WeatherTalk Blog

Climate Summary for November

5 hours 36 minutes ago
Climate Summary for November:Warm and dry describe the climate for Minnesota during this November. The statewide average temperature for the month (nearly 33.5°F) falls within the warmest 15 Novembers in history (back to 1895), while the statewide average precipitation for the month (around 0.38 inches) falls within the driest 12 Novembers historically.

Approximately two-thirds of the days were warmer than normal. Within the Minnesota climate station network average November temperatures ranged from 2°F to 5°F above normal, with larger departures in northern sections of the state. Statewide extremes included 70°F at Hastings Dam (Dakota County) on November 16th, and -11°F at Celina (St Louis County) on November 28th. During the warm spells of weather at mid-month 35 daily maximum temperature records were tied or set, including 69°F at MSP on the 16th. In addition, 10 warm daily minimum temperature records were tied or set. Minnesota reported the lowest temperature in the 48 contiguous states only once during November. The coldest Wind Chill readings of the month were -16°F at Hallock (Kittson County) on the 27th and at Roseau (Roseau County) on the 28th.

November precipitation was less than normal across the entire state. Only northeastern counties reported some monthly totals between 1 inch and 1.80 inches. Many climate stations reported one of their driest months of November in history, with numerous reports of less than a tenth of an inch for the month. Some examples:

Milan (Chippewa County) 0.02 inches, 3rd driest November in history
Lamberton (Redwood County) 0.04 inches, 2nd driest November in history
Benson (Swift County) 0.05 inches, 3rd driest November in history
Rochester (Olmsted County) 0.11 inches, 4th driest November in history
Lake City (Wabasha County) 0.02 inches, 2nd driest November in history
St Cloud (Stearns County) 0.08 inches, 4th driest November in history
MSP (Hennepin County) 0.04 inches, 2nd driest November in history

There were a number of climate stations (too many to list) that reported their driest November. Some examples include:
Stillwater (Washington County) 0.02 inches tied with 1912
Pipestone (Pipestone County) 0 precipitation, tied with 1914
Spring Valley (Fillmore County) Trace of precipitation
Collegeville (Stearns County) Trace of precipitation
Luverne (Rock County) 0 precipitation

Snowfall too was below normal during November, with many climate stations reporting less than one inch. Some areas of north-central and northeastern Minnesota reported 3 to 7 inches for the month, but that is still below normal.

With all this dryness in November, following a generally wetter than normal September and October, the Drought Situation in Minnesota remained mostly stagnant, or grew marginally. The cold snap of the last week has provoked some soils to begin freezing up, which brings an end to the autumn soil moisture recharge season.

A final note on November’s climate. It lived up to its reputation for windiness. Many climate stations reported wind gusts of 30 mph or greater on over a third of the days. Also, wind gusts of 40 mph and even 50 mph were reported from several areas of the state.

Weekly Weather Potpourri: In this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin there is a review of a recent report from the United Nations Environment Programme that is quite disturbing. The report specifies that current international efforts and targets to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases is insufficient to keep global temperature from rising above 1.5°F above preindustrial times. In fact it is likely that global temperatures will continue to rise to at least 2.9°F above preindustrial times. The report emphasizes that further, more accelerated commitments on reducing GHG emissions are needed.

While Minnesota reported a warmer than normal month of November, the month was closing out this week with some of the coldest November weather in 13 years across the United Kingdom. According to the BBC it was as cold as 18°F in the Scottish Highlands and just 19°F in Cumbria this week. Freezing fog blanketed the Midlands while snow fell across Scotland and East England.

This week, Jonathan Erdman of the Weather Underground writes a historical perspective on the famous lake-effect snows of the Great Lakes. There have been incredible snow seasons around the Great Lakes, with measured seasonal snowfalls over 300 inches. Further snowfall rates from lake-effect snow storms can rival the most extreme rates of snowfall measured in the Rocky Mountains.
MPR listener question: Here at the Howling Dog Saloon in Luverne we have gone the entire month of November without any precipitation? Whew! Do you know what the longest period without precipitation is for our community? Some of us think it must be more than 40 days.
Answer: Your guess was a pretty good one. The longest period without precipitation in Luverne was 44 days, from December 26 of 1899 to February 7 of 1900. For the month of November you set a record this year beating the 27 consecutive dry November days of 1962.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 1st: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 34 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 21 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 1st:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 68 degrees F in 1998; lowest daily maximum temperature of 1 degrees F in 1919; lowest daily minimum temperature of -15 degrees F in 1893; highest daily minimum temperature of 43 degrees F in 1962; record precipitation of 0.83 inches in 1985. There was also a record 8.4 inches of snowfall in 1985.

Average dew point for December 1st is 18°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 49°F in 1982; and the minimum dew point on this date is -17 degrees F in 1930.
All-time state records for December 1st: The state record high temperature for this date is 70 degrees F at Chaska (Carver County) in 1998. The state record low temperature for this date is -51 degrees F at Pokagama (Itasca County) in 1896. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.12 inches at Two Harbors (Lake County) in 1985. The state snowfall record is 16.0 inches at Winona (Winona County) also in 1985.
Past Weather: The coldest December 1st in state history was in 1896 when many climate stations set record lows. Virtually all of the state saw subzero morning low temperatures with readings of -30°F or colder common in northern Minnesota. Pokegama Ddam reported -51°F. The afternoon high at Crookston reached -16°F.

December 1-2 in 1985 brought a winter storm and heavy snow to Minnesota. Many areas of the state reported 8 to 14 inches of snowfall, with up to 19 inches in some places. Many schools were closed on Monday the 2nd.

December 1 of 1998 brought record-setting warm temperatures to the state under sunny skies. There was no snow on the ground and many southern and central counties basked in afternoon temperatures in the 60s F and golf courses did a flourishing business in the afternoon. After starting the morning at 27°F Chaska warmed up to 70°F by the afternoon.
Outlook: Continued warmer than normal temperatures into the weekend and next week with temperatures running several degrees above normal. Slight chance for snow flurries later on Saturday and into Sunday for portions of southern Minnesota, and chances for snow flurries in the north on Monday night and Wednesday. Wednesday through Friday of next week will bring the warmest temperatures.
Mark Seeley

Comments on the month of November

1 week ago

 

A WISH FOR A HAPPY, SAFE, AND COMFORTABLE THANKSGIVING WEEKEND FOR MINNESOTA WEATHERTALK READERS(what follows is an abbreviated version of the blog for the holiday)Comments on the Month of November:It appears that this November will wrap up with colder than normal temperatures and a little snow during the last week of the month. This is unlikely to offset the warm and dry trends established during the first three weeks of the month. For the month today, average temperatures are running from 4°F to 7°F above normal and statewide average total precipitation is only between 3 tenths and 4 tenths of an inch. It is probable that this November will end up among the 25 warmest historically, as well as among the 25 driest historically. In fact, for some southern counties, it could end up among the driest 10 in history. I will report more detail in next week’s blog.

Prairie and forest fires were common occurrences during the 19th Century in Minnesota. Soldiers at old Ft Snelling routinely noted them in daily weather observations. What is interesting is that for most of the century, November was a significant month for fires. In fact, only April and October show higher frequencies of fires than November. Some historians have suggested that indigenous American hunters used to start fires in November to flush game out into the open.

A study by former state climatologist Earl Kuehnast showed that the average date for the first 1- inch snow cover ranges from October 30 at Crane Lake, Minnesota (northern St Louis County) to as late as December 1st down at Albert Lea, Minnesota. So for most places in Minnesota the first 1-inch snow cover falls somewhere in November historically. The average duration of snow cover during the winter varies considerably as well, ranging from 85 days in southwestern Minnesota to over 160 days in the Arrowhead region, but these numbers have been shrinking with climate change.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 24th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 38 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 24 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 24th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 59 degrees F in 2011; lowest daily maximum temperature of 10 degrees F in 1985; lowest daily minimum temperature of -10 degrees F in 1893; highest daily minimum temperature of 43 degrees F in 2001; record precipitation of 1.06 inches in 2001. There was a record 1.7 inches of snowfall in 1977.

Average dew point for November 24th is 18°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 52°F in 2001; and the minimum dew point on this date is -13 degrees F in 2005.

All-time state records for November 24th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 68 degrees F at Wheaton (Traverse County) in 1984. The state record low temperature for this date is -31 degrees F at Pokegam Dam (Itasca County) in 1898. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.38 inches at Vesta (Redwood County) in 2001. The state snowfall record is 16.0 inches at Tower (St Louis County) in 1983.

Past Weather: Biter cold gripped the state on the morning of November 24 in 1898. Many record low temperatures were measured and most of the state reported subzero readings. Minus teens and minus twenties were reported in most places. The afternoon high at International Falls was just -3°F.

November 22-24 of 1983 saw a winter storm bring heavy snowfall to Minnesota. Many observers reported between 8 and 18 inches of snowfall, with huge drifts. Portions of northeastern Minnesota reported over 20 inches of snowfall.

Exactly a year after one of the biggest ever November snowfalls, November 24 of 1984 brought record-setting high temperatures. The majority of Minnesota climate stations reported afternoon high temperatures in the 50s F, and it reached 60°F or greater in seven western counties.

Outlook:
Continuing colder than normal throughout the weekend with increasing cloudiness late Saturday and into Sunday, as winds increase as well. Chances for snow late Saturday and through Sunday, then mostly cold and dry for Monday through Wednesday. A warming trend will start on Thursday and continue into next weekend.
Mark Seeley

Warmth with High Winds

2 weeks ago
Warmth with High Winds:

Last week I wrote about and talked about November’s warm temperatures. It has indeed been a very warm November so far. Much of this week daily temperatures were ranging from 12 to 20 degrees above normal, though few records were set. On Thursday, November 16 some daily record high maximum temperatures were reported, including:

69°F at MSP

65°F at Theilman (Wabasha County)

57°F at Kabetogama (St Louis County)

With these record-setting maximum temperatures on Thursday were strong winds from the south, as was the case with most of the warm days so far this month. At least 20 climate stations reported wind gusts of 40 mph or greater on November 16th, and we should remember that historically November is the 2nd windiest month on the Minnesota calendar, trailing only April. In fact here is a comparison for several Minnesota locations of the number of days with wind gusts of 30 mph or greater for November so far, with the total number of such days that occurred last April (one of the windiest April months in history):

Location                        November 1-16              April 1-30

MSP                                 9 days                             26 days

Rochester                         7 days                             22 days

Redwood Falls                 8 days                             22 days

Brainerd                           9 days                             19 days

Duluth                              9 days                             14 days

Granite Falls                    6 days                              14 days

Saint Cloud                     5 days                              12 days

Looking at the outlook models for the remainder of the month, most Minnesota climate stations will probably see at least 3 or 4 more days with wind gusts over 30 mph, but they will also be associated with colder temperatures.

