm up. Wool, fleece, and pile are all good materials for an insulating layer shirt or vest; a down jacket also works.

Outer layer: To protect you from the elements, a windproof and water resistant jacket should be worn loosely.  

Average monthly temperatures in Minneapolis

Month Avg. high temp °F °C Avg. low temp °F °C


22 (-6)

4 (-16)


29 (-2)

12 (-11)


41 (5)

23 (-5)


57 (14)

36 (-2)


70 (21)

48 (9)


79 (26)

58 (14)


83 (28)

63 (17)


80 (27)

61 (16)


71 (22)

51 (11)


58 (14)

39 (4)


40 (4)

25 (-4)


26 (-3)

11 (-12)