SUBJECT: How Dry We Are... Again. September 2001 Climate Summary for St. Cloud 

FROM: Bob Weisman

Earth Sciences, St. Cloud State University

For the fourth consecutive month, rainfall was well below normal in Saint Cloud. According to the September 2001 statistics at the Saint Cloud Municipal Airport, only 1.77 inches of rain fell during the past month, more than an inch below normal. More than half of that rain fell on September 7th when St. Cloud was hit by two waves of thunderstorms.

The low rainfall continued the trend of the dry summer. The four-month rainfall total of June through September amounts to just over eight and a half inches, which is the 10th lowest rainfall total for the four-month period and is more than six inches below normal. This is the second consecutive extremely dry June through September since the 2000 total of 8.47 inches was the seventh driest period on record. In fact, four of the ten driest June through Septembers have occurred since 1992.

The overall statistics, reflecting the extremely wet spring, still show Saint Cloud as being more than one and a quarter inches above normal. However, most areas are showing the stress of above normal temperatures and well below normal rainfall since mid-June.

September 2001 in Saint Cloud was a month of near normal temperatures despite some extremes of both colder and warmer weather. No temperature records were set in either direction. Despite some public surprise, the first frost on September 24th was only two days earlier than normal. The first frost was also the latest in the past 5 years, including all three warm winters of 1997-1998 through 1999-2000. The first 28-degree temperature on September 25th was about two weeks early. However, the last sub-28 degree temperature was 10 days earlier than normal, so both growing periods were above normal. However, the lingering cloudy, rainy weather into mid-June did produce a delayed start to the growing season.

SUMMARY FOR SEPTEMBER 2001             SEP 2001         NORMAL
Average high temperature ( F)           69.1             69.3
Average low temperature ( F)            46.8             45.7
Average temperature ( F)                58.0             57.5
Warmest high for this month ( F)        88 on the 5th
Coolest high for this month ( F)        55 on the 14th
Mildest low for this month ( F)         66 on the 6th
Coldest low for this month ( F)         28 on the 25th

September                               1.77              2.93
Greatest in 24 hours (Sept 2001)         .98 on the 7th
Total Precip: June-September            8.58             14.71
Total Growing Season Precip (Apr-Sept) 21.11             19.80

Temperature cutoff        last day in spring   first day in fall  no of days
32 degrees                   
2001                          April 25            Sept 24             151
normal                        May 10              Sept 26             142

28 degrees
2001                          April 18            Sept 25             165
normal                        April 28            Oct  8              161

 AVG = 14.29 SDEV = 4.34; 112 YRS; 109 GOOD YRS

   5.30 1950
   7.26 1922
   7.43 1893
   7.68 1894
   7.94 1996
   8.10 1943
   8.47 2000 *
   8.49 1992
   8.52 1931
   8.58 2001 (


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Last modified: October 16, 2001