New NOAA Climate Prediction Center Outlooks:

The new outlooks from NOAA CPC favor cooler than normal temperatures across Minnesota after this weekend and continuing through the balance of the month. They also suggest a warm-up to above normal temperatures beginning in early December and last through most of the month. For precipitation the outlooks all favor near normal and drier than normal conditions to prevail in Minnesota. The U.S. Drought Monitor released for November 14th shows less than one percent of the Minnesota landscape is in Extreme Drought, about 18 percent is in Severe Drought and 25 percent is in Moderate Drought. These figures are likely to change little before the end of the year.

New USDA Plant Hardiness Zones:

Earlier this week the USDA used a press release to announce the new Plant Hardiness Zones. The new map was derived by analyzing climate data from 13,412 climate stations across the USA using the period of the three most recent complete decades. It shows quite an expansion of Plant Hardiness Zones across Minnesota, including the emergence of Zone 5a across a much larger geography. Pockets of northeastern Minnesota where extreme low temperatures can range between -40°F and -45°F are in zone 2a, while many sections of southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities Metro Area are in zone 5a. The expansion of the Plant Hardiness Zones is definitely a result of climate change and allows nursery and landscape professionals to use a wider range of plants in designing for home, park, and business landscapes. You can find the new Plant Hardiness Zone map on the USDA web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features a summarizing article about the 5th Annual Climate Assessment released earlier this week. Among many findings the report states that “without rapid and deep reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, the risks of accelerating sea level rise, intensifying extreme weather, and other harmful climate impacts will continue to grow.” This report is definitely worth reading if you care about climate change.

The BBC reported on a record-setting Heat Wave in parts of Brazil this week. Sao Paulo reported a high temperature of 100°F and Rio de Janeiro reported 109°F, both record highs for November. But dew points were above the 80°F mark making the Heat Index range between 121°F and 137°F. More than a hundred million people were being affected by the Heat Wave, which was expected to slowly dissipate over the weekend. Summer does not begin in Brazil for two more weeks.

Strong winds and heavy rains plagued southeastern Florida on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Some areas reported 6 to 9 inches of rainfall which produced flash flooding. Winds gusted from 40 to 60 mph bringing down some trees and power lines. The Weather Underground web site reported on the storm.

MPR listener question:

Wind gusts over 40 mph this week kept blowing over our trash cans and making it difficult to rake leaves. Made us wonder what has been the strongest wind in November for the Twin Cities?

Answer:

November 18 of 2016 brought wind gusts up to 59 mph, and November 6th of last year (2022 brought 4 consecutive hours of wind gusts over 50 mph. November 8th of 1986 also brought similar wind gusts. Not much you can do to stop trash cans from blowing over, or for the wind sending your leaves off to another neighborhood!

Twin Cities Almanac for November 17th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 41 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 27 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 17th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 71 degrees F in 1953; lowest daily maximum temperature of 12 degrees F in 1880; lowest daily minimum temperature of -5 degrees F in 1880; highest daily minimum temperature of 49 degrees F in 2015; record precipitation of 1.21 inches in 2015. There was a record 9.0 inches of snowfall in 1886.

Average dew point for November 17th is 26°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 58°F in 1958; and the minimum dew point on this date is -14 degrees F in 1959.

All-time state records for November 17th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 76 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 2001. The state record low temperature for this date is -19 degrees F at Hallock (Kittson County) in 1914. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.21 inches at Tower (St Louis County) in 1996. The state snowfall record is 15.0 inches at Roseau (Roseau County) also in 1996.

Word of the Week: Gale


This word is popularly used to describe an unusually strong wind (i.e. anything greater than 25 mph but less than hurricane strength of 75 mph). In nautical terminology it has more specific meaning: a moderate gale is a wind of 32 to 38 mph; a fresh gale is 39 to 46 mph; a strong gale is 47 to 54 mph; and a whole gale is greater than 55 mph. It first came into use in the nineteenth century with the British adoption of the Beaufort scale to estimate wind speeds at sea based upon observed effects (such as size of the swells).

Past Weather:

An Arctic air mass invaded Minnesota on November 17 of 1914 bringing many record-setting low temperatures. Much of the northern half of the state saw subzero morning lows, while single digit temperatures were common in the southern counties. The daytime high temperature only reached 9°F at Hallock in Kittson County.

A large winter storm system brought mixed precipitation and strong winds to the state over November 14-18 in 1996. Blizzard conditions occurred in portions of northwestern and north central Minnesota where 10 to 14 inches of snow fell and then blew into large drifts as a result of the strong winds. Elsewhere a mixture of sleet, rain, and freezing rain occurred. Some areas of eastern Minnesota reported over 4 inches of rain causing some minor flooding. Freezing rain brought down powerlines and knocked out electrical service in portions of southwestern Minnesota.

Mild autumn weather blanketed most of the state on November 17 of 2001. Most afternoon temperatures ranged from 60°F to as high as 76°F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County). Even the morning low temperatures set records for warmth, with 55°F recorded at Wheaton (Traverse County).

Outlook:

Mostly sunny over the weekend with daytime high temperatures above normal. Increasing cloudiness on Monday with a chance for rain (some snow in the north), lingering into Tuesday. Then cooling down next week for Wednesday through Friday with below normal temperatures. Most of the week will be dry.

Mark Seeley

November Climate Trends

3 weeks ago
November Climate Trends:Periodically I get asked by MPR listeners or Minnesota WeatherTalk Blog readers what some of the recent climate trends are for Minnesota. I thought I would take a moment to exam the trends for temperature and precipitation in the month of November of the most recent 25 years (since 1998). So here goes.

For context the long-term November temperature trend in Minnesota (on a statewide basis) is plus 2.6°F over the past century. The months of February (+4.4°F), January (+4.1°F, March (+4.0°F, and December (+3.3°F) show an even more positive temperature trend over the past century. But if we break down the most recent 25 years of climate data, November has been warmer than normal in 17 years including 9 consecutive years from 2004 to 2009, normal in 4 years, and cooler than normal in only 4 years. That is a very strong warming trend,statiscally speaking. The warmest November in state history was in 2001 which was nearly 13°F above normal on a statewide basis. So far, this November (2023) has been cooler than normal in far northern Minnesota, but warmer than in the southern two-thirds of the state. Outlook models suggest the balance of the month will be warmer than normal statewide.

Regarding the November precipitation trends, there is a modest upward trend over the past century of 0.13 inches on a statewide basis. But over the most recent 25 years November has been drier than normal 15 times, wetter than normal 9 times, and normal just once. Five of the last six Novembers have been drier than normal on a statewide basis, while November of 2002 was the 5th driest in state history with a statewide average precipitation of only 0.26 inches. Through the first 10 days of this November, most climate observers are reporting less than normal precipitation, following along with this recent 25-year trend.

A FURTHER FOOTNOTE ON THIS NOVEMBER: Based on Minnesota’s climate history, November is the 2nd windiest month of the year (trailing only April). This is proving to be the case this year in that a majority of state climate stations are reporting 4 to 5 days with wind gusts over 30 mph, and some days with wind gusts over 40 mph.
Give To The Max Day, November 16:

If you routinely participate in Give to The Max Day and also care about our changing climate and its impacts in Minnesota, please consider a donation to the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP). MCAP is doing great work to help Minnesota citizens adapt to climate change. If you wish more information before making a donation, please go to MCAP web site.

Program on Climate Change at Hennepin Ave UMC:

Hope for Creation in a Climate Changed World is an ongoing discussion and seminar series sponsored by Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church (511 Groveland Ave) in Minneapolis. As part of this series I will be speaking on Climate Change, Environmental Stewardship, and Community Care: A Minnesota Perspective this Sunday, November 12, from 11 am to 12:15 pm in the Art Gallery Room. If this topic is of interest, all are welcome to attend.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

This week the BBC Weather Center reports on the record-breaking wildfire season in Canada and on research that shows most wildfires in the northern boreal forests are started by lightning. Climate change research further suggests that there will be more frequent lightning caused fires in the northern boreal forests. Recent research based on climate models that lightning frequency over intact northern forests would increase by 11-31% for every degree of global warming.

Jonathan Erdman of the Weather Underground reports this week and what a record-setting year it has been for billion-dollar weather disasters. NOAA has reported that 25 weather events each have caused at least $1 billion in damage across the USA this year. This is the most in 43 years of such record keeping.

MPR listener question:

From ice-fisherman Bob….Are lake water temperatures warmer than average for Red Lake and Lake of the Woods? If so and with little below 32 temperatures forecast the next 10 days, when will there be drivable ice?

Answer:

Yes, both lake and soil temperatures are running above normal for this time of year. Many lakes are registering temperatures from the upper 30s F to mid-40s F. MN-DNR guidelines suggest 9-12 inches of ice cars and 13-17 inches for trucks. It will be a long time yet before ice thickness reaches that level. Be aware that the forecast for the balance of this month is for warmer than normal temperatures, so even more delay is likely for lake ice to form.

MPR listener question:

Over the years my wife and I have heard you speak several times at the Gales of November Conference on the North Shore. You highlighted many of the great storms on Lake Superior, including the loss of the Edmund Fitgerald on November 10, 1975. You also mentioned some of the history of shipping losses on the Great Lakes. If I remember correctly strong storms are the primary reason for historical shipping losses, is that correct?

