WeatherTalk Blog

January thaw for some, but still colder than normal

4 days 11 hours ago
January thaw for some, but still colder than normal:Despite 3-days of a January Thaw (Jan 11-13) for much of the state this week with daytime temperatures as high as the mid to upper 40s F in southern Minnesota communities, the first two weeks of January are generally showing an average temperature that is 4°F to 8°F colder than normal.

Minnesota has reported the coldest temperature in the 48 contiguous states four times already this month. Climate observers in Hubbard, St Louis, Marshall, and Lake of the Woods Counties have already reported low temperatures in the minus 40s this month, with observers in 20 other counties reported minimum temperatures of -30°F or colder. With readings of -44°F at Baudette and Warren this first week of the month and 48°F at Albert Lea the second week of the month we have already seen a 92-degree temperature variation across the state.

With the medium range models suggesting that most of the rest of January will bring below normal temperatures it is likely that Minnesota will record its coldest January since 2014.

Fifth National Climate Assessment: Midwest Chapter Public Engagement Workshop:
The date and time for this event is January 24, 2022, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The National Climate Assessment, a major U.S. Government report published every four years, brings together scientists from across the country to summarize the state of the science on climate change and how it is impacting the people and places of the United States. Now, you can be a part of the process! This virtual event is free and open to the public. The information gathered in the workshop will help the authors decide which topics to cover in the Midwest Chapter of the 5th National Climate Assessment, on how climate change affects people and places in the United States. You can find out more details and register to participate by going to the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Events web site.

The 2022 Minnesota Climate Adaptation Awards Event featuring Dr. Katharine Hayhoe:
The date and time for this event is January 31, 2022, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Discover and learn from the inspiring stories of adaptation right here in Minnesota. Special guest Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist for the Nature Conservancy, will join to help celebrate adaptation leadership across Minnesota.

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Awards, presented by the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) since 2014, celebrate exceptional achievements in leadership, education, research, policies and practices that improve resilience or climate justice through the development, advancement or implementation of climate adaptation strategies. This virtual event is free and open to the public.

You can learn more and register to participate in the virtual session by going to the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
NASA reported this week that from the global temperature data array data the year 2021 was the 6th warmest in the historical record. In addition, NOAA provided a climate highlights narrative this week on their web site that shows 2021 was the 4th warmest in history for the 48 contiguous states. They also provide a descriptive narrative about the climate patterns that produced the highly destructive wildfires in Colorado last month.


CBS News reported this week that Onslow in Western Australia tied the nation’s all-time highest temperature reading with 123°F. This was recorded on Thursday, January 13th. The average high temperatures in the area for this time of year are in the mid 90s F. Also this week parts of Argentina and Paraguay were recording record-breaking heat as well with temperatures ranging from 108°F to 113°F.


This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features a description of the declining glacial ice in Antarctica and the implications for sea level rise during the 21st Century. Though there is uncertainty in the amplitude of sea level change, which depends both on melting of the glaciers and thermal expansion of the oceans due to heating, there will undoubtedly be very serious impacts on developed coastal infrastructures.


This week NASA introduced their new Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Advisor, Dr. Katherine Calvin. She holds degrees from Stanford University and University of Maryland, and has helped author two special reports from the IPCC.
MPR listener question:
Earlier this week we were discussing the Storm of the Century that brought a blizzard to Minnesota over January 10-12, 1975. Much of the historical narrative describes the abundant snowfall (15-25 inches in many places), and closures of roads and highways, but what were the Wind Chill conditions like?
Answer: This was a memorable storm as much for the winds as the snow. Winds ranging from 30 to 50 mph blew the snow into 20-foot drifts and closed many roads and highways. The Minnesota Red Cross provided food and shelter for over 17,000 stranded travelers. Hourly weather data suggests that Wind Chill Values in western and central counties ranged from -35 to -50°F, causing passengers on a stranded train near Willmar to remain on the train and not try to walk to shelter.

Twin Cities Almanac for January 14th:
The average MSP high temperature for this date is 23 degrees F (plus or minus 14 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 9 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for January 14th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 49 degrees F in 1944; lowest daily maximum temperature of -16 degrees F in 1972; lowest daily minimum temperature of -26 degrees F in 1972; highest daily minimum temperature of 32 degrees F in 2001; record precipitation of 0.34 inches in 2001. Record snowfall is 4.4 inches also in 1999.

Average dew point for January 14th is 4°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 37°F in 1947; and the minimum dew point on this date is -33 degrees F in 1982.
All-time state records for January 14th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 57 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 1987. The state record low temperature for this date is -50 degrees F at Cook and Cotton (St Louis County) in 1965. The state record precipitation for this date is 1.60 inches at Milan (Chippewa County) in 2001. Record snowfall is 12.0 inches at Campbell (Wilkin County) in 1923.

Past Weather Features:


Perhaps the coldest ever January 14th was in 1965 when over 50 Minnesota climate stations reported a morning low of -40°F or colder. Both Cook and Cotton (St Louis County) reported -50°F.

The warmest January 14th in state history was in 1987 when climate observers in 18 counties reported afternoon temperatures in the 50s F. There was little or no snow on the ground, and the previous day it had reached 60°F at Lamberton.

January 14-15, 2001 brought a winter storm to the southern half of Minnesota where 4-10 inches of snow accumulated. It was the biggest snowfall of the month, as snow storms were relatively infrequent that month of January.

Outlook: 

Sunny, but considerably cooler on Saturday with temperatures closer to normal. Then increasing clouds and warmer on Sunday with a chance for snow early in the day. Milder, with above normal temperatures on Monday and Tuesday as well, then much colder for the balance of next week as temperatures average several degrees below normal.

Mark Seeley

Cold Start to 2022

1 week 4 days ago
 Cold Start to 2022:

Sixteen of the last twenty-four months have brought significantly warmer than normal temperatures to Minnesota, with the most recent seven months all above normal in mean monthly temperature. But so far, this January has brought a screeching halt to that trend with most climate stations around the state averaging from 8 to 14 degrees F colder than normal. Furthermore, the vast majority of climate stations have reported many subzero temperatures during both night and day, some even record-setting.

Over 30 climate stations have reported at least one minimum temperature reading of -30°F or colder so far this month. On January 2nd Celina 2E (St Louis County) reported a low of -41°F and on January 3rd Warren (Marshall County) reported -44°F. Extremes yes, but the state record lows for those dates are -50°F (at Pokegama Dam in 1904) and -54°F (also at Pokegama Dam in 1904), respectively.

Some of the record cold temperatures reported from the state climate network so far this month include:

January 1st: Record lows at Ada (Norman County) with -39°F and at Georgetown (Clay County) with -32°F; record cold high temperatures of -16°F at Georgetown, -12°F at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County), -10°F at Milan (Chippewa County), and -9°F at Hibbing (St Louis County).

January 2nd: Record lows at Cotton (St Louis County) at -39°F and at Brimson (St Louis County) with -38°F; record cold high temperatures at Red Lake Falls (Red Lake County) with -20°F, Ada (Norman County) with -18°F, Wheaton (Traverse County) with -13°F, St Peter (Nicollet County) and Redwood Falls (Redwood County) with -9°F, and Marshall (Lyon County) with -7°F.

January 6 and 7 brought many more subzero readings to the state, but as yet no record-setting temperatures have been reported. And continued subzero readings are likely in many places Sunday through Tuesday, but then several days of moderating temperatures with some above normal values are expected.

Despite the very cold start to 2022 in Minnesota, these conditions are mild compared to what happened in 1912, the coldest January in Minnesota history. It was 110 years ago but was long remembered by generations of Minnesota citizens. See the next section for more details.

Minnesota’s Coldest January Was 110 Years Ago:

For many Minnesota communities the year 1912 began with twelve or more consecutive days of subzero temperatures, a type of Arctic Cold often observed above 70 degrees North Latitude. For example, at the University of Minnesota Northwest Agricultural Experiment Station located at Crookston, MN (Polk County), 47.77 degrees North Latitude) January began as a deep freeze and stayed that way as every single night of the month saw temperatures plummet to subzero levels. Crookston reported 15 nights of -25°F or colder. Many daytime high temperatures were not warmer than -20°F. Little snow fell that month of January (just 1 to 6 inches in northwestern counties), so the soil froze to an extreme depth, beyond 5 feet. Despite some late month daytime readings that were above zero, the mean monthly temperature at Crookston was -11°F. Other nearby northwestern Minnesota communities reported even colder monthly average temperatures like -12° at Warroad, -13°F at Bagley, -14°F at Littlefork, -15°F at Detroit Lakes, and -16°F at Thief River Falls.

On a statewide basis the mean temperature for the month was just -9.5°F. For context, the statewide mean temperature for January of last year (2021) was 18.3°F, almost 28 degrees F warmer. Some moderation in the weather pattern brought above zero afternoon maximum temperatures to parts of the state over the 15th to the 17th. Some additional above zero afternoon high temperatures occurred over the last week of the month as well. This period of time predates the existence of the Wind Chill Index used by the National Weather Service, but some estimates can be made from using some of the observational data and it is safe to assume there must have been days with -40 to -60°F Wind Chill values.

Hundreds of low maximum daily temperature and low minimum daily temperature records were set within the Minnesota state climate network. Many of those records still exist today. Over 30 climate stations reported at least one nighttime minimum temperature of -40°F or greater, including St Peter (Nicollet County) and St Charles (Winona County). Seven climate stations reported at least one night of temperatures of -50°F or colder. Pine River (Cass County) still holds the statewide record low temperature for January 12th with a reading of -53°F in 1912. A reading of -22°F at Rochester on the 6th and -24°F at New Ulm on the 7th are still the coldest daytime maximum temperature every measured in January at those locations.

The dominance of Artic Cold during January of 1912 persisted. The first three months of that year, January through March rank as the 3rd coldest in state history, with the average daily temperature over the 91-day period (it was a Leap Year) being about 12 degrees F below normal. Only January through March of 1899 and 1936 were colder.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Recently NASA takes a look back at the weather and climate disasters of 2021 with images, graphics, and narrative from several scientists. It was a year of frequent extremes, many of them driven by climate change.

This week’s NOAA featured article is an interview with climate scientist and wetland researcher Dr. Ariane Arias-Ortiz, a NOAA postdoctoral fellow. She has focused her work on the study of saltwater and freshwater wetland restoration to mitigate net carbon emissions. It is an interesting interview.

Science Daily reports on a new study from Washington State University that highlights increased frequency of air pollution episodes in the western states due to coincident wildfires and severe heat waves. Wildfire and heat events are happening more often at the same time, worsening air pollution in many western states, as 2020 had the highest frequency of such events in 20 years. There is not only an increase in frequency, but also in duration and geographic extent of such events. Long term consequences on public health may become even more challenging.

MPR listener question:

Has there ever been a January that brought subzero temperatures every night of the month to Minnesota?

Answer:

For most climate stations in Minnesota, especially in the southern half of the state, there has never been a January when all 31 nights brought subzero temperature readings. We know from climate records in northern Minnesota this happened at some locations in January of 1912 (see discussion above) like Crookston and Detroit Lakes. From Pioneer Era records which are sometimes incomplete, it looks like it could have happened in January of 1888, 1875, and 1857 as well.

In the Modern Era, it almost happened in January of 1982 as several climate stations reported every night with subzero temperatures except for the 27th, when a burp of warm air briefly invaded the state.

Twin Cities Almanac for January 7th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 24 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 10 degrees F (plus or minus 15 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for January 7th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 52 degrees F in 2003; lowest daily maximum temperature of -11 degrees F in 1887; lowest daily minimum temperature of -34 degrees F in 1887; highest daily minimum temperature of 34 degrees F in 1965; record precipitation of 0.30 inches in 1989. Record snowfall is 3.6 inches also in 1989.

Average dew point for January 7th is 5°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 37°F in 1965; and the minimum dew point on this date is -33 degrees F in 1976.

