To address the need to assess temperature impacts of stormwater runoff on trout streams, the MINUHET tool (MINnesota Urban Heat Export Tool) was developed at the University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls Lab. MINUHET is a stand-alone software tool used to simulate the flow of stormwater surface runoff and its associated heat content through a small watershed.  MINUHET can be used for analyses of single storm events or continuous climate data over several months.

The tool includes sophisticated hydrologic and thermal models for surface runoff, natural and man-made drainage networks, and stormwater management practices. A user friendly, Windows-based graphical user interface (shown on right) is used to define the land cover information of each sub-watershed, define the drainage network, and specify treatment ponds and other stormwater management practices. The tool includes a database of storm events that have the potential to produce high thermal loading in receiving streams, as well as continuous climate data for several locations in Minnesota.


The inner workings of MINUHET and some model verification information is described in SAFL Project Report #526:

Herb, W.R., B. Janke, O. Mohseni, and H.G. Stefan, 2010. MINUHET (Minnesota Urban Heat Export Tool): A software tool for the analysis of stream thermal loading by urban stormwater runoff, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Report 526, 44 pp. (PDF, 802 KB)

A user manual for MINUHET is also available:

Herb, W.R., B. Janke, O. Mohseni, and H.G. Stefan, 2010. MINUHET (Minnesota Urban Heat Export Tool): User Manual, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Report 530, 55 pp. (PDF, 1.07 MB)


A common application of MINUHET is to predict the thermal loading of stormwater runoff from an area of land slated for development, both prior to and after development. The simulation results of MINUHET (runoff volume, temperature, heat) can be used, as is, to assess changes in heat loading from an area of land, or used as input to a stream temperature model to predict dynamic changes in stream temperature due to the runoff.

SAFL Studies using MINUHET

1. Janke, B., W.R. Herb, O. Mohseni, and H. G. Stefan, 2007. Application of a Runoff Temperature Model (MINUHET) to a Residential Development in Plymouth, MN. St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Report 497, 34 pp. (1.66 MB)

2. Herb, W.R., 2008.  Analysis of the effect of stormwater runoff volume regulations on thermal loading to the Vermillion River, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Report 520, 34 pp. (PDF, 1.62 MB)

3. Herb, W.R. and H.G. Stefan, 2009. Stream Temperature Modeling of Miller Creek, Duluth, Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Report 535, 78 pp. (PDF, 2.26 MB)

Download the current version of MINUHET:



At this time, there is no formal support offered for MINUHET. For more information, contact us at the St. Anthony Falls Lab.