Answer:

You are correct. Of the documented historical shipping losses on the Great Lakes, back to the 19 Century, well over 50 percent of them have been due to stormy weather. Of further note, many hundreds of shipping losses have occurred during the month of November, a peak time for storm weather on the Great Lakes.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 10th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 45 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 30 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 10th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 69 degrees F in 2012; lowest daily maximum temperature of 19 degrees F in 1986; lowest daily minimum temperature of 3 degrees F in 1986; highest daily minimum temperature of 52 degrees F in 1909; record precipitation of 1.36 inches in 1915. There was a record 5.0 inches of snowfall in 1896.

Average dew point for November 10th is 26°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 56°F in 2012; and the minimum dew point on this date is -3 degrees F in 2017.

All-time state records for November 10th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 78 degrees F at Winona Dam (Winona County) in 1999. The state record low temperature for this date is -15 degrees F at Big Falls (Koochiching County) in 1933. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.80 inches at Minnesota City (Winona County) in 1975. The state snowfall record is 12.4 inches at Moorhead (Clay County) in 1919.

Past Weather:

November 10 of 1933 was the coldest in history with most areas of the state reporting morning low temperatures in the single digits or teens. Thirteen northern Minnesota counties reported subzero temperatures.

About 7pm on November 10, 1975 a brutal winter storm sank the Edmund Fitzgerald ore carrier on Lake Superior just northeast of Whitefish Bay, after the ship had fought through 70 plus mph winds and huge waves to cross the lake. The sinking was immortalized by Gordon Lightfoot who died earlier this year.

On November 10, 1999 most Minnesota climate stations reported afternoon temperatures of 60°F or greater. The temperature reached 70°F or greater in 30 counties. The temperature reached 72°F as far north as Tower (St Louis County) setting a record there. Over 50 record high temperatures were set that day.

Outlook:

Temperatures will warm up significantly over the weekend and through Thursday of next week, with many daytime highs reaching the 50s and 60s F. The entire week looks to be dry in most areas with an increasing chance for showers by Thursday.

Mark Seeley

November Starts Cold, Following a Wet October

4 weeks ago
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November started colder than normal following the snow of late October. Many places reported temperatures from 10 to 12 degrees F colder than normal over the first two days of the month. The first subzero temperature of the autumn season was reported at Brimson (St Louis County) on the morning of November 1st. A few places in both northeastern and southeastern Minnesota reported snow as well, including 2 inches at Hokah (Houston County) and Mabel (Fillmore County), and a half inch at Kabetogama (St Louis County).

Although about half the days of October were colder than normal and half warmer than normal, average monthly temperatures were generally 2 to 6 degrees warmer than normal across the state, mostly thanks to record warm start to the month. At least 74 communities reported one day or more of 90° F or higher. Within the state climate station network, 149 daily high maximum temperature records were set, and 180 daily high minimum temperature records were set during the month. Of special note were two new statewide maximum temperature records, 96°F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) on October 1st , and 96°F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on October 2nd. Conversely a handful of cold maximum daily temperatures were set over the final 3 days of the month, including a cold afternoon high temperature of just 28°F at Lamberton (Redwood County) on the 29th. Extremes for the month ranged from 96°F at Granite Falls on the 1st and Theilman and the 2nd, to just 5°F at Hibbing on the 31st. Overall with a statewide mean temperature for October of 47.3°, the month ranked among the 25 warmest in state history.

Rainfall was frequent (about half of the days) and above normal in most places during October. Many climate stations reported a monthly total precipitation of 4 to 6 inches, over twice normal. Marshall reported 6.01 inches, the 3rd most in history, and Tracy reported 6.49 inches, also the 3rd most in history. Lamberton reported 6.38 inches, their 2nd wettest October in history, and Winona Dam reported 7.70 inches, their wettest in history. Within the state climate station network, there were 71 new daily precipitation records set, including one new statewide daily record of 4.17 inches at Winona Dam on October 25th. Overall, the statewide average total precipitation for October was 3.33 inches, ranking as the 17th wettest in history.

Over the final days of the month there were a handful of daily snowfall records reported including 6.1 inches at Thorhult (Beltrami County) and 6.0 inches at Lake Bronson (Kittson County) on the 27th. Then on October 31st too many daily snowfall records were set to list here, but some of them were 7.2 inches at Wolf Ridge ELC (Lake County), 4.4 inches at Brimson (St Louis County), 3.5 inches at Itasca State Park, and 3.0 inches at New York Mills (Otter Tail County). Many Twin Cities area observers reported over 2 inches.

The mild and wet autumn was generally beneficial in extending the gardening season and replenishing soil moisture. The combination of September and October temperature-wise ranked as the 6th warmest in history on a statewide basis, and with respect to precipitation ranked as the 20th wettest.

With all of the autumn precipitation, drought conditions have been significantly mitigated, though not entirely erased. The current Drought Monitor this week still shows close to 44 percent of the Minnesota landscape in Moderate Drought or worse, but this is the lowest figure since June 27th., a period of 19 weeks.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features a unique study funded by the German Research Foundation, “Can Artificial Intelligence-Based Weather Prediction Models Simulate the Butterfly Effect?” Deploying artificial intelligence (AI) in weather forecast models does not adequately account for the “butterfly effect” (small perturbations in the atmosphere that can become magnified through random interactions). This may put a limit on the ability of AI to enhance weather forecast models.

The Weather Underground provide a comprehensive report on Storm Ciaran this week. This storm brought high winds and heavy rains to parts of northwestern Europe. In the southwestern part of the United Kingdom heavy rains brought flooding to many communities. Record breaking high winds (over 100 mph) caused damage and power outages along the Normandy coast in France. Damaging winds were also reported from Belgium and Spain. The United Kingdome Meteorological Office reported record low barometric pressure in parts of England for this strong November storm.

A new study published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment by University of Maryland researchers documents the anthropogenic salt cycle, emphasizing the negative impacts of recent changes. The researchers found that “excess salt propagates…… causing freshwater salinization syndrome to extend beyond freshwater supplies and affect food and energy production, air quality, human health and infrastructure.” Some of this excess salt comes from its use in making roads more passable in the winter season.

MPR listener question:

Talk about procrastination, I still have one side of the house to paint and need one more day of 50°F weather to get it done. Any chance? BTW I live in Roseville.

Answer:

Historically over the past 150 years November has not brought a 50°F day in only 8 years, thus 95 percent of the time we see at least one day of 50°F during November. So, history is on your side. In the forecast guidance it appears that this Sunday and Monday may bring 50°F plus to the Twin Cities, and even the second weekend of November may bring such temperatures. It looks like you are in good shape to get your work done.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 3rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 48 degrees F (plus or minus 11 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 3rd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 74 degrees F in 2008; lowest daily maximum temperature of 18 degrees F in 1991; lowest daily minimum temperature of 8 degrees F in 1991; highest daily minimum temperature of 55 degrees F in 1955; record precipitation of 0.53 inches in 1970. There was a record 4.2 inches of snowfall in 1951.

Average dew point for November 3rd is 30°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 60°F in 1987; and the minimum dew point on this date is 2 degrees F in 1991.

All-time state records for November 3rd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 82 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 1909. The state record low temperature for this date is -8 degrees F at Park Rapids (Hubbard County) in 1951. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.62 inches at International Falls (Koochiching County) in 1919. The state snowfall record is 26.0 inches at Onamia Ranger Station (Lake County) in 1991.

Past Weather:

On November 3 of 1951 many climate stations set new record low temperatures with readings in the single digits and even subzero in northern counties. Park Rapids reported a morning low of -8°F and climbed to an afternoon high temperature of just 18°F. It was the beginning of a long winter season in Minnesota.

Many Minnesota citizens took their lunch break outside on November 3 of 1978. Most places in the state saw afternoon high temperatures climb into the 70s F with bright sunshine prevailing.

Twenty-two years ago, many parts of the state were recovering from the Halloween Blizzard, which over a period of 3 days brought 20 to 36 inches of snowfall to many parts of the state. Those working to remove the snow also had to contend with very cold temperatures, with single digit and even subzero temperatures in some areas and Wind Chill conditions of minus teens.

Outlook:

Temperatures will moderate over the weekend and climb above normal across much of the southern half of Minnesota this lingering into Tuesday. It will be sunnier, but brezzy. In the north temperatures will remain closer to normal over the weekend with chances for snow and rain into Monday. There will be increasing chances for precipitation (mixed) on Tuesday and Wednesday with cooler temperatures. Then moderating temperatures toward above normal values by next weekend.

Mark Seeley

Wet October Will Wrap Up with Snow

1 month ago
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Another wet week prevailed across much of southern Minnesota with rainfall totals over 1 inch in many locations. A few spots in southeastern Minnesota reported over 2 inches this past week and some long-term climate stations reported new daily rainfall records.

For October 24 MSP reported a record 1.34 inches, Rochester a record 2.26 inches, and Minnesota City a record 1.40 inches. Then for October 25th there were several new daily record rainfalls reported, including:

4.17 inches at Winona Dam
2.15 inches at Lamberton
2.10 inches at Hastings Dam and St Peter
1.78 inches at Zumbrota
1.75 inches at Red Wing
1.56 inches at Faribault

The 4.17 inches at Winona Dam on October 25th was a also a new statewide record for that date.

Yet more significant rainfall was measured on October 26th but few record amounts were reported.

Snow was also reported in northwestern Minnesota counties on October 26th and 27th. Some reports included:

8 inches at Lake Bronson (Kittson County)
5.6 inches at Karlstand (Kittson County)
5.0 inches at Warroad (Roseau County)
4.0 inches at Warren (Marshall County)
3.0 inches at Crookston (Polk County)
2.6 inches at International Falls (Koochiching County)
1.0 inches at Moorhead, Big Falls, and Kabetogama

The month-to-date rainfall totals are already over twice normal and range from 3 to 5 inches in some areas now. With five days left in the month to bring more rain (and snow) there is a possibility this month will end up with a statewide average precipitation of over 3 inches, places it among the 20 wettest Octobers in history.