All-time state records for January 7th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 60 degrees F at Fairmont (Martin County) in 2003. The state record low temperature for this date is -54 degrees F at International Falls (Koochiching County) in 1909. The state record precipitation for this date is 1.60 inches at Beaver Bay (Lake County) in 1861. Record snowfall is 36.0 inches at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center (Lake County) in 1994.

Past Weather Features:


On this date in 1873 a lethal blizzard hit southern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa, killing scores of pioneer settlers of all ages. It was estimated that over 70 Minnesota settlers lost their lives, though most counties were sparsely populated at the time. The storm moved over the region on a Monday afternoon which began as a rather mild January day with temperatures from 30 to 32 F. Observers noted the approach of a large, dark cloud system from the NW, moving very rapidly over the prairie landscape. The well-known meteorologist Bruce Watson studied this storm and reported that..."the clouds sloped to the ground, and where they intersected the ground, they were white, with smoke like swirls.." evoking an image of a moving wall of snowflakes. When the storm hit it almost immediately brought visibility down to just a few feet, and snow accumulated rapidly on top of an already snow-covered landscape. People caught in the open had to scramble for some kind of shelter. Many were put up in town or on the nearest farmstead. Trails and roads were closed down for days by huge drifts.
The New Ulm Smithsonian weather observer reported that the storm posed a serious threat in a matter of minutes because in addition to the snow, the wind blew the already existing foot and a half of snow cover all over the countryside. It snowed and blew on the 7th, 8th, and 9th finally coming to an end about 11 pm on Wednesday. Nine inches of snow was recorded at New Ulm with a drop of 43 degrees F in temperature and estimated wind chill values as low as -45 degrees F. The Minneapolis observer reported 8 new inches of snow with a temperature drop of 51 degrees F, and an estimated wind chill of -40 degrees F. Few blizzards of such suddenness and ferocity have occurred in Minnesota history.
The Governor, Horace Austin, and the Minnesota Legislature reacted by appropriating $5000 for a relief fund which was distributed to survivors in 34 Minnesota counties. Memories of this blizzard were as frightening and vivid to this generation of Minnesotans as those who xperienced the famous Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940. Evidence for this can be found in many historical documents and accounts.

The warmest January 7th in state history was in 2003 when over 35 Minnesota communities reported afternoon high temperatures in the 50s F. There was little snow cover. Only northeastern counties were in the grip of winter as Tower reported -7°F.

Outlook: 

Breezy and warmer than normal on Saturday, then more cold weather settling in for Sunday and Monday with many overnight subzero readings. Warming trend for Tuesday through Friday next week with above normal temperatures. Generally a dry week as well.

Mark Seeley

Preliminary Climate Summary for December 2021

2 weeks 4 days ago
Preliminary Climate Summary for December 2021:
Warm and wet are the two appropriate descriptors for December. Average temperatures around the state ranged from 2 to 4 degrees F warmer than normal. Overall, this December was not among the warmest 20 in history, but it was among the warmest 30. Extremes in the state ranged from 66°F at Caledonia (Houston County) on the 16th (a new statewide record high for the date) to -35°F at Warren (Marshall County) on the 29th. Score of new daily maximum temperature records were reported from the Minnesota climate network on December 1, 2, and again on December 15, 16.


December of 2021 was the 2nd wettest in state history on a statewide basis, trailing only 1968. The statewide average precipitation was just under 2 inches. At least 15 long term climate stations in the state reported their wettest December in history, including Hastings Dam which reported 4.40 inches of precipitation and Hibbing which reported 3.01 inches. Hasting Dam, Two Harbors 7NW, and Cambridge climate stations all reported over 4 inches for the month, while Redwood Falls only reported 0.17 inches for the month. Scores of new daily precipitation records, mostly between 1 and 2 inches, were set on December 11, 15, and 16.


In terms of snowfall, Two Harbors 7NW and Grand Marais 4.4W both reported over 40 inches for the month. Among other long term climate stations in the state reported their snowiest ever month of December were Brainerd (35.0 inches), Otter Tail (36.5 inches), and Brimson (33.2 inches). Over 50 climate station s reported 20 inches or more, with the largest doses of snowfall coming on December 6 and December 11.

By far the most significant weather event of the month was the unusual storm of December 15-16 across the southern half of the state. This storm brought record high temperatures, dew points, and precipitation to many areas, but it also brought the first ever confirmed tornadoes to Minnesota during the month of December. The National Weather Service verified 20 tornadoes touched down in southeastern Minnesota during the evening of December 15th. These tornadoes occurred in Winona, Steele, Wabasha, Goodhue, Freeborn, Fillmore, Houston, and Mower Counties. The storm was so unusual it will likely be studied for years. A synopsis is available from the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site.


Preliminary Yearly Climate Summary for Minnesota 2021:
The year 2021 will go down as the 5th warmest year in state history. On a statewide basis only one month was cooler than normal. February was 7 to 9°F below normal. In contrast June was 5°F warmer than normal, making it the 3rd warmest June in state history.


Precipitation was less than normal in 2021, but only the 31st driest year in state history. May, June, and July were all drier than normal, putting most of the state landscape into drought. Statewide average precipitation for 2021 was under 24 inches, marking the driest full year since 2006.


Overall, the year 2021 will be remembered for widespread summer drought, the June Heat Wave, the two-week Arctic Cold Wave of February, the record number of air quality alerts during the summer (mostly due to smoke from wildfires in the west and in Canada), and the tornadoes in December. You can read more about the weather and climate headlines of 2021 at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site.


Weekly Weather Potpourri:
Temperatures on Kodiak Island, Alaska this week have been averaging 15-30 degrees F above normal, including a reading of 67°F on December 26th, which is the highest reading ever in Alaska for the month of December. This remarkable for a geographic location with only about six hours of daylight. CNN reported on this highly unusual weather episode.


This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features a summary article associated with the 6th IPCC climate Assessment released earlier this year. The article is built around five graphics that illustrate the dire need to accelerate both adaptation and mitigation activities in the face of climate change. It is definitely worth a read.


The BBC revisits some of the most remarkable weather disasters of 2021, many of which are associated with climate change. From a cost perspective in terms of insured loss as well as damage and loss of infrastructure, 2021 was the worst year in recorded history.

MPR listener question:
What is the all-time December monthly snowfall total in Minnesota and where is it?

Answer: In December 2013 the observers are Two Harbors (Lake County), Minnesota reported over 55 inches of snowfall. This is the state record, although I was told an observer near Grand Marais this year has measured over 50 inches of snowfall, but that is unveriftied.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 31st: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 25 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 11 degrees F (plus or minus 14 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 31st:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 50 degrees F in 1904; lowest daily maximum temperature of -12 degrees F in 1968; lowest daily minimum temperature of -24 degrees F in 1973; highest daily minimum temperature of 34 degrees F in 1904; record precipitation of 0.98 inches in 2006. Record snowfall is 7.2 inches also in 1977.

Average dew point for December 31st is 9°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 43°F in 1965; and the minimum dew point on this date is -34 degrees F in 1967.

All-time state records for December 31st:
The state record high temperature for this date is 58 degrees F at Winona (Winona County) in 1965. The state record low temperature for this date is -57 degrees F at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1898. The state record precipitation for this date is 1.50 inches at Grand Meadow (Mower County) in 1887. Record snowfall is 18.4 inches at Two Harbors (Lake County) in 1996.

Past Weather Features:


A slow-moving winter storm brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to portions of Minnesota over December 30, 1887 to January 1, 1888. Many Minnesota communities reported 3 to 6 inches of snowfall, while others in southern counties reported 1 to 1.5 inches of precipitation, much of it falling as rain.

Arctic Cold gripped the state for New Year’s Eve in 1898 as 50 climate stations reported morning lows of -20°F or colder. Pokegama Dam reported -57°F while Leech Lake reported -51°F. The daytime high temperature at Brainerd only reached -14°F.

New Year’s Eve was almost balmy in 1965 across southeastern Minnesota as Winona, Caledonia, Preston, Theilman, Austin, and Grand Meadow all reported afternoon temperatures in the 50s F. Little snow was on the ground.

Outlook: 

Very cold weekend coming up with widespread subzero temperatures and dangerous Wind Chill values in many areas. Some moderation in temperature on Monday and Tuesday with temperatures climbing closer to the freezing mark (32°F). Then, cooler and drier than normal for the remainder of the week with more subzero overnight lows.

Mark Seeley

Strong Trend of Warm/Wet Continues in December

3 weeks 4 days ago
Strong Trend of Warm/Wet Continues in December:


No matter what the weather brings for the rest of the month this December will wrap up in Minnesota as both warmer and wetter than normal, following the trends of recent years. Over the most recent 15 years two-thirds of all Decembers have been warmer and wetter than normal. This year some areas, especially along the north shore of Lake Superior will see December snowfall totals between 20 and 30 inches, while other areas will report over 3 inches of precipitation, about three to four times normal.

Much of the precipitation for the month came either in the winter storm of December 10-11 or the highly unusual storm of December 15-16. These storms produced many record-setting rainfall and snowfall amounts around the state. Austin, MN reported 2.90 inches of precipitation on December 11th which set a new statewide record for the date. Similarly, the climate station at Cottage Grove 1.6NNW reported a snowfall amount of 20 inches setting a new all-time statewide record for the date. Though some additional record-setting precipitation amounts were reported with the storm on December 15-16, it will forever be remembered for the 16 tornadoes it produced in southeastern Minnesota. Tornadoes were reported in Freeborn, Mower, Winona, Wabasha, Fillmore, and Houston Counties. A total of 41 daily maximum temperature records were set just ahead of the storm, including a new statewide high temperature of 66°F at Caledonia. And 23 daily precipitation records were set across Minnesota as well.

A detailed report of this storm is provided by the DNR Minnesota State Climatology Office.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Framing the December 15th storm in the context of climate change will be the task of several research climatologists over the next year or two. Detailed attribution of nearly every extreme weather event and climate episode has become a specialty area called “forensic meteorology.” There is a particularly good article written about this area of research posted on the NOAA web site that might be of interest.

Freezing rain and icy conditions produced numerous crashes along Interstate 94 in western Wisconsin on Thursday morning (Dec 23) this week. Over 100 vehicles, many of them trucks were involved in the crashes and I94 had to be closed for a while according to reports from the Weather Channel.

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin shares an article about the huge investment in infrastructure that will be required by Russia to preserve its network of oil and gas pipelines across the Arctic permafrost. “The ground beneath gas pipelines may subside up to half a meter in places over the next 20 years, according to the group’s permafrost projections. A soil slump of even 10 centimeters can be enough to inflict damage on pipelines.” Russia may have to spend up to $110 billion to maintain, upgrade, and preserve this network in the coming years with the accelerated loss of permafrost.

MPR listener question:

Hearing about all of the 60°F temperatures in Minnesota last week, made us wonder have we ever seen 70°F during December in Minnesota?

Answer:

Yes, that has happened in three different years: December 6 and December 9 of 1939 brought some 70°F temperatures to seven climate stations of western Minnesota (74°F at Wheaton); December 3-4, 1941 also brought 70°F temperatures to two climate stations; and December 1, 1998 brought 70°F to Chaska, MN. Those are the only cases I am aware of in Minnesota history.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 24th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 26 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 13 degrees F (plus or minus 14 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 24th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 46 degrees F in 1957; lowest daily maximum temperature of -10 degrees F in 1983; lowest daily minimum temperature of -31 degrees F in 1872; highest daily minimum temperature of 35 degrees F in 1982; record precipitation of 1.26 inches in 1982. Record snowfall is 5.2 inches also in 2009.

Average dew point for December 24th is 10°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 38°F in 1936; and the minimum dew point on this date is -38 degrees F in 1983.

