October 6-10, 2003

Warm, summer-like weather made a comeback from October 6th to the 10th. High temperatures were in the 70's and 80's across Minnesota. The Twin Cities had three 80-plus days in a row from October 7th to the 9th. There were even a few 90's in the state with 91 at Benson and 90 at Willmar and Glenwood on October 7th. True to the transition month it is a cold front on the 11th brought some badly needed rainfall and a return to near normal temperatures.

Mark Seeley discussed the warm weather in the October 10, 2003 edition of Weather Talk. An excerpt is posted below.

To:  Morning Edition Listeners
From:  Mark Seeley
Re:  Topics for MPR's Morning Edition, Friday, October 10, 2003

Topic:  A contrasting October so far.....

Having begun the month with record setting low temperatures on
the 1st and 2nd (teens and low twenties F) Minnesotans were asking
questions like, "what's the winter forecast, how often does it 
snow in October, will we ever see 70 degrees F again?"  Lo and 
behold, the other shoe dropped this week, and many new record 
high temperatures were set or tied on October 7th including.....

MSP tied record of 85 F, Rochester tied record of 83 F, Olivia
tied record of 88 F, Fergus Falls tied record of 88 F; and
new records were set at Hibbing with 83 F, Brainerd with 85 F,
Park Rapids with 85 F, Moose Lake with 86 F, Pine River with 84 F,
Grand Rapids with 82 F, Roseau with 86 F, Wadena with 88 F, 
Morris with 89 F, St Cloud with 86 F, Red Wing with 88 F, Willmar
with 90 F, Glenwood with 90 F, and Benson with 91 F.  Some were 
not far below the all-time state record temperature for October 
7th of 94 degrees F at Red Lake in 1963 and again at Canby in 1993.
Then again, a few more record high temperatures were set on
Wednesday, October 8th as well, including 85 F at Fargo, 81 F
at Rochester, 81 F at Hibbing.

Such temperatures brought questions like, "how late do the golf 
courses stay open, are public outdoor pools still available for 
swimming, how often do we have to run air conditioners in October?"
The October warmth was not unlike that of 1993 and 1997, but 
perhaps most similar to that of 1856 when drought had the Minnesota
landscape bone dry going into the month and early frosts had already
killed off much of the vegetation.  Several days of 80 degrees F 
temperatures followed by thunderstorms produced widespread prairie
fires across the state that lit the nighttime skies.  Fires burned 
several farmsteads in MN, IA, and SD.  The fire danger is higher 
this year too, as the state could still use some soaking rainfall 
this fall, after the midsummer drought.


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Last modified: October 14, 2003