There is also an unusual statistic in this year’s precipitation data for many climate stations: because it has been a dry year for most locations in the state, many some areas are reporting October as the wettest month of the year. Some of these places include:

Winona Dam with 7.65 inches
Marshall with 5.98 inches
Faribault with 5.81 inches
Canby with 4.59 inches
Dawson with 4.45 inches

Areas of Moderate to Severe Drought declined over the past week by about 4 percent, but this assessment did not include rainfalls from Wednesday and Thursday this week. The area of the state in Moderate Drought or worse remains above 50 percent.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The Weather Underground reported on Category 5 Hurricane Otis coming ashore on the Pacific coast of Mexico this week. It was one of the strongest hurricanes to ever strike the Pacific coast of that Mexico with winds close to 165 mph. Acapulco was especially hit hard. At least 27 people were killed and over 30,000 evacuated from their homes. Power outages were widespread.

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin has an interesting article about the effects of climate change on North America’s deepest lake, the Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Warming temperatures and declining ice cover brought by climate change are changing the lake’s ecosystem. Among other measured changes, there has been a detectable change in the composition of phytoplankton in the lake. This has implications for the entire aquatic food chain.

MPR listener question:

With nearly 7 inches of rainfall so far this month here in Winona County, we were wondering what the record wettest October is?

Answer:

The record October precipitation for Winona County was in 1900 with 11.35 inches at St Charles (this is also the statewide record). Second most in your county was 7.54 inches at the city of Winona in 1911.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 27th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 53 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 36 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 27th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 74 degrees F in 1948; lowest daily maximum temperature of 29 degrees F in 1925; lowest daily minimum temperature of 13 degrees F in 1997; highest daily minimum temperature of 50 degrees F in 1964; record precipitation of 2.22 inches in 1971. There was a record 2.6 inches of snowfall in 1919.

Average dew point for October 27th is 35°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 60°F in 1971; and the minimum dew point on this date is 11 degrees F in 1925.

All-time state records for October 27th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 93 degrees F at Chatfield (Olmsted County) in 1927. The state record low temperature for this date is -10 degrees F at Itasca State Park (Clearwater County) in 1919. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.25 inches at St Charles (Winona County) in 1900. The state snowfall record is 7.7 inches at Two Harbors 7NW (Lake County) in 2010.

Words of the Week: Dog Teeth

Norwegian meteorologists devised the concept of the weather front following World War I. For mapped synoptic depiction of clashing air masses and their associated frontal boundaries, symbols needed to be used to distinguish cold fronts from warm fronts. The Norwegians saw a moving boundary of an air mass across a land surface as analogous to the advance of the Allied army in WWI, thus they coined the use of the word front. In the battle for the Western Front in WWI, the British Army front line was symbolized by a solid blue line on maps, and some had dog teeth (right-facing triangles) along the forward edge. The blue line with dog teeth was adopted as the symbol for a cold front, characterized by the fast approach of harsh weather, with strong winds. Conversely, the red line (symbolic of the German Army front line in WWI), with half circles became symbolic of the warm front. Such colors and symbols are still used today. Any meteorologist will associate dog teeth with a cold front.

Past Weather:

October 27 of 1919 a winter storm brought snow and cold to the state with some record-setting low temperatures as well as record-setting snowfalls. Many northern communities reported sub zero low temperatures and also 4 to 5 inches of snow. Hinckley reported 6 inches of snow on the ground.

October 27 of 1955 brought a very warm autumn day with afternoon temperatures in the 70s and 80s F across the state. Campbell (Wilkin County) started out the morning at 33°F but warmed up to 84° by mid-afternoon.

Thirteen years ago, over October 26-27 one of the strongest storms to ever cross Minnesota brought a mixture of precipitation to the state, along with extreme winds. Many areas reported wind gusts over 60 mph. Waves were as high as 27 feet on Lake Superior. A new all-time statewide record low pressure was measured at 5:14 pm at Bigfork (Itasca County) with a reading of 28.21 inches, equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane. The National Weather Service did an excellent job in forecasting the storm. A storm summary was provided by the Minnesota State Climatology Office.

Outlook:

Transition to colder than normal temperatures over the weekend with chances for snow on Saturday and in the north both Saturday and Sunday. Remaining colder than normal for Monday through Wednesday of next week. Then temperatures return to near normal towards the end of next week. It will generally be dry over the first few days of November.

Mark Seeley

Beneficial October Rains Continue

1 month 1 week ago
Beneficial October Rains Continue:

Rains over the past week were more widespread, with significant amounts (over 1 inch) in roughly the southern half of the state. Many areas reported over 2 inches of rainfall, and some over 3 inches. The most rain occurred at places like St James (Watonwan County) and Marshall (Lyon County) which reported over 4 inches.

Over October 13 and 14 some long-term climate stations reported new daily record amounts of rainfall. A sampling:

On October 13: 


2.50” at Marshall
2.42” at Albert Lea
2.34” at Milan
2.31” at St James
2.23” at Lamberton
2.13” at Collegeville
2.00” at Winnebago

On October 14:

1.87 inches at St James
1.43 inches at Owatonna
1.38 inches at Faribault
1.19 inches at Mora

These rains boosted the monthly totals to over 4 inches at many locations and certainly put a dent in the drought that has persisted through the summer and autumn seasons. The area of the state in Moderate Drought or worse fell by 14 percent from the previous week and now stands at roughly 58 percent of the state landscape. This is a drop of nearly 25 percent since the end of September. The rest of October is expected to see above normal rainfall, so we should expect some continued improvement in drought by the end of the month.

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center released a new Drought Outlook on Thursday, October 19 this week. It examines the expected weather patterns through January 31, 2024 and their impact on drought. The outlook suggests that over half of Minnesota will still be experiencing drought by the end of January, with some improvement in far southeastern portions of the state (primarily Houston, Winona, and Fillmore Counties).

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The DNR-Minnesota State Climatology Office web site this week offers a detailed discussion of the winter weather impacts associated with an El Nino episode. It is clear that in most cases El Nino is associated with milder winter temperatures across Minnesota, as well as less seasonal snowfall, but it is not a 100 percent correlation. There have been exceptions to this association, like in the winters of 1991-1992 and 2018-2019.

A recent paper published in Hydrological Processes details the manner in which river water temperatures rise during episodes of drought. During drought conditions when river flow volumes are low, high atmospheric energy inputs can cause large increases in the water temperature. These very-high water temperatures have significant impact on freshwater ecosystem health. Climate change is bringing a higher frequency of drought and low waterflow volume to many areas. Potential ecosystem impacts of these frequent low flows, along with higher water temperatures need to be further studied to assess what management strategies might help mitigate detrimental effects on these freshwater ecosystems.

MPR listener question:

My favorite temps for working in the garden are the 60s … but we hardly EVER have highs in the 60s!! Seems like in the spring and fall, the normal daily highs in the Twin Cities are in the 60s F, but that is based on long-term averages, the reality is that the daily high temperatures seem to more often be in the 50s F or the 70s F. Can you verify this?

Answer:

Indeed, I have heard this before from other gardeners. For the Twin Cities climate normal high temperatures are in the 60s F in the spring from April 22 to May 17 (a period of 26 days), and they are in the 60s F during the autumn from September 25 to October 13 (a period of 19 days).

Based on long-term climatology, actual afternoon high temperatures during these periods of time in the spring and fall are in the 60s F only about one-third of the time. Most of the rest of the days bring high temperatures either in the 50s or 70s F. So in coping with reality and keeping your garden going, you must either bundle up and work in colder temperatures, or work in the morning hours before the temperatures climb above 70°F.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 20th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 56 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 39 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 20th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 83 degrees F in 1953; lowest daily maximum temperature of 32 degrees F in 1930; lowest daily minimum temperature of 18 degrees F in 1960; highest daily minimum temperature of 61 degrees F in 1920; record precipitation of 2.64 inches in 1934. There was a record 3.0 inches of snowfall in 1916.

Average dew point for October 20th is 37°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 66°F in 1920; and the minimum dew point on this date is 8 degrees F in 1952.

All-time state records for October 20th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 91 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1947. The state record low temperature for this date is -1 degrees F at Argyle (Marshall County) in 1916. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.95 inches at Chaska (Carver County) in 1934. The state snowfall record is 10.0 inches at Detroit Lakes (Becker County) in 1906.

Past Weather:

An early winter storm brought heavy snowfall to northwestern Minnesota on October 20 of 1906. Many areas reported 5 to 9 inches of snowfall. Detroit Lakes reported 10 inches, a statewide record for the date. It was a precursor to a heavy snow season for northern Minnesota during 1906-1907. Many areas had over 90 inches of snow and Leech Lake reported 110 inches.

With snow already on the ground in most places, October 20 of 1916 brought record-setting low temperatures to most of the state. Many climate stations reported morning lows in the single digits, while much of the rest of the state reported temperatures in the teens. The daytime high temperature at Fosston (Polk County) only reached 26°F.

The warmest October 20th occurred in 1947. Most areas of the state reported daytime high temperatures in the 70s and 80s F. Five southwestern Minnesota communities saw the thermometer reach 90°F. After a morning low of 38°F Wheaton (Traverse County) reported an afternoon high of 87°F.

Outlook:


Mostly warmer than normal and dry for Saturday through Monday, except for parts of northern Minnesota which will remain near normal temperatures with daily chances for showers. Chance for showers again late next Tuesday through Wednesday with much cooler temperatures. Temperatures will remain cooler than normal for the balance of the month after that.

Mark Seeley

Frosts more widespread, still dry, winds picking up:

1 month 2 weeks ago
Frosts more widespread, still dry, winds picking up:About 60 percent of Minnesota reported at least one frost over the past week, and many climate stations reported morning low temperatures in the twenties F. Up north Brimson reported 26°F and Embarrass 27°F, while in southeastern Minnesota Grand Meadow reported 24°F and Preston 22°F. Suffice to say the growing season has ended for many parts of the state.

Little rain occurred over this past week, and most climate stations are well below normal for the month so far. However, widespread and welcome rains are expected over Friday and Saturday, perhaps as much as 2-3 inches in some places. With 60 to 70 percent of the state rated very short or short in stored soil moisture at the present time, the rains are likely to be absorbed readily by the landscape, a good sign. Crop harvesting will be disrupted for a few days by the rains, but farmers are making slow progress this month in getting corn and soybeans in storage. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, about 33 percent of the Minnesota landscape remains in Moderate Drought, and about 40 percent in Severe to Extreme Drought. Hopefully with the rains this situation will improve next week.