All-time state records for December 24th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 57 degrees F at Northfield (Dakota County) in 1888. The state record low temperature for this date is -43 degrees F at St Vincent (Kittson County) in 1884. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.40 inches at Montgomery (Le Sueur County) in 2010. Record snowfall is 15.5 inches at Isabella (Lake County) in 1959 and at Windom (Cottonwood County) in 2009.

Past Weather Features:


An Arctic Air Mass gripped the state for Christmas Eve in 1921. Many communities saw morning low temperatures range from -25°F to -40°F. The afternoon high temperature at International Falls only made it to -16°F

A warm Christmas Eve greeted most citizens in 1922 as afternoon temperatures reached the 40s and 50s across southern and western Minnesota. With little or no snow cover some communities saw the afternoon temperature reach the 50s F. The overnight low was 34°F at Willmar.

It was an exceptionally snowy Christmas week (Dec 22-28) in 1959. Many areas of the state reported 5-10 inches of snowfall, while along the north shore by Lake Superior observers reported 20-30 inches of snowfall. Isabella in Lake County reported 3 feet of snow that month.

Outlook: 

Near normal temperatures over the weekend, with chances for snow each day. Cooler than normal by Monday, but more sun. Another chance for snow on Tuesday with moderating temperatures, the much cooler for the balance of next week with some chance for snow again by next weekend.

Mark Seeley

Unique Storm of December 15, 2021

1 month ago
Unique Storm of December 15, 2021:


The storm system that crossed over Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois over December 15-16 was almost totally unique in many of its atmospheric attributes. Hundreds of temperature and dew point records were set with the rapid transport of heat and moisture from the south. The wind structure of the atmospheric layers supported record-setting wind speeds, as well as producing 25 reports of tornadoes (12 in NE, 13 in IA), and three suspected reports of tornadoes in MN, yet to be verified. Though fast moving, the storm system produced some record-setting rainfall amounts as well.

Among the most rare and unique measurements of the storm were: confirmed tornadoes on the ground near Lewiston (Winona County) and Hartland (Freeborn County), the first ever observed such storms in Minnesota during the month of December; a radiosonde (balloon) measured precipitable water measurement from the Twin Cities (integrated water vapor content in the atmosphere overhead) of 1.23inches, the highest measurement ever made in Minnesota during the months of December, January, and February; a dew point measurement at MSP airport of 55°F, the highest historical dew point measurement historical for the Twin Cities between December 6th and March 6th; a maximum temperature reading of 66°F at Caledonia, Winona, and Austin, all-time statewide record high for this time of year, and about 30-35 degrees F above normal.

A sampling of records set during the storm across Minnesota (for long term climate stations):

New record daily high temperatures:
65°F at Albert Lea
64°F Rochester, Grand Meadow, and Theilman
63°F at Winnebago and La Crescent
62°F Mankato
61°F at Jordan
60°F at Red Wing
58°F at MSP
55°F at St Cloud
54°F at Mora and Litchfield
49°F at Duluth

A sampling of the rainfall records from the storm across Minnesota (long term climate stations):
2.14” at Embarrass
2.10” at Zumbrota
1.96” at Floodwood
1.77” at Brainerd
1.44” at Hibbing
1.34” at Alexandria
1.28” at Tower
1.25” at Long Prairie
1.16” at Dawson
1.03” at Canby

Sampling of some record-setting maximum wind gusts:
85mph at Plainview
84 mph at Mabel and Harmony
83 mph at Grand Meadow
78 mph at Rochester Airport and Redwood Falls Airport
75 mph at Morristown
72 mph at Kasson
70 mph at Dodge Center
68 mph at Elko New Market

Sampling of record dew points:
55°F at MSP
59°F at Winona
57°F at Austin and Faribault
56°F at Preston

Overall, the convergence of these atmospheric conditions over Minnesota at this time of year is probably a “singularity” or one-off in historical terms. It can certainly be argued that it is symptomatically characteristic of climate change and will probably be investigated and reported by the American Meteorological Society specialists that do “forensic meteorology” studies. 

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Preliminary data indicate that the year 2021 will end up among the warmest six years in Minnesota history (back to 1895) on a statewide basis. In addition, though it will be noted as a year when drought had a major effect on the state (especially in summer), the year 2021 will likely be about the 30th driest year in state history, and far wetter than some of the worst drought years such as 1910, 1976, 1936, 1934, and 1917.


This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin highlights some recent tornado research out of the University of Oklahoma. The findings suggest that tornado frequency in the May through September period across the Southern Plains and Midwest may decline, but that the intensity of storms may increase. In addition, the study suggests that during the cool season, tornadoes may actually increase in both frequency and intensity.

NOAA released its annual Arctic Climate Report Card this week, assessing how the warming climate trends are affecting the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. It is a telling tale of decline in sea ice volume, disappearance of permafrost, browning of the tundra, and record-setting warmth.

Super Typhoon Rai lashed the Philippines with high seas, damaging winds, and very heavy rains this week as it crossed over into the South China Sea. The BBC reported thousands of people were evacuated to higher ground and there were widespread power outages.

MPR listener question:

Besides the storm on December 15th this week have we ever experienced a seasonal storm that was completely out of character and not in our range of historical experience in Minnesota?

Answer:

In my experience the only other storm that I would characterize as a historical singularity is the March 31, 2014 storm that passed over southwestern Minnesota, notably the counties of Lincoln, Lyon, Yellow Medicine and Lac Qui Parle. This storm produced a simultaneous blizzard and tornado warning for citizens of the area between 4pm and 5pm in the afternoon. If you were driving north that day on Hwy 75 you could have seen both of these storm types within miles of each other. This is perhaps one of the oddest weather events in state history.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 17th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 28 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 15 degrees F (plus or minus 14 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 17th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 53 degrees F in 1939; lowest daily maximum temperature of -5 degrees F in 1945; lowest daily minimum temperature of -17 degrees F in 1985; highest daily minimum temperature of 35 degrees F in 1977; record precipitation of 0.81 inches in 1908. Record snowfall is 10.8 inches also in 1908.

Average dew point for December 17th is 10°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 40°F in 1977; and the minimum dew point on this date is -22 degrees F in 1983.

All-time state records for December 17th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 63 degrees F at Farmington (Dakota County) in 1939. The state record low temperature for this date is -44 degrees F at Mora (Kanabec County) in 1983. The state record precipitation for this date is 1.80 inches at Hinckley (Pine County) in 1984. Record snowfall is 15.0 inches at Beaver Bay (Lake County) in 1863.

Past Weather Features:

The warmest December 17th in state history was in 1939 when many communities in Minnesota saw afternoon high temperatures climb into the 50s and 60s F. With little or no snow on the ground, even the overnight low at Winona was a mild 43°F.

An Arctic air mass occupied the state on December 17, 1983 sending overnight low temperatures into the minus twenties and minus thirties. Warmest spot in the wee hours of the morning was Grand Marais with a reading of -10°F. The high temperature at Wannaska (Roseau County) was -21°F. It was the start of a week-long episode of record-setting cold temperatures leading up to Christmas.

A major winter storm brought 1 to 2 inches of precipitation (and 4-6 inches of snow) to portions of central and northeastern Minnesota over December 16-17, 1984. Gunflint Lake reported a record 2.57 inches of precipitation, while Grand Marais had 1.80 inches.

Outlook: 

Partly cloudy with slightly cooler than normal temperatures over the weekend. It will be mostly a dry period next week with temperatures hanging around normal in most places and perhaps creeping to above normal values by Christmas Eve.

Mark Seeley

Dr. Mark Seeley's Special Comments on the Storm Predicted for December 15, 2021

1 month ago
Dr. Mark Seeley's Special Comments on the Storm Predicted for December 15, 2021

A few bullet points on the expected weather for Minnesota on December 15, 2021 (Wed)

I have never seen such a well-defined bullseye for the moderate risk of severe weather over Minnesota in December (released by the NOAA-SPC)


Minnesota has never documented a tornado anywhere in the state for December, January, or February. Historically the earliest calendar occurrence was March 6, 2017, and latest November 16, 1931

Among our neighboring states climate histories: WI has documented 6 December tornadoes, IA has documented 4 December tornadoes, SD and ND have not documented any tornadoes in Dec-Feb. Thus, this historical probability for December tornadoes in MN, SD, and ND is zero.

From noted scholar Dr. Harold Brooks at the NOAA Severe Storms Center in Oklahoma: the daily probability for tornadoes to occur anywhere in the USA landscape ranges from only 7 percent to 19 percent historically (even the southern states) during the month of December (highlighting how unusual the outbreak was on Dec 10th across IL, MO, AR, TN, and KY).

Weather Set Up for Wednesday (Dec 15): Fog in some areas, due to advection of warm, moist air overnight (Tue); rapid melting of snow will feed further moisture into the overlying layer of air, elevating dew points into the 50s F for southern MN areas (record-setting high dew points for this time of year); MSP is forecasted to have a 55°F dewpoint which would be the highest measured dew point historically for the months of December through February 20th. a rapid loss of snow cover may trigger further rapid warming of the surface landscape in some areas, so that 60°F or higher may be measured in many parts of Minnesota. I don’t know that we have ever had a tornado in MN when the dew point was below 50°, but that is just a guess. Our statewide record high temperature for December 15th is 63° F at Kinbrae (Nobles County) back in 1891. Forecasted highs for portions of SE Minnesota are 60-65°F for Wednesday.

If the MSP radiosonde (balloon system) from 6pm Wednesday evening reports a precipitable water value (integrated vertical water vapor measurement) of 1.13 inches or greater it would be the highest value ever measured during the winter months of December through February, according to Dr. Kenny Blumenfeld of the MN State Climatology Office.

Besides the rise to perhaps record-setting temperatures and dew points in southern Minnesota tomorrow (MSP records for Dec 15 are: max temp 51°F in 2014; dew point 49°F also in 2014), other features to pay attention to are: (1) record low barometric pressure readings; (2) though cloud tops in the late afternoon and evening will not be extremely high, convection could produce some thunderstorms and lightning; (3)wind velocities will be very high (50-70 mph in some areas), and perhaps sustained for several hours; (4) rapid loss of snow cover due to melting may enhance some local scale heating and instability for thunderstorm cells; (5) wind shear (horizontal) aloft will be conducive perhaps to rotation in the clouds, also enhanced by greater helicity (updraft rotation) in the lower levels of the atmosphere, so tornadoes are not out of the question; (6) there will be a rapid freeze up on most places as temperatures drop 30-40 degrees in less than 12 hours.

Additional dangers may be posed by severe storms occurring after sunset (in the dark) and well into the evening, and the sustained and freezing up of the rain on the surface of roads, sidewalks and highways which will make driving and walking on Thursday and Friday a challenge for many.

Historical perspective: This storm system may indeed be a singularity (one off) in Minnesota history for the month of December considering all of its unusual attributes together. One historical analogy is the storm of March 31, 2014 over southwestern Minnesota where citizens in Yellow Medicine, Lincoln, Lyon, and Yellow Medicine Counties had to endure both a blizzard warning and a tornado warning simultaneously during the afternoon, another singular weather episode in Minnesota history. Reality check is that both of these unusual storm systems may be tied to our changing climate.

Mark Seeley

Trend of Wetter Than Normal Decembers

1 month 1 week ago
Trend of Wetter Than Normal Decembers:

Last week I wrote about the strong recent trend for warmer than normal Decembers. This week, on the threshold of a major winter storm affecting portions of Minnesota, I would like to emphasize the recent trend of wetter than normal Decembers as well. For Minnesota eleven of the most recent fifteen Decembers have been wetter than normal. Furthermore Decembers of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, and 2019 all rank among the ten wettest in history back to 1895 on a statewide basis. This is a very strong trend and may be linked to climate change.

