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News and Information

Minnesota WeatherTalk Newsletter for Friday, November 11, 2011

To: MPR Morning Edition Crew
From: Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota Extension
Dept of Soil, Water, and Climate

Subject: Minnesota WeatherTalk Newsletter for Friday, November 11, 2011

-Winter Hazard Awareness Week
-Snow this week
-Minnesota Moments
-Weekly Weather Potpourri
-MPR listener question
-Almanac for November 11th
-Past Weather

Topic: This is Winter Hazard Awareness Week

For Winter Hazard Awareness Week the National Weather Service has released a number of public service announcements reminding us of winter weather preparation, outdoor safety tips, indoor air quality considerations, fire safety, and winter driving safety. In 4 of the last 5 years the Metro Area of the Twin Cities has seen snowfall before Winter Hazard Awareness Week is over, so the timing of this information has been quite appropriate. The NOAA National Weather Service web site contains a good deal of useful information to consider as you prepare for winter. Please see....

Topic: Snow this week

A modestly strong, but cold weather system crossed the region on Tuesday and Wednesday this week bringing some measurable snowfall to many locations. In the southeast Lanesboro and Preston reported a half inch to one inch of snow, respectively, while Caledonia reported 3.1 inches. Other observers in central and northern Minnesota also reported measurable snowfalls, including: 2.9 inches at Sawyer (Carlton County); 2.5 inches at New York Mills (Otter Tail County); 1.9 inches at Kabetogama; 1.5 inches at International Falls, Cloquet, and Bruno; 1.2 inches at Bemidji; 1.1 inches at Orr; 1.0 inches at Cook, Cass Lake, Gunflint Lake, and Floodwood. Some heavier amounts fell in Wisconsin. Additional light snowfall was observed over International Falls, Hibbing, Embarrass, and Eveleth on Friday morning as well. At Embarrass the temperature dropped to 11 degrees F on Friday.

Topic: Minnesota Moments

The current edition of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine has many wonderful articles, but I especially enjoyed the photo essay on a year's worth of images across the Minnesota landscape. It is called "Minnesota Moments" and is a result of the contribution of many photographers. It begins on page 40 and I highly recommend it for those who appreciate the outdoors and Minnesota's seasons.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

One of the strongest storms in 40 years hit western Alaska this week on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov 9-10) bringing strong winds, heavy snows, and high seas. The eye of the storm (low pressure center) bottomed out at just 943 mb (27.85 inches) as it crossed the Bering Sea and produced maximum winds of 80 to 89 mph along coastal areas. This was a stronger storm than the record-setting one that hit Minnesota last year on October 26th (28.20 inches on the barometer). At Nome, the storm surge was 10 feet and inundated some coastal properties. Without the presence of sea ice, large waves caused a good deal of beach erosion, while some of the strong winds blew the roofs off buildings. Heavy snow squalls occurred in many places, with visibility falling to near zero.

Oklahoma State Climatologist Dr. Renee McPherson reported this week that the tornadoes which occurred in that state on Monday, November 7th destroyed at least two of their automated mesonet weather stations. This is the first instance of weather stations being taken out by tornadoes in that state. These storm events continued the trend of traumatic weather in Oklahoma this year, highlighted in a recent newspaper article there....

NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory released a report on the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) earlier this week. It shows that the level of most greenhouse gases continued to rise throughout 2010. Carbon dioxide levels are now at 389 ppm and the overall AGGI is 29 percent higher than it was in 1990, the baseline year. You can read more about this at....

The National Snow and Ice Data Center recently announced the establishment of several automated weather stations on the eastern section of Baffin Island (Clyde River area at 70 degrees north latitude). These new stations will help with the studies of the changing climate in the Arctic. Near real-time climate measurements from these stations can be found at.....

Temperature conditions there on Thursday, November 10 ranged from 0 degrees F to -11 degrees F at midday, with windchill conditions as cold as -35 degrees F.

MPR listener question: Are soil temperatures getting near freezing now so I can stop watering?

Answer: Not yet. Many soil temperatures around the state have fallen into the upper 30s to low 40s F, but for the most part soils remain very dry. Certainly trees could still use a watering right up until the soils freeze, which may be two more weeks or longer.

Almanac for November 11th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 43 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 27 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 11th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 64 degrees F in 2005; lowest daily maximum temperature of 18 degrees F in 1986; lowest daily minimum temperature of -1 degrees F in 1986; highest daily minimum temperature of 46 degrees F in 1930; record precipitation of 2.52 inches in 1940; record snowfall is a 8.2 inches in 1940 (storm total 16.8" from Armistice Day Blizzard).

Average dew point for November 11th is 27 degrees F, with a maximum of 54 degrees F in 1964 and a minimum of -6 degrees F in 1986.

All-time state records for November 11th:

Scanning the state climatic data base: the all-time high for this date is 73 degrees F at Grand Meadow (Mower County) in 1949. The all-time record low for this date is a very cold -22 degrees F at Warren (Marshall County) in 1919. The all-time record precipitation amount for this date is 2.52 inches at Minneapolis-St Paul in 1940. State record snowfall for this date is 14.0 inches at Orr (St Louis County) in 1940.

Past Weather Features:

Somewhat rare late season thunderstorms brought rain and hail to southern counties in the state over November 10-11, 1915. Over a month's worth of rain fell, including 1.95 inches at Farmington, 2.00 inches at Fairmont, 2.10 inches at Pipestone, and 2.75 inches at Milan.

November 11-12 of 1940 brought the famous Armistice Day Blizzard to Minnesota with heavy snow and winds of 40-60 mph. Collegeville reported 26.6 inches of snow from this storm, while 24 inches was reported at Meadowlands and 22 inches at Orr. All transportation services (streetcar, railroad, airlines, and bus operations) were shut down for a time. Power outages were widespread as a result of ice, and many hundreds of stranded motorists sought refuge in homes and schools. In all 49 people lost their lives in this storm.

A November heat wave came to southern Minnesota communities on November 11, 1949. Most locations saw afternoon temperatures climb into the 60s F, but several communities reaches the 70s F, including Worthington, Winnebago, Pipestone, Grand Meadow, and Austin.

In 1986 following a significant snow storm over November 8-10, many Minnesota communities reported the coldest ever November 11th with below zero F readings all over the state. Daytime highs nudged above zero F, but not by much. Hallock reported an afternoon high of 5 degrees F, while Warroad only reached 4 degrees F. Thankfully temperatures rebounded by the 14th into the 20s and 30s F.

Word of the Week: ELOKA

This acronym stands for Exchange for Local Observation and Knowledge of the Arctic, which is a joint international effort to facilitate the collection, preservation, and sharing of local measurements and observations in Arctic regions. It makes use of measurement technologies as well as written and oral histories of the people who reside in the Arctic. You can read more about this effort at...


Warm and breezy to start the weekend with increasing clouds by Sunday and a chance for scattered showers. Generally warmer than normal to start the week, then a cool down after Tuesday.

Further Information:

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