Winds have increased over the past week and generally are above average for this time of year. Most climate stations report 6 to 9 days with wind gusts of 30 mph or greater, and a number of days with gusts over 40 mph. Most medium range forecasts suggest that winds will continue to be mostly higher than normal with above normal temperatures prevailing until the last week of the month.

Early October Snows: One of the earliest heavy snowstorms of record occurred at Camp Coldwater (later Ft Snelling) from October 12-14, 1820. The soldiers there measured eleven inches of snowfall from this storm, which introduced a second consecutive cold and snowy winter. Even after 203 years, the total of 11 inches of snow remains the record amount for the month of October in the Twin Cities area ranking ahead of 9.3 inches in 2020, 8.2 inches in 1991 (Halloween Blizzard), and 6.0 inches in 1835. Both November and December of 1820 brought abundant snowfall as well, as Minnesota was beginning to establish its 19th Century reputation as the American Siberia.
Weekly Weather Potpourri:
In this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin is an interesting article which suggests that as climate change progresses, plant water use efficiency may stabilize, and plants will not be able to fix as much carbon dioxide as plant physiologists earlier thought. This is because vapor pressure deficits will increase and restrict the flow of both water vapor and carbon dioxide through the leaf stomata.

This week the BBC Weather Center has featured a program about the devastating drought in Brazil which has dried up some rivers and prevented commercial shipping by boat through areas of the Amazon. Many shipping supplies have been grounded by low water levels and some communities that have used surface water supplies have had to drill wells for drinking water.

A recent study published in iScience examined the weather impacts on grape quality in the Bordeaux region of France. The researchers found that “to increase wine quality, ideal conditions include high water abundance during the winter months and low water abundance in the summer, coupled with high temperatures.” They also concluded that climate change in Bordeaux will likely lead to more extreme weather, with variation depending on the location.
MPR listener question: What is the most snowfall to ever fall in the month of October?

Answer: As stated above, for the Twin Cities area it is 11 inches back in 1820, a long time ago. Across the entire state, the record total snowfall for October rests with two northern communities. In October of 1916, Baudette (Lake of the Woods County) reported 19 inches of snowfall, and in October of 1932, Mizpah (Koochiching County) reported 19.4 inches of snowfall.
Twin Cities Almanac for October 13th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 60 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 42 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 13th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 84 degrees F in 1956; lowest daily maximum temperature of 37 degrees F in 1937; lowest daily minimum temperature of 22 degrees F in 1917; highest daily minimum temperature of 62 degrees F in 2000; record precipitation of 1.52 inches in 1890. There was a record 0.4 inches of snowfall in 1969.

Average dew point for October 13th is 41°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 67°F in 1962; and the minimum dew point on this date is 14 degrees F in 1937.

All-time state records for October 13th:
The state record high temperature for this date is 89 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1958 and again at Luverne (Rock County and Fairmont (Martin County) in 1975. The state record low temperature for this date is 2 degrees F at Sawbill Camp (Cook County) in 1936. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.71 inches at Fosston (Polk County) in 1984. The state snowfall record is 7.0 inches at Warroad (Roseau County) in 2006.
Past Weather: October 13th in both 1975 and 1995 brought record-setting high temperatures to many Minnesota communities. Many southern Minnesota climate stations reported afternoon highs from 82°F to 89°F. Tower, normally a cold spot in the state, reported a record high of 81°F in 1995.

Record-setting cold temperatures prevailed across the state on October 13, 1933. The majority of climate stations reported morning lows between 10°F and 25°F, while both Leech Lake and Moose Lake reported 9°F. The afternoon high at Orr only reached 35°F.

October 13-14 in 1959 brought an early winter storm to the state. Many areas reported from 1 to 4 inches of snowfall. Portions of southwestern Minnesota reported over 5 inches.
Outlook:
Some lingering rain in southern areas of the state on Saturday. Then, sunny on Sunday with temperatures slowly climbing to normal or above normal next week. Mostly a dry week with a chance for showers on Wednesday.
Mark Seeley

Wet Conclusion to September Followed by Record Warm Start to October

1 month 3 weeks ago
Wet Conclusion to September Followed by Record Warm Start to October:

As mentioned last week, on a statewide basis September delivered average rainfall that was above normal, the first month to do so since last April. For northeastern Minnesota counties, September was the 2nd wettest in history with average rainfall of nearly 7 inches. One observer near Duluth reported over 13 inches for the month. Conversely many parts of southwestern Minnesota reported less than 1 inch of rainfall for September, and places like Luverne, Pipestone, and Slayton reported less than three-quarters of an inch.

A lion’s share of the rainfall occurred over the last week of the month, with many climate observers reporting rain every day of the week, totaling over 3 inches and in a few cases over 4 inches. On September 29 MSP reported a record-setting rainfall of 1.51 inches, and on the 30th Hastings Dam reported a record 1.10 inches.

With the wet end to September came some soaring temperatures, providing the warmest start to October since 1976. Forty climate stations reported an afternoon high temperature of 90°F or greater on October 1st, including a new statewide record high of 95°F at Milan for that date. On October 2nd another 39 climate stations reported 90°F or greater, with Lamberton reporting a statewide record-tying value of 95°F for that date (Wheaton was also 95°F in 1953). Finally on October 3rd, when the Heat Wave began to subside, 7 more climate stations reported high temperatures of 90°F or greater.

Within the state climate station network over the first three days of October, there were 135 daily record high maximum temperatures and 193 daily record warm minimum temperatures, including a morning low of 71°F at Marshall on October 2nd.

Overall, we have recorded the warmest first five days of October in state history. Most climate stations have averaged 14 to 18 degrees warmer than normal. With this magnitude of aberration in the temperature pattern there is no doubt that October will be a warmer than normal month. The important question is will the rainfall pattern help to mitigate the drought across the state, which still persists in most areas. Latest guidance from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center suggests that drought will persist across most of the state through the end of the year.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin contains an article about researchers who have found that Tropical Cyclones can transport birds and flying insects considerable distances, displacing them to habitats where they are not commonly found. Flying creatures such as birds and insects can become trapped inside the eye of a tropical cyclone carried along as it moves over considerable distance.

The BBC Weather Center reported earlier this week that September was the warmest in history for the United Kingdom, averaging about 5°F above normal. They also recorded the warmest temperature of the year during the first week of September (highly unusual for that country) with a reading of 91°F at Kew Gardens. It was also the warmest September in history in France, Germany, Denmark, and Austria.

Jet Stream is an online school curriculum for educators, emergency managers, or anyone interested in learning about weather and weather safety. It is presented in 15 different sub topics related to understanding all the elements of the weather. The National Weather Service makes this curriculum available to all interested parties. You can read more about it online.

MPR listener question:

We have already experienced so many hot temperatures in October, we were wondering has Minnesota ever seen below zero temperature readings in the month of October?

Answer:

Indeed, on several occasions. In October of 1887, 1913, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1925, 1936, and 1976 below zero temperatures were recorded, mostly in northern counties. The earliest ever below zero F reading was at Argyle (Marshall County) on October 20, 1916 when they recorded -1°F. There is nothing on the horizon for this October like that.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 6th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 45 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 6th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 87 degrees F in 2007; lowest daily maximum temperature of 40 degrees F in 1952; lowest daily minimum temperature of 25 degrees F in 1873; highest daily minimum temperature of 70 degrees F in 2007; record precipitation of 1.69 inches in 1941. There was a trace of snow on this date in 2005.

Average dew point for October 6th is 41°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 69°F in 2007; and the minimum dew point on this date is 12 degrees F in 2000.

All-time state records for October 6th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 94 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1993. The state record low temperature for this date is 8 degrees F at Alborn (St Louis County) in 1935. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.98 inches at Wolf Ridge ELC (Lake County) in 1998. The state snowfall record is 3.0 inches at Caribou (Kittson County) in 1974.

Past Weather:

Heavy rains blanketed southern and southwestern Minnesota on October 6, 1911. Many observers reported 2 to 4 inches of rainfall which abruptly stopped crop harvesting and caused a great deal of ponding water on farm fields.


October 6 of 1935 brought record cold temperatures to most locations in the stated. Many observers reported morning low temperatures in the teens and twenties. It was just single digits in northeastern Minnesota. The afternoon high temperature at Brainerd barely made it above freezing at 33°F.

Probably the warmest October 5th in state history was in 1963 when many areas of the state reported afternoon temperatures of 80°F or above. Eight Minnesota counties saw temperatures of 90°F or higher.

A strong cold front brought snowfall to 17 Minnesota communities on October 6, 1974. Areas of northern Minnesota reported from 1 to 3 inches. The snow was short-lived as temperatures rebounded in to the 50s F the next day.

Outlook:

Cooler and drier over the weekend with plenty of sun. Chance of frost each morning Saturday through Tuesday with little or no precipitation. A warming trend will start the middle of next week, with a chance for precipitation by Thursday and Friday.

Mark Seeley

Preliminary Climate Summary for September

2 months ago
Preliminary Climate Summary for September:The weather for September was remarkable for record-setting unform warmth and for highly variable rainfall.

Most climate stations reported a mean monthly temperature that is 4°F to 6°F warmer than normal making this the warmest September in state history, surpassing that of 2015. During the month at least 173 daily maximum temperature records were tied or set within the state climate network with 14 official climate stations reporting at least one reading of 100°F or greater. In addition, 87 climate stations reported setting or tying daily warm minimum temperature records with some nights never dropping below 70°F. Yet more record-setting temperatures are expected for this Saturday, the last day of the month. September temperature extremes in the state ranged from 104°F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on the 5th to 27°F at Hibbing on the 13th.

Rainfall was extremely variable across the state. Some areas received less than an inch of rain for the month, especially in southwestern counties. In the northeast counties many climate observers reported over twice normal rainfall, exceeding 6 inches in many places. And yet more rainfall is expected for the last day of the month on Saturday. Some long-term climate stations have already set records for their wettest ever September, including:

Duluth 10.06 inches
Two Harbors 7NW 9.24 inches
Wolf Ridge ELC (Lake County) 7.62 inches
Tettegouche State Park 6.99 inches

Dozens of daily rainfall records were set during the month, mostly in northeastern Minnesota, and the statewide average rainfall for the month of nearly 3.5 inches is above normal, marking the first month with a statewide average precipitation above normal since last April.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor the rains of last week helped to reduce the area of Minnesota affected by Moderate Drought or worse. This area shrunk by over 17 percent. However over 80 percent of the Minnesota landscape remains in the grip of Moderate Drought or worse as we end of the month of September.