So far this month eight daily precipitation records have been set or tied within Minnesota’s statewide climate network, including 0.85 inches at Cass Lake on December 6th. In addition 12 daily snowfall records have been tied or set so far this month, including 11.8 inches at Brimson and 9 inches at Grand Marais on the 6th. But for perspective, those very wet recent Decembers mentioned above were loaded with storms that set record daily snowfall amounts. Here is a listing of the number of daily record snowfall amounts recorded in each of those Decembers:
 

2008 there were 44 record daily snowfalls
2009 there were 214 record daily snowfalls
2010 there were 237 record daily snowfalls
2015 there were 74 record daily snowfalls
2016 there were 120 record daily snowfalls
2019 there were 100 record daily snowfalls

And of course this summary ignores the hundreds of daily record precipitation amounts (liquid equivalent of the snowfall) that were recorded in those Decembers as well. Some of these recent very wet Decembers have also delivered record monthly totals of snowfall that obliterated older historical records. Some examples include: 50.8 inches of snowfall at Wolf Ridge ELC (Lake County) in 2008; 48.4 inches of snowfall at Windom (Cottonwood County) in 2009; 46.3 inches at Hutchinson (McLeod County) in 2010; 41.3 inches at Rochester in 2010; and 32.4 inches at Otter Tail in 2019.

So let’s not be surprised if the winter storm this Friday and Saturday, or perhaps another one or two later this month bring some record-setting snowfalls to the state. They will be fitting well into the trend of recent years.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


The Weather Underground reported that strong winter storm Bara brought heavy rains, high seas, and lots of rain to portions of Ireland, England, Scotland, and Spain this week. Thousands were affected by power outages and many streets and highways flooded. The storm intensified rapidly as it approached Ireland.

Science Daily reports on some recent research from the Potsdam Institute which shows that over recent decades crop pests and diseases have increased across China. There is a climate change connection as many agricultural areas of China are experiencing warmer nights during the growing season which fosters more insect and disease activity on crops.

This week climate.gov web site features reference to a climate resilience lesson illustrated in a PBS production about sea level change impacts on Norfolk, VA. The video focuses on sea level rise in Norfolk, Virginia and how the residents are managing the logistical, financial and political implications. Science journalists who have been studying Norfolk's rising sea level problems are interviewed, as well as local residents who are being impacted.

MPR listener question:

We are told to expect a foot or more of snowfall this Friday and Friday night here in Dodge Center. Can you please tell us what the record is for December?

Answer:

Dodge Center recorded 12.9 inches of snowfall on December 12, 2010. Nearby Byron recorded 13 inches on the same date. Those are the largest values I can find in your location for December.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 10th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 31 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 17 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 10th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 54 degrees F in 1979; lowest daily maximum temperature of -3 degrees F in 1977; lowest daily minimum temperature of -18 degrees F in 1977; highest daily minimum temperature of 37 degrees F in 2015; record precipitation of 0.61 inches in 1911. Record snowfall is 2.0 inches in 2016.

Average dew point for December 10th is 10°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 40°F in 2015; and the minimum dew point on this date is -27 degrees F in 1977.

All-time state records for December 10th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 67 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 2006. The state record low temperature for this date is -41 degrees F at Thorhult (Beltrami County) in 1977. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.42 inches at New Richland (Waseca County) in 1911. Record snowfall is 14.2 inches at Altura 5W (Winona County) in 2009.

.Words of the Week: Hydropolitics

Used by resource managers, hydrologists, politicians, and to a limited extent by climatologists, this highly contemporary term refers to political negotiation and confrontation over riparian rights which may be associated with both water use and water quality. Two areas of the world where much attention is being given to hydropolitics are the Colorado River Basin in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, and the Nile, Jordan, and Tigris-Euphrates river systems of the Middle East. The rapid growth in water consumption as more and more land is settled and developed, along with the relative scarcity of alternative water resources in these regions have contributed to somewhat of a hydropolitical crisis. In order to insure an adequate and stable water supply in the face of climate change and extrapolated population growth curves, nations and states are negotiating water-sharing treaties and agreements with more vigor than ever. We will undoubtedly be hearing much more use of the term hydropolitics in our remaining lifetime.

Past Weather Features:


One of the warmest December 10th afternoons in history was in 1939 when over 50 communities reported afternoon high temperatures in the 50s F. Both Springfield and New Ulm reached 63°F, while the overnight low temperature at Rochester was a record-warm 38°F.

By far the coldest December 10th in state history was in 1977 when virtually everywhere in the state recorded subzero temperatures, mostly ranging from the minus teens to minus thirties. With a good deal of snow cover daytime temperatures did not warm up much. The afternoon high at Argyle (Marshall County) was -18°F.

December 8-10, 2009 saw a winter storm bring rain, sleet, and snow to most parts of Minnesota. Many southern areas of the state reported 10 to 16 inches of snowfall, and at times experienced blizzard conditions. Winds gusted to 40 to 50 mph causing zero visibility at times.

Outlook: 

Perhaps some lingering snow and blowing snow early on Saturday, then mostly a sunny, but breezy weekend. Warming trend for Monday through Wednesday next week as temperatures climb to several degrees above normal. Increasing cloudiness by late Wednesday with a chance for rain and snow carrying over into Thursday. Temperatures cool towards next weekend.

Mark Seeley

November and Fall Season Climate Summary

1 month 2 weeks ago
November and Fall Season Climate Summary

November ended on Tuesday of this week. The month generally brought warmer than normal temperatures, as well as a mixture of above and below normal precipitation.

Temperature-wise, the mean monthly temperature for November ranged from 2 to 5 degrees above normal across the state. On a statewide basis it ranked as the 19th warmest November in history (back to 1895). The highest temperature reading in the state was 74°F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) on the 6th, and the lowest reading was -13°F at Camp Norris (Lake of the Woods County) on the 25th. Within the state’s climate network there were 9 daily maximum temperature records tied or broken during November, including 62°F at Lamberton and Windom on the 24th.

Precipitation was mixed for the month, with northern areas of the state reporting mostly above normal values, and the rest of the state reporting mostly below normal values. Within the state network of climate stations, the extremes of total November precipitation ranged from just 0.12 inches at Milan to a little over 4 inches in Grand Marais. The heaviest precipitation occurred over November 11-12, with over 40 climate stations reporting new record daily amounts ranging from 1 to 2 inches. Portions of Saint Louis, Roseau, Koochiching, and Beltrami Counties reported over a foot of snow for the month.

Drought conditions improved only slightly during the month as nearly 27 percent of the state landscape (all in the north) remains in Severe to Extreme Drought at month’s end.

Taking a look at the autumn season (September-November) it was much warmer than normal across the state. In fact on a statewide basis, it was the 4th warmest autumn in history (back to 1895), with over 60 percent of the days delivering above normal temperatures.

Here is a listing of the temperature ranking for the autumn season for selected locations around the state:
3rd warmest for the Twin Cities
4th warmest for Big Falls
5th warmest for International Falls, Brainerd, and Morris
6th warmest for Duluth and Rochester
7th warmest for Saint Cloud
8th warmest for Pipestone


The autumn season ranked as the 26th wettest historically on a statewide basis. Some of the areas reporting the most surplus precipitation were in western Minnesota where 10 to 12 inch totals were reported.

For the first 11 months of 2021, the statewide mean temperature ranks 3rd warmest (tied with 2016 and 1998). Only 1987 and 2012 were warmer. For precipitation, the statewide average precipitation for the first 11 months of 2021 is less than 23 inches, the driest such period since 2006.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Speaking of warm autumn seasons, the BBC Weather Center reported this week that Northern Ireland recorded its warmest autumn in history. This followed its 3rd warmest summer in history, when a number of temperature records were set.


A study from MIT recently published in Nature Communications shows that there has been an increase in the frequency of Tropical Cyclones in the North Atlantic Basin over the past 150 years. The study was produced under the leadership of Dr. Kerry Emanuel, a leading hurricane researcher well-known for his books and previous studies. In the study it is shown “that most of the variability of North Atlantic tropical cyclone activity over the last century was directly related to regional rather than global climate change.”


The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Tropical Cyclone Jawad to bring especially heavy rains to portions of Eastern India this weekend. The storm is expected to travel a parallel path along the coastline, bringing up to 8 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 70 mph to some highly populated areas.

MPR listener question:

You mentioned previously that recent Decembers have shown a remarkable warming trend. How many of the last ten years have brought warmer than normal Decembers to Minnesota? And do you think this December will be warm too?

Answer:

A very strong warming trend in December is evident as 9 of the last 10 Decembers have been warmer than normal in Minnesota (though 2017 was marginally so). But 2015 was the warmest December in state history, nearly 12 degrees F above normal. The only December of the most recent 10 that was cooler than normal was 2013. I do think there is a good chance that this December will be warmer than normal as well. The latest outlook from NOAA suggests that at least the southern portions of Minnesota will see a warmer than normal December.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 3rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 33 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 20 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 3rd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 62 degrees F in 1962; lowest daily maximum temperature of -1 degrees F in 1886; lowest daily minimum temperature of -19 degrees F in 1940; highest daily minimum temperature of 43 degrees F in 1962; record precipitation of 1.05 inches in 1953. Record snowfall is 7.4 inches in 1934.

Average dew point for December 3rd is 19°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 54°F in 2012; and the minimum dew point on this date is -22 degrees F in 1940.

All-time state records for December 3rd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 72 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1941. The state record low temperature for this date is -38 degrees F at Itasca State Park (Clearwater County) in 1927. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.42 inches at Big Falls (Koochiching County) in 2013. Record snowfall is 17.7 inches at Two Harbors 7NW (Lake County) in 2013

Words of the Week: Afterheat and Aftersummer

These are very old terms used to refer to the warm pleasant days in the late autumn (at or after Indian Summer). It was thought that the residual heat of summer stored in the ground was released under sunny skies and helped produce temperatures that were well above normal for the late autumn. Though the soil does indeed accumulate and store heat during the summer months, periods of late autumn warmth are more often attributed to advection - the regional-scale transport of heat carried in the surface winds from one area to another. Temperatures which reach 10 to 20 degrees above normal this time of year cannot be generated locally by the low sun beating down on the Earth or by heat released from the ground.

Past Weather Features:


The coldest December 3rd on a statewide basis was in 1927 when all places in the state except a few southern counties reported subzero temperatures. Many areas in the north were recording minimum temperatures in the minus twenties and minus thirties. The afternoon high only reached -2°F at Campbell (Wilkin County)

Perhaps the warmest December 3rd in state history was in 1998 when over 50 Minnesota communities reported afternoon highs in the 60s. Many golf courses were open and busy. Many areas enjoyed three consecutive days in the 60s F (December 2-4), and several took their lunch citizens took their lunch breaks outside.

Northeastern Minnesota was caught in a strong winter storm on December 3, 2013 when 8 to 16 inches of snow fell, closing some sections of Hwy 61 along the north shore of Lake Superior. It proved to be the start of a snowy month for many north shore communities where 30 to 40 inches of snow fell before the end of December.

Outlook: 

Cooler over the weekend with temperatures closer to normal, and a chance for snow late Saturday and into early Monday. This winter storm could deliver 6 inches to a foot of snow in portions northeastern Minnesota. The weather will be a bit colder and drier for the balance of next week.

Mark Seeley

Coldest Temperatures of the Fall Came this Week

1 month 3 weeks ago

Coldest Temperatures of the Fall Came this Week:

Many communities around the state reported the coldest temperatures of the Fall Season during this week, especially on November 25-26. Scores of climate stations reported morning lows in the single digits. Fourteen climate stations in northern counties reported subzero low temperatures, including -5°F at International Falls, Warroad, and Warren, as well as -4°F at Kabetogama, Orr, and Hibbing. Furthermore, on some days this week the afternoon high temperatures remained in the teens and twenties. With moderate winds many areas reported subzero Wind Chill readings this week, including -16°F at Warroad.

The colder temperatures have promoted more surface ice formation on area lakes and shallow soil temperatures have dropped into the low 30s F. As a result, future storm systems that pass across Minnesota are more likely to deposit snow that will cover the ground and last longer.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

In this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin there is an interesting article about how climate change brought about the extinction of the mammoth and other megafauna. Using ancient animal and plant DNR taken from sediments across the Arctic scientists reconstructed 50,000 years of the “mammoth steppe ecosystem.” They findings “implicate climate change—not overhunting by ancient humans—in the loss of the biome and in the extinctions of Pleistocene megafauna.”

The United Kingdom Met Office issued both Amber and Red Warnings for Storm Arwen (a strong mid-latitude cyclone) that is expected to affect portions of the United Kingdom on Friday and Saturday. Many areas may sea wind gusts from 60-100 mph, with high seas expected. Some ferry services between England and Ireland have been cancelled as a result of this exceptional storm.

MPR listener question:

The City of Duluth will declare snow emergencies to better facilitate snowplowing and other services for the first time ever this coming winter (2020-2021). They are not using a formula or set of criteria to declare a snow emergency like the Twin Cities and others do but will treat the characteristics of each storm individually. Nevertheless, can you tell us how often Duluth reports a snowfall of 4 inches or greater?

Answer:

This will be an interesting approach to declaring snow emergencies. Hopefully it will work well. Historically Duluth has recorded some winters with no 4-inch or greater daily snowfalls, while in other winters they have seen as many as 12. Up until 1990 the average winter delivered about 3 or 4 storms that brought 4 or more inches of snowfall to Duluth. However since 1990 they have seen that average rise to 6 such storms.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 26th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 37 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 23 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 26th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 62 degrees F in 1914; lowest daily maximum temperature of 10 degrees F in 1898; lowest daily minimum temperature of -16 degrees F in 1977; highest daily minimum temperature of 39 degrees F in 1909; record precipitation of 1.76 inches in 1896. Record snowfall is 5.9 inches in 2001.

Average dew point for November 26th is 20°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 52°F in 1909; and the minimum dew point on this date is -22 degrees F in 1977.

All-time state records for November 26th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 70 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 1914. The state record low temperature for this date is -37 degrees F at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1903. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.60 inches at Beaver (Winona County) in 1971. Record snowfall is 19.5 inches at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) in 2001.

Past Weather Features:


November 25-27, 1896 brought a strong and long-lasting winter storm to Minnesota. The storm system delivered rain, sleet, snow, hail, and even some thunderstorms to southern portions of the state. Many climate stations reported over 3 inches of precipitation, while in the northern counties four climate stations reported a foot or more of snow.

November 26, 1914 brought a feeling of September weather to many citizens as daily highs topped 60 degrees F under sunny skies. Many people spent some time outside on that Thanksgiving Day to enjoy the weather.

November 26, 1919 felt like late January across Minnesota with widespread subzero temperature readings. Many areas reported morning lows between -20°F and -30°F. The daily high temperature at Hallock (Kittson County) where they had a foot of snow on the ground only climbed to -10°F.

Outlook:

Near normal temperatures over the weekend with a chance for snow showers, especially in northern areas of the state. A warming trend will begin on Monday pushing temperatures to above normal for much of next week. It will also be dry for most of the week.

Mark Seeley

Last week’s rain/snow event helped alleviate drought

1 month 4 weeks ago
Last week’s rain/snow event helped alleviate drought:

The widespread precipitation of last week was welcome relief from the year-long drought conditions that prevailed, mostly in northern Minnesota. Many climate stations reported 1.5 to 2.0 inches of precipitation. In fact, 40 daily precipitation records were tied or set within the state climate network by this storm system. Along the shoreline communities of Lake Superior from Two Harbors to Grand Portage, many climate stations reported over 3 inches, up to nearly 4 inches. There was flooding in downtown Grand Marais. In areas with colder temperatures some significant snowfall amounts were reported. Thorhult (Beltrami County), Big Falls (Koochiching County), and Warroad (Roseau County) reported over a foot of snowfall last week.

With the abundant precipitation of last week, the landscape area in Severe to Extreme Drought across Minnesota shrunk to just 27 percent this week according to the US Drought Monitor. The area in Extreme Drought is down to just three percent of the Minnesota landscape, mostly in northern Lake and Cook Counties of the northeast. With soil temperatures dropping now into the mid to upper 30s F, they will soon be freezing up. Precipitation that falls after soil freeze-up will no longer be as available to recharge soil moisture levels. Given the climate outlooks it appears that some portions of northern Minnesota will emerge from winter still in some form of drought.

This week brought the lowest temperatures of the fall season so far with many climate stations reporting overnight lows in the single digits and teens. Some northern communities saw high temperatures remain the twenties on Monday of this week.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


The BBC reported on the record-setting rainfalls in British Columbia (Canada) earlier this week. Some areas received between 4 and 11 inches of rain in less than 24 hours, causing widespread flooding of stream and rivers, as well as flash flooding of roads and highways. There were a number of landslides as well. Thousands of people were stranded and damage to infrastructure was severe.


The Washington Post also reported on the flooding in British Columbia this week, as well as the flooding in Western Washington State, where as much as 10 to 17 inches of rain has fallen over the past week. Some of these rains occurred over areas that reported wildfires this past summer, so there was consequently a lot of soil erosion.


This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features an article from the EPA about how a growing number of lakes in the Midwest of the USA are exceeding the World Health Organizations thresholds for concentrations of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria is the main organism associated with harmful algal blooms and toxins, so typical of the July through October period. One by one the causes of this high level of cyanobacteria for individual lakes can be addressed by local mitigation efforts.

MPR listener question:

A question from Nancy Daley (Minneapolis) and Tom McCann (Grand Marais) ….we were examining this map from N.H. Winchell showing the mean annual rainfall in Minnesota circa 1911. Has Mark seen this map (which was widely published) and does he have any comments about it?

Answer:

N.H. Winchell was State Geologist for Minnesota in the late 19th Century. He produced a number of maps concerning the state’s soils, geology, and lakes, as well as some climate maps. For the Atlas Map of Minnesota showing mean annual rainfall, the data used were from the old Smithsonian climate network (established in 1850s), the Signal Corps climate network (established in the 1870s) and the National Weather Service (established in 1891 within the Department of Agriculture). For Winchell’s rainfall atlas of Minnesota, they would have climate records from less than 50 places in the state for constructing their map. Today there are about 230 climate histories to use in constructing a map of mean annual precipitation.

Average annual precipitation at Grand Marais is about 2.5 inches greater today than it was in 1911. The Twin Cities mean annual precipitation is about 3.5 inches more today than it was in 1911. Extreme values of annual precipitation for the period 1858 (statehood) to 1911 ranged from 18 to 51.5 inches. Today the extreme values (through the year 2020) are 6.37 inches at Ortonville in 1976 to 60.21 inches at Harmony in 2018. Further, as evidence of climate change in our state, over 30 climate stations have reported at least one year with 50 or more inches of precipitation since 1991.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 19th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 40 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 26 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 19th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 65 degrees F in 1930; lowest daily maximum temperature of 13 degrees F in 1894; lowest daily minimum temperature of -5 degrees F in 1932; highest daily minimum temperature of 48 degrees F in 1930; record precipitation of 1.00 inches in 1983. Record snowfall is 6.2 inches in 1981.

Average dew point for November 19th is 24°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 55°F in 1942; and the minimum dew point on this date is -4 degrees F in 1921.

All-time state records for November 19th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 74 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 1897. The state record low temperature for this date is -29 degrees F at Roseau (Roseau County) in 1896. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.85 inches at Grand Portage (Cook County) in 1998. Record snowfall is 19.0 inches at Dawson (Lac Qui County) in 1948.

Word of the Week: Jeelit

A Scottish weather word for absolutely freezing outside is “jeelit.” Perhaps Minnesota should invent its own jargon for very cold temperatures. I nominate the phrase “Sota cold” out there today.

Past Weather Features:


November 19, 1932 was like a mid-winter morning with most areas of the state reporting subzero temperatures. Warroad started the day at -20°F and only warmed up to a high of 6°F.

November 18-19, 1948 brought an early winter storm with rain, sleet, and snow. In southwestern Minnesota many communities reported 15-20 inches of snowfall. Marshall ended up with 24 inches of snowfall that month.

November 19, 1999 was probably the warmest in state history with over 30 climate stations reporting afternoon high temperatures between 60°F and 70°F. Some golf courses were open that day (a Friday) as many took the afternoon off work.

Outlook: 

The weekend will start out somewhat mild on Saturday under partly cloudy skies. It will turn colder and breezy on Sunday with temperatures cooler than normal, and a chance for snow in northern areas of the state. Temperatures will warm up closer to normal for Tuesday and Wednesday, then cooler again for Thanksgiving and towards next weekend. No real significant precipitation is expected.

Mark Seeley

At Last, Some November Precipitation

2 months ago
At Last, Some November Precipitation:
After nearly two weeks without any measurable precipitation for most parts of Minnesota, a large low-pressure system brought widespread rainfall over November 10-12. Some areas of northern Minnesota reported 3-5 inches of snowfall as well, with Warroad reporting 6 inches and Chisholm reporting 6.7 inches. More snowfall is expected this weekend later on Saturday.

Many areas reported from half an inch to one and a half inches of rainfall. In southeastern Minnesota observers in Mower, Fillmore, Winona, Wabasha, and Houston Counties reported over an inch and a half of rainfall. And in northeastern Minnesota around Grand Marais and Hovland (Cook County), they reported well over two inches of precipitation. Some climate stations actually reported new daily record amounts of rainfall (mostly for November 11th), including:
Brainerd 0.84”
Hallock 0.86”
Rosemount 0.90”
Floodwood 0.95”
Thief River Falls 1.09”
Zumbrota 1.14”
Lake City 1.24”
Wabasha 1.30”
Austin 1.31”
La Crescent 1.35”
Spring Valley 1.46”
Theilman 1.52”
Minnesota City 1.54”
Grand Meadow 1.85”

Much of this rain fell at rates that could be easily absorbed by the soil, which is yet unfrozen. Undoubtedly too the rain will help reduce the area of Minnesota that is still in Severe to Extreme Drought, an area currently estimated to be about 29 percent of the landscape.

The National Weather Service had to issue a Winter Weather Advisory for portions of northern and western Minnesota on Thursday, November 11th as some accumulating snow was expected on the backside of the storm system. In addition, because of wind gusts over 35 mph portions of extreme west-central Minnesota were issued a blizzard warning for late Thursday and early Friday.

Ralph Abercromby - meteorologist and photographer: During the 1870s there was increasing use of photography in scientific investigations. In meteorology, one of the pressing needs was to photograph cloud forms and publish a cloud atlas which would illustrate the cloud classification system proposed by Luke Howard in 1802 and also serve as a reference for people to use when making daily weather observations which often included sky cover, cloud types and estimated cloud heights. Up until that time, drawings and sketches of cloud forms had served as observational guidelines for classifying cloud types.

To meet the need of the international meteorological community, English photographer Ralph Abercromby made a series of voyages around the world from 1884 to 1886 with the express purpose of taking as many pictures of different cloud forms as he could find. His camera was bulky and unwieldy, using large gelatin plates to capture the images. By 1887 his collection was large and diverse, enough to publish the first cloud atlas using photographs.

Today, the modern International Cloud Atlas published by the World Meteorological Society not only contains color photos of cloud types taken from observers on the ground, but also images taken from airplanes and orbiting satellites. A comprehensive photo array of cloud types and descriptions is also available to the public online from the Cloud Appreciation Society, of which I am a member.


Weekly Weather Potpourri: According to Science Daily a recent research report from the University of Illinois illustrates how some rops that experience drought conditions and/or extreme temperatures during early growth stages and survive are better able to deal with those same conditions later in their development cycle. Such growth behavior helps mitigate yield reduction, and if tied to genetics may help plant breeders create more resilient crops to cope with climate change.