Corn and soybean harvesting was just starting to ramp up earlier this week when the rains came. Some observers have reported 5-7 days of rain over the last week. This has slowed harvest activity significantly as farmers wait for the crop and the soils to dry out more before resuming harvest. In many areas of the state the rains brought sighs of relief as they helped replenish soil moisture, which was very low for the past month or more.

Old Quote About October: For many Minnesotans, October is a favorite month. It is worth repeating what the Minneapolis Journal said about October in 1895

"October is generally a kingly month in Minnesota. It opens with the usual affluence of sunshine and quickening, bracing air which stimulates ......summer's silent fingering will be overwoven with pageantry of color which no human art can call into being. The recessional of the year is grander than the processional."

Weekly Weather Potpourri: The United Kingdom Met Office released a new global data set on temperature and humidity. The data clearly are related to the extreme episodes of heat that in recent years documented to have immense impact on human health. Scientists who have examined this new data set have “uncovered new ways of examining different types of heat event, for example ‘hot and dry’, ‘hot and humid’ or ‘warm and humid’. Each of these types of extreme heat have different characteristics and require different cooling methods to combat the effects of the type of heat. The new dataset allows users assess what sort of heat event different regions or seasons are mostly experiencing which will help with adaptation measures to cope with our changing climate.”

There is an interesting article by Jonathan Erdman of the Weather Underground web site that shows graphically how smoke from the Canadian wildfires crossed the Atlantic Ocean this season causing smoky skies over Ireland. Fires have burned roughly 69,000 square miles in Canada so far this year.

In this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin is an article about researchers who have used a new technique to exam the frequency and magnitude of historical tropical storms. They reported that lead-210, a naturally occurring radioactive isotope, could be used as a chemical marker of old storms buried in the geological record. Testing this method has been successful already in some areas to better document a longer history of tropical storm activity.

MPR listener question: October is our last full month on Daylight Savings Time, as we go back an hour on the first weekend of November. How many minutes of daylength do we lose during the month of October?
Answer: In the Twin Cities area, we lose about 70 minutes of daylength during the month of October. This compounds the effect of going off Daylight Savings Time on the first weekend of November when we set our clocks back one hour and it suddenly gets dark at 5:00 pm.

Twin Cities Almanac for September 29th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 67 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 48 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 29th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 89 degrees F in 1897; lowest daily maximum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1985; lowest daily minimum temperature of 27 degrees F in 1945; highest daily minimum temperature of 64 degrees F in 1877; record precipitation of 2.68 inches in 1881. No snow has fallen on this date.

Average dew point for September 29th is 45°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 68°F in 1983; and the minimum dew point on this date is 23 degrees F in 1993.

All-time state records for September 29th: The state record high temperature for this date is 96 degrees F at Moorhead (Clay County) in 1897. The state record low temperature for this date is 13 degrees F at Hallock (Kittson County) in 1899. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.45 inches at New Ulm (Brown County) in 1925. The state snowfall record is 2.1 inches at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1899.

Past Weather: The warmest September 29th in state history occurred in 1897 when most climate stations reported afternoon high temperatures of 80°F or higher. Temperatures of 90°F to 96°F were reported from 17 Minnesota counties.

The coldest September 29th was in 1899 when most places in the state reported frost. In northern Minnesota fourteen counties reported morning low temperatures in the teens F, while the afternoon high temperature a Park Rapids barely climbed above freezing at 33°F. Snowfalls were reported from four northern climate stations as well.

A slow-moving low pressure system brought heavy rains to many parts of western and northern Minnesota over September 20-30 of 1995. Many climate observers reported 2 inches to 4 inches of rainfall, and a few exceeded 5 inches. These heavy rains delayed crop harvests for up to 10 days.

Outlook: Warming trend over the weekend with chances for showers and thunderstorms. Continued warm temperatures for Monday and Tuesday next week, with increasing chances for showers by Tuesday. Cooler for the balance of next week with chances for showers each day Tuesday through Thursday.
Mark Seeley

September Rainfall Deficits Growing, Adding to Drought

2 months 1 week ago
September Rainfall Deficits Growing, Adding to Drought:

Since last week’s WeatherTalk Blog spotty rains have continued this week around the state. Those climate observers who reported rainfall found mostly 0.1 to 0.3 inches in their gages. A few spots reported over half an inch of rain. Temperatures since last Friday have averaged from 4 to 6 degrees above normal, and many climate stations have reported daytime high temperatures ranging from the mid 70s to upper 80s F. Though not record-setting a few climate stations reached the 90s F this week:

91°F at Milan (Chippewa County) on September 19
93°F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on September 20
91°F at Marshall (Lyon County) on September 20
90°F at Wheaton (Traverse County) on September 20

Many regions of the state have already reported significant rainfall deficiencies this month, having received less than half an inch of rain. This amounts to 1.5 to 2.5inches below normal for many areas of the state. Combined with the accumulated year deficit in precipitation some areas of the state are now 7 to 12 inches below normal for the year. In this context the Drought Monitor this week shows continued areal expansion of the Severe, Extreme, and Exceptional Drought categories across the state. Over 64 percent of the state landscape is in Severe Drought or worse, and 26 percent of that is designated to be Extreme to Exceptional Drought. According to the USDA close to 20 percent of the state’s corn and soybean crops were rated to be in poor to very poor condition, as the harvest season approaches.

Should rainfall become more abundant yet this autumn it will have little impact on agricultural production this year, but may help restore inadequate soil moisture levels, and recharge volume flow in many Minnesota watersheds.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin highlights some recent research that addresses how to estimate what extreme precipitation events might be under continuing climate change. The researchers combined traditional statistical approaches (using history climate data) along with numerical storm simulations. This approach which focused on central Europe geography showed that near future extreme precipitation events might be as much as 30 to 40 percent higher than what has been measured in the past.

The BBC reported this week that remnants of Hurricane Lee brought high seas, strong winds (75 mph) and heavy rains (3-6 inches) to parts of Wales and northwest England this week. Power outages were common, and flood warnings were issued, as some roads in Wales were totally underwater.

The Weather Underground reported that the “U.S. is establishing an American Climate Corps, aimed at recruiting and training young people for jobs focused on the environment and climate, the White House announced Wednesday.” It is hope that this new program will put 20,00 young adults on a career path in professions related to clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience. The climate corps is being formed from an Executive Order from President Biden.

MPR listener question:

With the drought persisting well into the autumn season and an El Nino episode in play, what does the climate outlook show for Minnesota over the remainder of 2023 (October, November, and December)?

Answer:

Of the 8 climate models used by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, it appears that 7 of them favor a warmer than normal conclusion to 2023. This is pretty emphatic to say warmer than normal temperatures will be more common during the October through December conclusion to the year. With respect to the Drought and precipitation outlook, only 1 of the 8 climate models favors wetter than normal conditions for Minnesota to conclude the year. This clearly implies that the 2023 Drought will carry over into 2024, not a good signal for our agricultural economy or for the watersheds of our state.

Twin Cities Almanac for September 22nd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 71 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 52 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 22nd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 95 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily maximum temperature of 49 degrees F in 1983; lowest daily minimum temperature of 26 degrees F in 1974; highest daily minimum temperature of 73 degrees F in 2017; record precipitation of 2.80 inches in 1895. No snow has fallen on this date.

Average dew point for September 22nd is 45°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 73°F in 2017; and the minimum dew point on this date is 20 degrees F in 1974.

All-time state records for September 22nd:


The state record high temperature for this date is 101 degrees F at Ada (Norman County) in 1936. The state record low temperature for this date is 10 degrees F at Thorhult (Beltrami County) in 1974. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.84 inches at Cambridge (Isanti County) in 1968. The state snowfall record is 2.0 inches at Baudette (Lake of the Woods County) in 1995.

Past Weather:

The community of Hallock in Kittson County holds the record for the wettest ever September in northern Minnesota. In September of 1900 the observer there recorded a total of 15.30 inches of rainfall, most of which came during seven different thunderstorms. Flooding occurred along the Two Rivers that runs into the Red River of the North to west of town, but there were few farms dotting the Minnesota landscape back then.

September 22 in 1936 was the hottest in state history as most Minnesota climate stations reported afternoon temperatures ranging from 85°F to 95°F. Seven western counties reported temperatures of 100°F or greater.

September 22 of 1974 was the coldest in state history with most Minnesota climate stations reporting morning temperatures in the teens and twenties F. Thorhult in Beltrami County reported only 10°F. The afternoon high temperature at Brainerd only reached 41°F.

September 21-22 of 1995 brought snow to many parts of the state. Baudette near Lake of the Woods reported 2 inches of snow, while many other places reported a half inch to an inch.

Outlook:


Mostly cloudy skies with chances for showers and thunderstorms over Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures will generally remain warmer than normal for this time of year. Somewhat cooler (still above normal) and drier most of next week with many sunny days.

Mark Seeley

Spotty Rains Continue

2 months 2 weeks ago
Spotty Rains Continue:Rains over the second week of September were welcome, but highly spotty around the state, with north central and northeastern areas receiving the most. A number of northern climate stations reported over 1 inch of rainfall, while many southern counties reported less than a quarter inch of rainfall.

A freakish, and thankfully relatively small strong thunderstorm passed across areas of Duluth, MN on Monday evening (September 11) dropping from 1 to 3 inches of rainfall in a very short period of time. The National Weather Service had to issue flash flood warning around 10:00 pm as torrents of water were pouring off the slopping hillsides of Duluth. I35 expressway through Duluth was closed for a time due to flooding. Some climate observers north and west of Duluth reported 3 to 4 inches of rainfall, and one observer reported over 6 inches of rain.