This week’s AGU-EOS bulletin features an interesting article about receding tropical glaciers (caused by climate change) and the impact on local landscapes and cultures, especially in South America. Many communities are dependent on the seasonal runoff from glaciers to provide their water supply, and accelerated efforts to adapt to climate change will be needed.

MPR listener question: Earlier this fall you remarked on MPR’s Morning Edition that some parts of northern Minnesota caught in the bullseye of the Drought were recording one of their driest years ever. With the additional rain across the state this autumn is that still the case?
Answer: Yes, there are many places in Minnesota that have reported less than 18 inches of precipitation so far this year, mostly in northern counties. A sampling is listed below of the year-to-date precipitation totals and the approximate percentage of normal they represent (through November 11th):
Bemidji (Beltrami County) 14.42” about 57 percent of normal
Crookston (Polk County) 14.48” about 68 percent of normal
Warroad (Roseau County) 14.55” about 61 percent of normal
Lake Bronson (Kittson County) 15.09” about 72 percent of normal
Kabetogama (St Louis County) 15.74” about 63 percent of normal
Hawley (Clay County) 16.96” about 63 percent of normal
International Falls (Koochiching County) 17.33” about 73 percent of normal

It is likely that many of these locations will finish the year 2021 ranking among the driest 10 years historically, unless the final 7 weeks of the year are exceptionally wet (unlikely).
Twin Cities Almanac for November 12th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 44 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 29 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 12th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 65 degrees F in 2001; lowest daily maximum temperature of 11 degrees F in 1940; lowest daily minimum temperature of -4 degrees F in 1966; highest daily minimum temperature of 44 degrees F in 2005; record precipitation of 0.90 inches in 1965. Record snowfall is 8.5 inches in 1940.

Average dew point for November 12th is 26°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 53°F in 2005; and the minimum dew point on this date is -9 degrees F in 1986.

All-time state records for November 12th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 74 degrees F at Faribault (Rice County) in 1923. The state record low temperature for this date is -26 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1995. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.62 inches at Schroeder (Cook County) in 1940. Record snowfall is 16.0 inches at Farmington (Dakota County) in 1940.
Word of the Week: Freezing Level


This is a term used in meteorology to refer to the lowest altitude in the atmosphere over a given location at which the air temperature is 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). In other words, the height of the 32°F airstream overhead. It is highly variable and changes markedly with the seasons in Minnesota. In summer it might be as high as 10,000 ft, while in winter it comes right down to the ground at times. Average height of the freezing level at MSP during the first week of November is about 3200 ft, but by the end of the month it is about 1200 ft. These changes can be substantial even over a day. For example, the freezing level above the Twin Cities on Wednesday morning, November 10 this week was 6500 ft, but by Thursday morning (November 11th) it had dropped to 4100 ft. 

The change in average freezing level during the month of November is associated with a number of other significant changes in climate during the month including: over a 1 hour reduction in daylength (over 10 hrs to just over 9 hrs); an 18 degree F decline in daily mean temperature (from 42°F to 26°F); an increase in cloudiness; and a increase in the occurrence of freezing precipitation (freezing rain, sleet, snow).


Past Weather Features:


The famous Armistice Day Blizzard occurred over November 11-12, 1940 paralyzing much of eastern Minnesota with blinding heavy, wet snow, accompanied by a severe temperature drop. Forty-nine people, including many duck hunters, lost their lives during the storm. Many parts of the state reported snowfall totals ranging from 12-24 inches. In addition up to 20 foot drifts closed many highways and blocked railroads from moving.

November 12, 1941, the year after the Armistice Day Blizzard, most of Minnesota reported a lovely, sunny afternoon with temperatures in the 50s and 60s F. It even reached a record 70°F at Beardsley (Big Stone County).

Very cold temperatures prevailed across Minnesota on the morning of November 12, 1966. Most areas of the state reported subzero temperatures ranging from the single digits to teens below zero. Portions of Itasca, St Louis, and Lake of the Woods Counties were -20°F or colder. The high temperature at Argyle (Marshall County) only reached 10°F.

Outlook:


Cloudy and much cooler weather over the weekend, with a chance for snow on Saturday afternoon and evening. Continued colder than normal temperatures for Sunday and Monday, with chances for snow in northern sections of Minnesota. A brief warming on Tuesday, then mostly cooler than normal and dry for the balance of next week.

Mark Seeley

November Starts Cool

2 months 1 week ago
November Starts Cool:
Through the first few days of November many places in Minnesota have reported their coldest temperatures of the autumn season so far, ranging from the teens to the low thirties F. Brimson (St Louis County) reported just 12°F on Friday morning. Even the daily high temperatures only ranged from the mid 30s to low 40s F on some days. The high temperature at Crane Lake on November 2nd only reached 30°F. Temperatures averaged typically from 2 to 4 degrees F cooler than normal over the first four days of the month.

Also during this time many climate stations reported a trace of snow, including the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus. Further north in Aitkin, Itasca, Roseau, Koochiching, St Louis, and Lake Counties measurable snowfall was reported, ranging from just 0.1 inches up to 1.0 inches near Winton (St Louis County). Rainfall throughout October helped reduce the area of the Minnesota landscape designated to be in Severe to Extreme Drought to less than 30 percent, the lowest value in several months.

We will see a reversal of this trend as we head into the weekend, with temperatures running from 6 to 15 degrees above normal through next Wednesday. A drier than normal period will prevail as well. Several models suggest the milder than normal temperatures will prevail across Minnesota through the second week of November, but the precipitation pattern is expected to change and bring more rain (perhaps even snow) to many areas.

Weekly Weather Potpourri: This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features an interesting article about a World Flood Mapping Tool that is now available to depict the extent of historical floods and flood damage, especially for countries that lack the data to assess the properties and features of past floods. The tool uses Landsat images since 1985 at a resolution of just 30 meters.


Many NOAA scientists and experts are attending COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland this month. A number are presenting webinars that can be viewed online. For a schedule and access to these webinars you can visit the climate.gov website.


Also, while the United Nations COP26 (Conference of the Parties) meetings on Climate Change are going on in Glasgow, the BBC has produced a primer on Climate Change in Wales. This features interesting graphics and narrative about impacts on all the economic sectors.


The NOAA Climate Program Office has forged a partnership with the University of Maryland (UMD) Center for Technology and Systems Management and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to accelerate the development of climate-smart engineering codes and standards. The goal of this partnership is to bring climate information into the standard-setting process for construction so that there will be an increase in the pace of climate adaptation and hopefully a reduction in the costs of climate-related natural disasters.


Science Daily this week reports on a new study by scientists at Harvard who simulated atmospheric behavior under a “hothouse scenario” similar to millions of years ago when the Earth was 20 to 30°F warmer than today. The simulations showed a dramatic amplification of the hydrologic cycle with prolonged dryness in the tropics, followed by massive rainstorms that could deliver a month or more worth of rainfall in only hours.

MPR listener question: Last week you shared some thoughts and perspectives about the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 and we know it was the start also of a very snowy November that delivered nearly 47 inches of snow to the Twin Cities and over 50 inches of snow to Duluth. Wondering how many Novembers have delivered over 40 inches of snowfall to the state?

Answer: Checking the historical climate data, I can find only two other Novembers besides 1991 that brought over 40 inches of snowfall to the state. Those were 1933 when Pigeon River Bridge up in Cook County reported 51 inches; and 1940 (the year of the Armistice Day Blizzard) when Meadowlands (St Louis County) reported 42 inches of snowfall, and Collegeville (St Johns University in Stearns County) reported 49.1 inches for November. So that level of snowfall in November is indeed very rare.
Twin Cities Almanac for November 5th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 47 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 33 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 5th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 73 degrees F in 2016; lowest daily maximum temperature of 26 degrees F in 1935; lowest daily minimum temperature of 3 degrees F in 1951; highest daily minimum temperature of 57 degrees F in 2008; record precipitation of 0.93 inches in 1948. Record snowfall is 4.2 inches in 1959.

Average dew point for November 5th is 29°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 56°F in 2015; and the minimum dew point on this date is 0 degrees F in 1951.

All-time state records for November 5th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 78 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1975. The state record low temperature for this date is -16 degrees F at Detroit Lakes (Becker County) in 1951. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.02 inches at Rushford (Fillmore County) in 1948. Record snowfall is 11.0 inches at Floodwood (St Louis County) in 1993.

Past Weather Features:


The coldest November 5th on a statewide basis was in 1951 when over half of the state reported subzero morning low temperatures. It was subzero as far south as Windom (Cottonwood County) and Grand Meadow (Mower County). The afternoon high temperature at Detroit Lakes only reached 11°F.

A large-scale-low pressure system brought widespread heavy rains. Many areas of the state reported between one and two inches of rainfall. Portions of Fillmore County reported over two inches.

The hottest November 5th was in 1975 when sunny skies and south winds allowed afternoon temperatures to soar into the 70s F across most of the state. It was a Wednesday, middle of the work week, and many enjoyed eating their lunch outside.

November 4-5, 1993 brought an early winter storm to Minnesota with a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow. Many communities in central and northern Minnesota reported from 5 to 10 inches of snowfall. Portions of northeastern Minnesota ended up with over 30 inches of snowfall that month.

Outlook: 

Generally warmer than normal and sunny over the weekend. Excellent weather for outdoor chores. Somewhat cooler Monday through Wednesday next week, but still warmer than normal. Chance for showers Wednesday and Thursday with cooler temperatures.

Mark Seeley

Preiminary Climate Summary for October 2021

2 months 2 weeks ago


Preliminary Climate Summary for October 202
A warmer than normal October prevailed across the state with most climate stations reporting a mean monthly temperature that ranged from 4 to 5 degrees F above normal. On a statewide basis October of 2021 will likely rank among the warmest 6 in history, while for the Twin Cities it will likely rank among the 10 warmest. Extremes ranged from 86°F at Milan on October 4th to just 16°F at Hibbing on October 24th. Within the state climate network 16 daily maximum temperature records were set or tied during the month, and 127 daily warm minimum temperature records were set or tied.


Rainfall for October was highly variable. Generally north-central and northeastern sections of the state received more than most of the rest of the state, although portions of Swift and Big Stone Counties in western Minnesota reported 5-7 inches of total rainfall. Portions of southeastern Minnesota received less than normal rainfall, including Hokah and Wabasha which reported less than 1 inch. There were 34 daily rainfall records set within the state climate network during October, including 3.79 inches on the 10th at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County) and 3.61 inches at Crookston (Polk County) on the 11th, which was a new statewide rainfall record for that date. Overall, the designated Drought area in the state shrunk during the month, but some Severe and Extreme levels of drought remain in far northern counties, but is down to just 36 percent of  the state landscape, the smallest number in months.


Working around the days with rain, farmers made good progress on harvesting major crops. Corn was over 80 percent harvested, sugar beets nearly75 percent harvested, and soybean harvest was all but complete.

Notes on the Halloween Blizzard, October 31-November 3, 1991:
Over 30 communities reported 20 or more inches of snow from this storm. Hardest hit communities were the Twin Cities (28.4”), Two Harbors (36.0”), and Duluth (36.9”). A 180- mile-long stretch of Interstate 90 was closed for a time. Snowfall intensity was up to 2 inches per hour at times and the National Guard provided many power generators to rural areas because of power outages. Winds of 40-60 mph produce snow drifts up to 10 feet.

A personal story: In those days were still needed to make daily manual observations at the University of Minnesota St Paul Climate Observatory. I had the task of making the observation on Friday, November 1st in the middle of the storm. For the first time in my life I used snowshoes to trek out to the observatory, normally a 10 minute walk from my campus office. It took me 45 minutes to get there. Then it took me an hour and a half to shovel out all the instruments that were buried in snow drifts. It was quiet as a morgue as there was no traffic out anywhere and virtually no activity on campus. All I could hear were the howling winds. Besides the measurements I made, I noted that visibility was terrible and if I had not know the campus so well, I probably would have wondered out there for hours.


Time to Nominate for Climate Adaptation Awards
The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Program is currently seeking nominations for its climate adaptation awards in 2022. There are four categories of awards:
Individual
Organization
Business
Communications

The MCAP program is a one of a kind bringing together climate adaptation practitioners from all over the state. If you know of outstanding work within your community or work-place please consider sending in a nomination. Instructions and more details are available on their web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
The Weather Channel reported on the record-setting rainfalls that hit portions of California this week. Many areas reported from 5-10 inches of rain, some of which caused mudslides in the landscapes that had been denuded by wildfires during the summer.


Reported in Science Daily this week was a study from Tufts University describing climate change impacts on the coffee crop. For many areas climate change will have an impact on both the quantity and quality of the coffee beans produced. Irrigation and shade management may be husbandry practices that can mitigate this.

MPR listener question:
Now that most places in the state have reported at least one frost, we were wondering when does the average overnight low temperature reach freezing in the Twin Cities based on the new 1991-2020 Climate Normals, and how does that compare to other places in the state?

Answer: The average daily minimum temperature reaches freezing (32°F) on November 6th in the Twin Cities, based on the normals from 1991-2020. The range across the state for the average minimum temperature to reach 32°F is slightly over a month, varying from October 9th at Embarrass to November 10 at Winona. When the average minimum temperature reaches 32°F for few other places in the state is listed below:
Rochester October 31
Marshall October 24
St Cloud October 25
Fergus Falls October 22
Crookston October 19
Duluth October 25
International Falls October 14

Twin Cities Almanac for October 29th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 51 degrees F (plus or minus 13 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 36 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 29th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 78 degrees F in 1922; lowest daily maximum temperature of 25 degrees F in 1925; lowest daily minimum temperature of 15 degrees F in 1925; highest daily minimum temperature of 56 degrees F in 2004; record precipitation of 1.01 inches in 1896. Record snowfall is 5.5 inches in 1905.

Average dew point for October 29th is 35°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 66°F in 2004; and the minimum dew point on this date is 6 degrees F in 1988.

All-time state records for October 29th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 85 degrees F at Marshall (Lyon County) and Windom (Cottonwood County) in 1937. The state record low temperature for this date is -3 degrees F at Campbell (Wilkin County) in 1919 and at Pipestone in 1925. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.88 inches at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 2004. Record snowfall is 8.5 inches at Orr (St Louis County) in 1932.


Past Weather Features:


Winterlike morning temperatures prevailed over Minnesota on October 29, 1925. Most northern areas reported lows in single digits, while across the south temperatures in the teens prevailed. The afternoon high at Wheaton (Traverse County) was only 16°F.

A slow-moving storm system brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to the state over October 28-30, 1932. Snowfall in many areas ranged from 5-11 inches.

The warmest October 29th occurred in 1937 when many areas of the state reported afternoon highs in the 70s and 80s F. Windom (Cottonwood County) started the day at just 41°F but warmed up to 85°F by 3pm. Duluth hit 74°F.

Outlook: 

Mostly sunny weekend with temperatures a bit above normal. Then generally cooler than normal and dry for much of next week, with frequent frosty mornings.

Mark Seeley

Fall Cool-Down Arrives

2 months 3 weeks ago
Fall Cool-Down Arrives:This past week brought the coolest temperatures of the fall so far to Minnesota. Over October 16-21 there were many mornings that brought frost to some parts of the state. In fact, well over 65 percent of the state landscape has recorded at least one frost now. Some of the coldest temperatures of the fall season occurred on October 21st and October 22nd with many areas reporting morning lows in the 20s F. Friday morning brought even more widespread frosts across the state with some readings in the low 20s to low 30s F. Hallock, Aitkin, and Bemidji all reported a low of just 19°F. The current pattern will bring a spell of days with cooler than normal temperatures. It is definitely time to break out the sweaters and sweatshirts and perhaps even start wearing knitted caps.

Fall Chore Season: It appears that a cool-down weather pattern will last several days. Shallow soil temperatures will likely fall below 50°F in the next few days. Time for gardeners to start thinking about planting bulbs and using mulch. In fact, there are a number of fall chores that gain a sense of urgency when the temperature declines rapidly in the fall. Some examples:

Outdoor painting which typically requires 50 degrees F
Taking in the dock and winterizing the cabin at the lake
Putting up the storm windows
Cut, split, and stack firewood, clean the fireplace
Covering the air conditioner, checking the furnace
Caulking around doors and windows
Stocking up on deicer, salt, or grit for sidewalks and driveways
Checking the car's coolant system and flushing it if necessary
Considering new winter wiper blades
Cleaning the leaves out of gutters
Prune dead word from trees and shrubs
Raking the leaves from the yard
Cleaning grain storage areas
Checking heating systems in livestock buildings
Putting the winter survival kit back in the car
Testing the snow thrower
Inventory the winter wardrobe

Time to Nominate for Climate Adaptation Award
The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Program is currently seeking nominations for its climate adaptation awards in 2022. There are four categories of awards:

Individual

Organization

Business

Communications

The MCAP program is a one of a kind bringing together climate adaptation practitioners from all over the state. If you know of outstanding work within your community or work-place please consider sending in a nomination. Instructions and more details are available on their web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri: NOAA released a new Winter Season Outlook this week in both written and mapped forms, as well as a YouTube video presentation. For Minnesota we have an equal chance for above or below temperatures as well as above or below precipitation during the December through February period. An important caveat is that NOAA scientists expect the Drought Situation across the state to improve somewhat. Already this fall the area of the Minnesota landscape showing Severe to Extreme Drought has shrunk to about 37 percent, all in the far north regions.

The BBC reported that areas of India and Nepal suffered severed damage from flash flooding this week as unusual heavy rains plagued the area. The Indian Meteorological Department reported that some areas received over a foot of rainfall in 24-hours. More than 180 people lost their lives in the flooding.

The Weather Channel reports on a “Parade of Atmospheric Rivers” that are expected to flow off the Pacific Ocean into California next week. The forecasts call for both frequent and heavy rains to impact parts of the drought-stricken western states. Heavy snows are expected in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains.

Science Daily reports on a recent research study from York University that lakes in the Northern Hemisphere are warming six times faster since 1992 than any other time period in the last 100 years, new research has found. They report that “Lake Superior, the most northern of the Great Lakes which straddles the Canada/United States border, is one of the fastest warming lakes, losing more than two months of ice cover since ice conditions started being recorded in 1857.”

MPR listener question: We live in Granite Falls, along the border of Chippewa and Yellow Medicine Counties in western Minnesota. We are remembering that at this time last year we were shoveling snow, and that October was snowier than any other month? How often does this happen to be the case?
Answer: Indeed, last October Granite Falls reported 12.5 inches of snow, more than November (2020), December (2020), or January, February and March of 2021. I cannot find any other snow season in the climate history of Granite Falls when October was your snowiest month. So last year was truly an exception.
Twin Cities Almanac for October 22nd: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 55 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 38 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 22nd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 81 degrees F in 1992; lowest daily maximum temperature of 31 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily minimum temperature of 20 degrees F in 1936; highest daily minimum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1914; record precipitation of 0.69 inches in 1957. Record snowfall is 1.0 inches in 1925.

Average dew point for October 22nd is 38°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 61°F in 2004; and the minimum dew point on this date is 12 degrees F in 2002.

All-time state records for October 22nd:
The state record high temperature for this date is 87 degrees F at Grand Meadow (Mower County) in 1899. The state record low temperature for this date is 0 degrees F at Meadowland (St Louis County) in 1937. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.52 inches at Preston (Fillmore County) in 1979. Record snowfall is 8.4 inches at Virginia (Lake County) in 1951.


Past Weather Features:


October 22, 1899 felt like summer to most southern Minnesota citizens as afternoon temperatures soared into the 70s and 80s F. In nine southern counties temperatures even reached the low to mid 80s F.

It felt like winter on October 22, 1936 as morning temperatures ranged from the single digits to the teens F in most places. As far south as Grand Meadow was just 17°F. The afternoon high temperature at Fosston (Polk County) only reached 21°F (more like a January day).

An early winter storm brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to Minnesota over October 20-22, 1951. Some southern counties reported 1-2 inches of rain, while up north and in western counties 4-8 inches of snow fell.

Outlook: 

Mostly sunny and cool on Saturday with increasing clouds Sunday and a chance of rain, especially in the southern sections of the state. Continued cooler than normal until Tuesday, when temperatures will warm to near normal or above. Another chance for showers by the middle of next week. Temperatures will moderate either side of normal after that.

Mark Seeley

Near Record Warmth for First Half of October

3 months ago
Near Record Warmth for First Half of October:
Temperatures have continued well above normal through the first two weeks of October. Most areas have reported average temperatures from 10 to 12 degrees F warmer than normal. Over 120 warm daily minimum temperature or warm daily maximum temperature records have been set within the state climate station network.

For the first two weeks of the month at MSP airport the average temperature ranks as the third highest in history (back to 1872), trailing only October of 1879 and 2011. Further north it has been even warmer in a historical context as International Falls reports their warmest first two weeks of October in history, beating the old record from 1920. Most areas of the state have yet to report a frost this autumn season. Both Mora and Hinckley reported frost on Friday morning (October 15). The first widespread threat for frost around the state may come on Saturday morning.

Several areas of western and northern Minnesota (some in the area of Severe to Extreme Drought) benefitted from 1 to 2 inches rains last weekend. Dawson (Lac Qui Parle County) reported nearly two inches, while Alexandria (Douglas County) received over 2 inches. Crookston (Polk County) and Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County) reported over 3 inches. As a result, the US Drought Monitor map released on October 14th showed some improvement for Minnesota, as the area of Severe to Extreme Drought dropped to about 42 percent of the landscape (it was over 50 percent at the end of last month).

Please Nominate for the MCAP Awards:
The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Program is currently seeking nominations for its climate adaptation awards in 2022. There are four categories of awards:

Individual

Organization

Business

Communications

The MCAP program is a one of a kind bringing together climate adaptation practitioners from all over the state. If you know of outstanding work within your community or work-place please consider sending in a nomination. Instructions and more details are available on their web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


NOAA reported that a La Nina Episode has fully emerged in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean and will be in play as a weather influencer this winter. It is expected to influence the weather pattern across the USA during the upcoming months of December, January, and February. NOAA scientists at the Climate Prediction Center will provide a more detailed updated outlook for this period in a news release on October 21st (next week).


In a recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters scientists document the first spatially comprehensive, global-scale characterization of the magnitude, seasonal timing, and frequency of dry- and wet-bulb temperature extremes and their trends. Their findings show that humid-heat extremes (high Heat Index Values) have increased disproportionately overpopulated regions relative to global land-areas and population exposure to humid-heat has increased at a faster rate than to dry-heat.

The BBC reported this week record-setting rains across portions of Greece.  Some areas received well over a month's worth of rain (6-12 inches), including the island of Corfu, where there was widespread flooding reported.  Heavy rains were also expected to affect portions of Turkey over the weekend.

MPR listener question: (From Jeff Vetsch) At the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca we are reporting a record number of Growing Degree Days (daily temperature accumulation above 50°F) for growing corn this year, over 3000. Can you tell us how far south in the Corn Belt you would have to look to find a climate that produces an average of 3000 Growing Degrees Days for corn during a typical growing season?
Answer: The answer is southern Iowa. Farmers who grow corn near Indianola or Ottumwa, Iowa typically choose hybrids suited for 3000 Growing Degree Days person growing season. That is about 250 miles south of Waseca, MN

Twin Cities Almanac for October 15th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 59 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 41 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 15th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 85 degrees F in 1968; lowest daily maximum temperature of 40 degrees F in 2009; lowest daily minimum temperature of 21 degrees F in 1876; highest daily minimum temperature of 66 degrees F in 1968; record precipitation of 1.24 inches in 1966. Record snowfall is 0.3 inches in 1992.