The spotty rains of last week did not alleviate the spread of drought across the state. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor the areas of Minnesota encompassed by Moderate Drought, Severe Drought, and Extreme Drought all expanded in size over the past week. On a more optimistic note, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center Outlooks for the second half of September suggest a wetter than normal period for most of the state.

A Change in the Wind:
Fall brings a change in prevailing winds across the state. The dominant wind directions in Minnesota are northwesterly, and south to southeasterly, except for Duluth and north shore areas which see a significant frequency of easterly winds during the summer months (cooler and heavier air moving off Lake Superior towards the warmer land). September and October are transition months, when the southerly wind components diminish in frequency and the northerly components increase in frequency until they become fully dominant for the November through March period.

An observable transition has been occurring already this month and will continue. As a result, sharp contrasts in overnight minimums are in evidence over the first two weeks of the month. With prevailing southerly winds during the first week of September, overnight minimum temperatures ranged from the mid 60s to low 70s F in many areas, while during the second week of September with prevailing northerly winds overnight minimum temperatures sunk into the 30s and 40s F, with cooler and drier air from higher latitude. As these wind directions oscillate in the autumn season, they tend to remind us of the balmy summer days of summer one day and then suddenly change and raise our anxiety about the impending season of long nights, short days, and “layered clothing.” Speaking of which, the autumn season is a great time to show off those fashionable sweaters that have been closeted for months.
Weekly Weather Potpourri: The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) will host a public webinar on September 20 from noon to 1pm. The topic will be “Climate Adaptation Menus for Maple Syrup” and the presenter, Scott Hershberger of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will focus on adapting practices in maple syrup production to climate change across the western Great Lakes area. To register for this webinar please go to the MCAP web site.

With over 16 inches of rainfall reported from last weekend’s storm over Libya in north Africa there were two dam failures near the city of Derna. Widespread flash flooding caused the deaths of over 11,000 people and displacement of over 40,000 more. The Weather Underground web site reports more details on this catastrophic storm.

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin contains an interesting article which describes a study of the world’s hottest and coldest cities. Using a thermal comfort index (combination of temperature and humidity) researchers found that the ten hottest cities are in Bahrain, Pakistan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The ten coldest cities were located in just two countries, China and Russia. On average Yakutsk, Russia is the coldest city with an average annual temperature of just under 18°F and an extreme low of -84°F.
MPR listener question:

As we have seen the drought situation across our state worsen so far this month, some of us were wondering if the Minnesota 2023 drought could be mitigated even if we had that wettest October month in history. If that even possible?

Answer:

The wettest October in state history was in 2010 when the statewide average rainfall was 6.41 inches, over twice normal. Such levels of rainfall would undoubtedly help the drought situation in our state, but not entirely alleviate it. Many areas of the state are from 7 to 12 inches below normal for precipitation so far this year. That is a huge deficit to make up in one month.

Twin Cities Almanac for September 15th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 74 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 55 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 15th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1939; lowest daily maximum temperature of 46 degrees F in 1916; lowest daily minimum temperature of 36 degrees F in 2011; highest daily minimum temperature of 72 degrees F in 1897; record precipitation of 2.59 inches in 1992. A trace of snowfall fell on this date in 1916.

Average dew point for September 15th is 48°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 72°F in 1994; and the minimum dew point on this date is 19 degrees F in 2011.

All-time state records for September 15th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 100 degrees F at St Peter (Nicollet County) in 1939 and again at Tracy (Lyon County) in 1955. The state record low temperature for this date is 17 degrees F at Bigfork (Itasca County) in 1964. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.98 inches at Winona Dam (Winona County) in 2004. The state snowfall record is 0.2 inches at Warroad (Roseau County) in 1916.

Past Weather:

On September 15, 1916 with morning low temperatures in the 30s F, at least two dozen climate stations in Minnesota reported traces of snowfall, including the Twin Cities. Warroad reported a measurable 0.2 inches for the earliest ever start to the measurable snow season there.

The hottest September 15 in history was in 1939 when over 50 climate stations reported afternoon high temperatures of 90°F or greater. In many areas of the state the overnight minimum temperatures remained in the mid to upper 70s F.

The coldest September 15 in state history was in 1964 when nearly all climate stations reported morning low temperatures in the 20s and 30s F. Bigfork in Itasca County reported a state record low for the date of just 17°F.

Slow-moving strong thunderstorms over September 14-15 of 2004 brought one of the worst flash floods to ever hit southern Minnesota. Six or more inches of rainfall fell over portions of Blue Earth, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Jackson, Martin, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Waseca, and Winona Counties, covering an area of over 4000 square miles. Up to 13 inches was reported in Alden Township of Freeborn County. Every watershed in the area flooded, including the Root, Cedar, Zumbro, and Upper Iowa Rivers of southern Minnesota. Over $6 million in property damage was reported along with $22 million in crop damage. Many roads were impassable, and hundreds of home basements flooded.

Outlook:


Sunny and pleasant autumn weather over the weekend and through Tuesday of next week. Warming temperatures next week to above normal values with increasing chances for showers by Wednesday and Thursday.

Mark Seeley

Historically Hot Start to September

2 months 3 weeks ago
Historically Hot Start to September:The first five days of September brought a Heat Wave to Minnesota that surpassed all previous climate records for the same period of time. MSP reported five consecutive days of afternoon high temperatures in the 90s F, tying records for maximum temperature on consecutive days (September 3-4) with readings of 97°F and 98°F, respectively. In addition MSP recorded over the same dates consecutive record warm minimum temperatures with readings of 75°F and 74°F. Over the same first five dates of the month the climate observer at Theilman, MN (Wabasha County) recorded daily high temperatures of 92°F, 103°F, 102°F, 104°F, and 95°F, setting records at that location as well. The reading of 104°F was the highest September temperature ever recorded in September for Wabasha County. During the first 5 days of the month there were 24 reports of 100°F maximum temperatures or greater within the state climate network.

Within the state climate network, September 1-5 produced 95 record hot maximum daily temperatures, including 93°F at Gunflint Lake on the 5th, and 49 record warm daily minimum temperatures. Overall, the average temperature for those five days across the state was nearly 13°F above normal, the warmest in state history for this period. Some individual climate stations reported temperature readings that were over 20 degrees above normal. The heat was accompanied by moderate to strong winds as many climate stations reported wind gusts of 30 mph or greater on most days.

The start to September was hot, sunny, windy, and dry, with some rainfall finally arriving for many locations late in the day on the 5th. The heaviest rainfall was across the northern third of Minnesota, where many observers reported over 1 inch. A few northeastern Minnesota climate stations reported over 2 inches of rainfall, including Duluth which received a new record amount for September 5th of 2.77 inches. Much of the southern two-thirds of the state received less than half an inch of rain or no rain at all.

The Heat Wave aggravated the drought situation across the state. The update from the U.S. Drought Monitor showed some expansion of Extreme Drought across central Minnesota from Wadena County east to Carlton County, as well as in the southeast from Freeborn County east to Houston County. Much of the eastern half of the state remains in at least the Severe Drought category. The NOAA Drought Outlook for the autumn season, released at the end of August calls for persistence of drought across much of Minnesota through at least November 30th.
Weekly Weather Potpourri: According to a new State of the Climate report released by NOAA scientists this week greenhouse gas concentrations, global sea level and ocean heat content reached record highs in 2022. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere all continue to climb to new high levels during 2022. Global ocean heat content (from the surface down to 2000 meters also reached a record high value, as did global sea level rise. Many climate stations in Europe recorded all-time high temperatures during the summer of 2022 as well.

The BBC reported this week that tropical rainfalls in Hong Kong and southern China caused flash flooding and landslides in many areas. Record-setting rains occurred their this week with some areas reporting rainfall intensity of up to 6 inches in one hour, and rainfall totals over 19 inches.

New research from scientists at Cornell and Princeton Universities explores the possibilities for greenhouse gas emissions to be drastically reduced in the global food system. This work is published this week in the PLOS Climate online journal. The researchers find that The most promising technologies for achieving net negative greenhouse gas emissions include hydrogen-powered fertilizer production, livestock feeds, organic and inorganic soil amendments, agroforestry, and sustainable seafood harvesting practices.

MPR listener question: With the dry weather pattern expected to prevail this fall, do you see any signs of an early frost for us?
Answer: Indeed, historically a dry autumn might be expected to produce more loss of heat as the nights get longer and certainly risk of frost. But the climate outlooks all favor a warmer than normal temperature pattern continuing across Minnesota deep into October. In this context, I would suspect we will not see an earlier than normal frost for most of the state.
Twin Cities Almanac for September 8th: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 76 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 57 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 8th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 99 degrees F in 1931; lowest daily maximum temperature of 54 degrees F in 1929; lowest daily minimum temperature of 36 degrees F in 1883; highest daily minimum temperature of 74 degrees F in 1931; record precipitation of 1.52 inches in 1885. No snowfall on this date.

Average dew point for September 8th is 55°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 73°F in 1947; and the minimum dew point on this date is 25 degrees F in 1995.

All-time state records for September 8th: The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at New Ulm (Brown County) in 1931. The state record low temperature for this date is 20 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1995. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.54 inches at Young America (Carver County) in 1991. No snowfall has been reported on this date.
Past Weather:

The hottest September 8th in history occurred in 1931 when almost all locations in Minnesota reported afternoon high temperatures in the 90s F or greater. Thirty climate stations reported a maximum temperature of 100°F or greater. 

Thunderstorms brought heavy rains and flash flooding to much of central Minnesota over September 7-8 in 1991. Many areas reported 4 to 6 inches of rain. Elk River (Sherburne County) reported over 7 inches of rain, while New London (Kandiyohi County) reported over 10 inches. Many roads and highways were flooded, as well as several farm fields.

Frosts were widespread across northern Minnesota on September 8, 1995. Frost was even reported at Lamberton (Redwood County) in southwestern Minnesota. Morning lows in the upper 30s F were common across southern Minnesota near the Iowa border.

Outlook:

Temperatures will warm over the weekend with chances for showers on Saturday and Sunday. Then near normal to cooler than normal temperatures prevail much of next week which looks to be generally dry across the area. Warming temperatures towards next weekend.