Average dew point for October 15th is 38°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 69°F in 1962; and the minimum dew point on this date is 13 degrees F in 1952.

All-time state records for October 15th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 93 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1958. The state record low temperature for this date is 8 degrees F at Alborn (St Louis County) in 1937. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.46 inches at Theilman (Wabasha County) in 1966. Record snowfall is 10.0 inches at Isabella (Lake County) in 1966.


Past Weather Features:


Very cold temperatures gripped the state on the morning of October 15, 1937. Most places reported morning lows in the teens and twenties F. Ice began to form on the surface of some northern lakes. The daytime high temperature at Albert Lea only reached 36°F.

Summer-like conditions prevailed on October 15, 1958 when most places in the state saw daytime temperatures reach the 70s and 80s F. Portions of southern and southwestern Minnesota reached the 90s F.

A strong storm system brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to the state over October 14-15, 1966. Some southern Minnesota communities reported 3-5 inches of rain that flooded some roads and highways. Heavy snow occurred in northeastern Minnesota. Many places reported 6-10 inches of snowfall. The snow was short-lived as temperatures rebounded into the 40s and 50s F by October 17th.

Outlook: 

Starting out very cool Saturday morning (some frosts in rural areas),but warming up to near normal temperatures by afternoon. Warming trend for Sunday through Tuesday with temperatures above normal. Somewhat cooler and closer to normal for Wednesday and Thursday. Generally, a dry period coming up.

Mark Seeley

October Starts Warm

3 months 1 week ago
October Starts Warm:
Continuing the trend established by the summer months, October has started out very warm. The first 7 days of the month were the warmest since 2011 and rank as the 4th warmest first week of October in state climate history. Over 80 Minnesota climate stations have reported at least one day of 80°F temperatures during the first week of the month, topped by 89°F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on the first of the month and 86°F at Milan (Chippewa County) on the 4th.

Within the state climate network at least one stations reported an 80°F daytime temperature each day of the month so far (Oct 1-7). Within the statewide climate network 10 daily maximum temperature records have been set or tied during the first week of the month, while 69 warm minimum temperature records have been set or tied. Some examples: MSP Airport set a warm minimum temperature record on October 1st with a reading of 64°F, while Gunflint Lake set a record daily high temperature on October 3rd with a reading of 81°F.

Rainfall has been highly variable through the first week of October. Some areas in southwestern and central Minnesota have seen 1 to 3 inches of rainfall, but much of the rest of the state has only reported less than half an inch. A few record daily amounts were reported including 2.72 inches at St James (Watonwan County) on October 1st and 1.91 inches at Dawson (Lac Qui Parle County) on October 2nd. Driest areas so far have been the northwestern and southeastern counties.

According to the US Drought Monitor the areas of the state (all in the northern half) that are designated to be in Severe to Extreme Drought have declined slightly, to less than 50 percent of the Minnesota landscape.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Program is currently seeking nominations for its climate adaptation awards in 2022. There are four categories of awards:

Individual
Organization
Business
Communications

The MCAP program is a one of a kind bringing together climate adaptation practitioners from all over the state. If you know of outstanding work within your community or workplace please consider sending in a nomination. Instructions and more details are available on their web site.

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features an interesting article by Kimberly M.S. Cartier about communicating climate change impacts. Studies point to the importance of helping people interpret local impacts from extreme weather and connecting those impacts to their root cause: fossil fuel burning and the carbon pollution it produces.” This may help to make citizens take it even more seriously and to motivate more aggressive action.”
MPR listener question:
Us snow lovers remember you reporting on record-setting snowfalls last October (2020) when some places reported over a foot of snow. Were there other years when some Minnesota areas received over a foot of snow in October?
Answer:
Indeed, some climate observers reported 16 inches of snowfall last October in central Minnesota. There have been 21 other years in Minnesota history back to 1891 when October has delivered a foot or more of snowfall to some areas of the state. Most recently this happened in 2018, 2009, 2006, and 2001. Back in 1916, 1926, and 1932 over 19 inches of snowfall came in October for some Minnesota locations.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 8th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 62 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 44 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 8th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 87 degrees F in 2010; lowest daily maximum temperature of 42 degrees F in 1977; lowest daily minimum temperature of 23 degrees F in 1876; highest daily minimum temperature of 71 degrees F in 2011; record precipitation of 1.43 inches in 1970. Record snowfall is 0.3 inches in 1959.

Average dew point for October 8th is 41°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 68°F in 1997; and the minimum dew point on this date is 17 degrees F in 1932.

All-time state records for October 8th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 91 degrees F at Milan (Chippewa County) in 2010. The state record low temperature for this date is 11 degrees F at Angus (Polk County) in 1917. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.50 inches at Burlington Township (Becker County) in 1860. Record snowfall is 6.5 inches at Duluth Harbor (St Louis County) in 1925.


Past Weather Features:
October 8, 1917 brought very cold temperatures statewide. Many areas reported morning lows in the teens and much of the rest of the state reported temperatures in the twenties F. The afternoon high temperature at Cloquet that day only reached 35°F.

October 7-8, 1985 brought an early taste of winter to Minnesota. Snowfalls of 1-6 inches were reported across northwestern and north-central Minnesota. They did not last long as temperatures quickly rebounded into the 50s F.

October 8, 2010 was exceptionally warm as over half of the state reported afternoon temperatures in the 80s F. Portions of Redwood, Blue Earth, Yellow Medicine, and Chippewa Counties saw temperatures reach 90°F.

Outlook:
Above normal temperatures will continue on Saturday, but with a good chance for showers and thunderstorm later in the day and carrying over into early Sunday. Cooler on Sunday and Monday with another chance for showers by late Monday. Chances for showers again on Wednesday as well, perhaps even heavier. Cooler and drier by Thursday.

Mark Seeley

Preliminary Climate Summary for September 2021

3 months 2 weeks ago
Preliminary Climate Summary for September 2021
Very warm with highly variable rainfall are good descriptors for the month of September in Minnesota this year. Well over half of the days were above normal in temperature. Most climate stations reported a mean monthly temperature that ranged from 3 to 5 degrees F warmer than normal. Statewide September of 2021 ranked as the 8th warmest in history back to 1895. Extremes for the month ranged from 95°F at Milan (Chippewa County) on the 16th to just 29°F at Hibbing (22nd), at Embarrass (23rd), and at Brimson (25th). Over two dozen daily maximum temperature records were set or tied within the state climate network during the month.

Rainfall was highly variable, especially across northern sections of Minnesota. Many parts of the northwest along the Red River Valley saw only about 1 inch of rainfall, while portions of northeastern Minnesota reported over 5 inches of rainfall for the month. Other areas in west-central Minnesota received over 5 inches as well. Overall there were about as many climate stations reporting below normal precipitation as above normal. The statewide average monthly value for rainfall was just under 3 inches. Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) reported a new record rainfall on September 3rd with 2.80 inches, while Waskish (Beltrami County) reported a new daily record rainfall on September 20 with 2.93 inches. A few other climate stations reported record-setting daily rainfalls over 2 inches as well during the month.

There were between 12 and 14 days with gusty winds (over 30 mph). Thunderstorms on September 16th delivered strong straight-line winds over 60 mph to many parts of the state, and the National Weather Service reported 4 EF-0 tornadoes that day as well (estimated wind speeds of 85mph). Most damages reported by the National Weather Service were the results of trees falling on buildings or motor vehicles. Some areas also reported 1-2 inch diameter hail on that date as well.

According to the US Drought Monitor some areas of affected by drought shrunk slightly during September, but still about 50 percent of the state landscape (nearly all northern counties) are in the grip of Severe Drought or Extreme Drought. Very low flows are still being observed in more northern streams and rivers.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:
The NOAA Climate Program Office released a study of climate change and impacts on megadroughts in the southwestern USA. The study showed that, regardless of future levels of greenhouse gas emissions, the warming climate has locked in an elevated risk of intense megadroughts for the region. However, mitigation measures—efforts to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—can and do reduce the risk of intense single-year droughts. The severity of megadroughts declines with mitigation as well, making their impacts less damaging.


According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Typhoon Mindulle will just give a glancing blow to Tokyo and other parts of Japan as it passes to the northeast over the weekend. It will still bring strong winds and heavy rains, perhaps 6-10 inches in places. At one time this typhoon had produced winds of 130 mph and sea wave heights over 40 feet.


The NOAA Climate Prediction Center Revised Outlook for October suggests a higher probability of above normal temperatures, as well as above normal precipitation during upcoming month. This would be welcome for farmers to wrap up harvesting and field work, but also see some soil moisture recharge take place before soils begin to freeze up for winter.


Congratulations to the University of Minnesota for obtaining a $4.5 million five-year grant to establish the Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. This new center is designed to generate research, data sets and tools that natural and cultural resource managers can use to help ecosystems and communities effectively respond to a changing climate. Dr. Heidi Roop, who replaced me on the faculty of the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate is one of the principal scientists involved.


MPR listener question:
We had 95°F earlier this month here in Milan, MN, which was a new record high for September 16th. Some of us were talking at the Glacial Plains Coop Elevator and wondered what is the latest calendar date for recording a 100°F in Minnesota?

Answer:
Believe it or not September 22, 1936 brought a temperature of 101°F to Ada (Norman County), and then the very next year September 21, 1937 brought 101°F to Wheaton (Traverse County). Hard to believe it can get that hot when the sun is in roughly the same position in the sky as on March 21st (Vernal Equinox) when the hottest temperature in Minnesota history was only 81°F (March 21, 1910 at Montevideo (Chippewa County). BTW the latest 90°F reading In Minnesota was at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) on October 30, 1950.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 1st:
The average MSP high temperature for this date is 66 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 47 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 1st:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 87 degrees F in 1897; lowest daily maximum temperature of 45 degrees F in 1999; lowest daily minimum temperature of 24 degrees F in 1974; highest daily minimum temperature of 61 degrees F in 1971; record precipitation of 1.29 inches in 2009. No measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.


Average dew point for October 1st is 43°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 66°F in 1951; and the minimum dew point on this date is 18 degrees F in 2003.

All-time state records for October 1st:
The state record high temperature for this date is 93 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 1976. The state record low temperature for this date is 10 degrees F at Moorhead (Clay County) in 1886. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.25 inches at White Earth Nation Reservation (Mahnomen County) in 1869. Record snowfall is 8.5 inches at Isabella (Lake County) in 1985.

Past Weather Features:
Record-setting cold weather prevailed across Minnesota on October 1, 1886. Most areas reported morning low temperatures in the twenties. Albert Lea reported just 20°F, while Moorhead was just 10°F. Afternoon high temperatures only reached the 40s F in many areas that day.

October started out very wet in 1950. A slow moving low pressure system brought 2 to 4 inches of rainfall to most areas of the state, with the largest amounts along the Lake Superior north shore.

October 1, 1976 was the hottest in state history with most places reporting afternoon high temperatures in the 80s F. Portions of Wilkin, Houston, Fillmore, and Traverse Counties reported temperatures in the 90s F. The cool spot was Grand Marais Harbor with just 58°F.

An early taste of winter greeted many northern Minnesota citizens on October 1, 1985, as heavy, wet snow fell across portions of Koochiching, St Louis, Lake, and Cook Counties. Tower and Isabella both reported over 6 inches. The snow was short-lived as temperatures rebounded into the 50s and 60s F the next day.

Outlook:
Chance for widely scattered showers and thunderstorms on Saturday into early Sunday with above normal temperatures. Drier for Sunday through Thursday next week with temperatures generally a few degrees warmer than normal.

Mark Seeley
Checked
15 hours 8 minutes ago
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