Mark Seeley

August Climate Summary

3 months ago
August Climate Summary:
Average temperature for the month was generally from 1°F to 3°F warmer than normal at most climate stations, except for northeastern Minnesota, where the monthly average was near normal or slightly cooler than normal by 1 or 2 degrees. Many areas reported multiple days with 90°F temperatures, and at least 16 climate stations reported a day with 100°F or greater. Extreme values of temperature across the state ranged from 104°F at Winona airport on August 23 to just 36°F at Brimson (St Louis County) on the morning of August 27.

During the month across the Minnesota official climate station network at least 69 daily maximum temperature records were set or tied, mostly over the Heat Wave of August 21-24. In addition, at least 49 record warm daily minimum temperature records were set or tied., including a very warm minimum temperature of 80°F at Lake Wilson (Murray County) on August 23. The stress of record-setting warm temperatures, especially during the Heat Wave was compounded by record-setting dew points as well. Many climate stations reported dew points between 75°F and 80°F. MSP set new daily dew point records on consecutive days with readings of 79°F on August 22 and 78°F on August 23. A number of Minnesota communities also reported record daily Heat Index Values ranging from 110°F to 120°F. This Heat Wave is summarized in more detail at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site.

As has been the case since May, the rainfall pattern for August was very spotty across the state. Except for portions of west-central Minnesota and a few areas around the Twin Cities, most of the state saw less than normal rainfall, especially in the northwestern and southeastern counties. Thunderstorms brought heavy rains at times and produced some new daily record amounts at some climate stations. At least 20 climate stations reported a record-setting daily rainfall, including Browns Valley with 2.95 inches and Milan with 2.80 inches on August 14th. Some areas of western Minnesota reported over 5 inches of total rainfall for the month, as did a few spots like Roseville, Columbia Heights, and Buffalo around the Twin Cities. In contrast, many parts of northern and southeastern Minnesota reported less than 1.5 inches of rain for the month. A few climate stations were historically dry in August. For example, Baudette (Lake of the Woods County) reported only 0.69 inches of rainfall, their driest August in history; while Caledonia (Houston County) reported just 0.76 inches of rainfall, their 4th driest August in history.

In looking at the impact of August weather on Minnesota’s drought situation, over the course of the month the area covered by Moderate Drought or worse changed relatively little, staying between 75 percent and 79 percent; the area covered by Severe Drought or worse increased by 5 percent, while the area covered by Extreme Drought increased by7 percent (3 pct to 10 pct). Extreme Drought expanded most notably in southeastern counties, where many climate observers reported less than half the normal monthly rainfall.

From the standpoint of severe weather, August 11th brought large hail to many parts of the state. There were more than 35 reports of large hail (1 inch diameter or bigger) on that date, along with 19 reports of damaging winds. There was also a brief tornado touchdown in Nobles County on August 13th, but no reported damages.

Weekly Weather Potpourri: The Weather Underground web site provides a good statistical summary of the impact of Hurricane Idalia coming ashore in the Big Bend area of Florida this week, first time for that area of the state since 1896. Winds over 80 mph were measured in several places, with storm surge water inundating many roads. Some areas reported 5 to 6 inches of rainfall as well.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center was carefully tracking Typhoon Saola in the Western Pacific Ocean this week. It was a powerful storm with winds up to 140 mph and sea wave heights over 45 feet. The typhoon is expected to come ashore near Hong Kong on Friday and bring from 10 to 15 inches of rainfall over the Friday-Saturday period.

A recent research paper published this week in the journal Nature shows that recent changes in precipitation variability and extremes across the Eastern Pacific Ocean Intertropical Convergence Zone, northern South America, and mid-latitude storm tracks are indeed closely tied to climate change. The authors used a model technique called deep learning to evaluate their hypothesis.

MPR listener question: Now that the three summer months (June-August) are over, can you say roughly how the summer rainfall for the state ranked historically?
Answer: On a statewide basis the average total summer rainfall this year was about 7.20 inches for the three months. For statewide data this ranks as the 5th driest summer in history back to 1895. The only drier summers were 1936, 1910, 1933, and 1929. One further note: the cooperative climate observer at Austin (Mower County) has reported only 3.80 inches of rainfall for the summer. This would be their driest summer of record there.
Twin Cities Almanac for September 1st: The average MSP high temperature for this date is 78 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 60 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 1st:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 97 degrees F in 1913; lowest daily maximum temperature of 59 degrees F in 1951; lowest daily minimum temperature of 36 degrees F in 1974; highest daily minimum temperature of 74 degrees F in 1937; record precipitation of 3.29 inches in 1942. No snowfall on this date.

Average dew point for September 1st is 56°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 75°F in 1997; and the minimum dew point on this date is 30 degrees F in 1946.

All-time state records for September 1st:
The state record high temperature for this date is 101 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1913. The state record low temperature for this date is 23 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1974. The state record precipitation for this date is 7.70 inches at Nett Lake (St Louis County) in 1973. No snowfall has been reported on this date.
Past Weather: On this date in 1894 one of the worst fire tragedies in Minnesota history occurred. Following an extremely dry, hot summer (temperatures as high as 110 F in July), prairie and forest fires become common in late August. On September 1st a fire started near Lake Mille Lacs and spread east, turning into a rapidly moving firestorm it destroyed the towns of Hinckley and Sandstone, as well as 500 square miles of forest. Over 400 lives were lost. Smoke plumes obstructed visibility on Lake Superior.

September 1st in 1913 brought afternoon temperatures in the 90s to most locations in Minnesota. Portions of Goodhue, Lyon, Mower, Big Stone, and Winona Counties hit 100°F.

Slow-moving, but strong thunderstorms brought heavy rains to portions of northern Minnesota on September 1st of 1973. Many areas reported over 5 inches of rain, while portions of Mahnomen and St Louis Counties reported over 7 inches, all time records for a daily rainfall in September.

A very cold September 1st morning in northern Minnesota in 1974 brought morning temperatures in the 20s F to 9 counties. Widespread frosts occurred in both northern and central Minnesota counties. The daytime high at Baudette only made it to 54°F.
Outlook: Very warm over the weekend and into Monday with some record-setting high temperatures possible in some areas of the state. A chance of showers and thunderstorms by Tuesday, then significantly cooler temperatures for the balance of next week and mostly dry.
Mark Seeley

Rain Helps Some Areas

3 months 2 weeks ago
Rain Helps Some Areas:

Since last Friday (Aug 11) several days have brought widespread showers and thunderstorms to the state, especially western and central areas. Many climate observers have reported greater than one inch of rain, and some have reported 2 inches or more. August 13 and 14 brought the most significant rains to many areas, and in some cases record daily rainfalls, including on August 14th:

3,14” at Kimball
2.95” at Browns Valley
2.80” at Milan
2.42” at Wheaton
2.41” at Artichoke Lake
1.85” at Benson
1.43” at Milaca
1.40” at Madison

With these rains overall soil moisture conditions improved in some areas (over 40 percent now rated adequate) and drought conditions diminished by some percentage points in the Moderate and Severe categories.

At the State Fair:


CATHY WURZER AND I WILL BE HOSTING THE 27TH ANNUAL MPR STATE FAIR WEATHER QUIZ FROM 2PM TO 3PM ON AUGUST 28 AT THE MPR STAGE (CORNER OF JUDSON AND NELSON) . PLEASE DROP BY IF YOU ARE AT THE STATE FAIR THAT DAY. THE WEATHER QUIZ WILL BE BROADCAST ON MPR ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, FROM NOON TO 1PM ON THE PROGRAM “MINNESOTA NOW.”

The "Sunday Effect"


This term was coined in the 1970s by atmospheric chemists who found that air quality in urban areas seemed to have a distinctive pattern based on day of the week. Best air quality tended to occur with higher frequency on Sundays (when traffic and industrial activity was relatively minimal), and the worst occurred on Wednesdays (during the peak of the work week). Further studies have found that there are also patterns of sunshine, temperature and precipitation that may be correlated to day of the week as well.

A recent study in England (Wilby and Tomlinson) showed the highest frequency of sunny days in the winter falls on Sunday and the lowest frequency on Wednesday, though this pattern is less evident since the U.K Clean Air Act of 1968.

Studies of temperature and precipitation patterns associated with day of the week have produced mixed results in the USA. Some cities show lower precipitation on Sundays and higher precipitation during mid-week.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The Weather Underground featured a story this week about evacuating Yellow Knife in Canada’s Northwest Territories due to the risk of wildfires in the area. That area desperately needs rain to calm the wildfires, which have been numerous this year.

MPR listener question:

What is the driest August in the state climate records?

Answer:

The driest August on a statewide basis was in 1930, when the average rainfall for all reporting communities was just over one inch. The driest August for an individual community was at Beardsley in west-central Minnesota (Big Stone County), which recorded only 0.01 inches in 1969. The driest August in the Twin Cities climate record was 1925, with only 0.20 inches.

Twin Cities Almanac for August 18th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 81 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for August 18th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1976; lowest daily maximum temperature of 61 degrees F in 1890; lowest daily minimum temperature of 41 degrees F in 1977; highest daily minimum temperature of 77 degrees F in 1916; record precipitation of 2.26 inches in 1907. No snowfall on this date.

Average dew point for August 18th is 59°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 79°F in 1995; and the minimum dew point on this date is 36 degrees F in 2004.

All-time state records for August 18th:


The state record high temperature for this date is 107 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 1976. The state record low temperature for this date is 24 degrees F at Tower (St Louis County) in 1975. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.78 inches at Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County) in 1935. No snowfall has been reported on this date.

Past Weather:


This Sunday marks the anniversary of a remarkably destructive storm which passed through both Minneapolis and St Paul on August 20, 1904. It is thought that this storm started near Aberdeen, SD about 6pm as what is now known as a mesoscale convective system or cluster of thunderstorms. Later the storm intensified over Renville County and moved east through McLeod, Carver, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties. Severe damages occurred in Glencoe, Waconia, Excelsior, St Louis Park, Hopkins, Minneapolis, St Paul, and Stillwater. It was estimated that as much as $1.5 million in damages occurred, with 15 storm related fatalities. Anemometers at the Weather Bureau in downtown St Paul registered wind gusts up to 110 mph, while an unofficial anemometer on the roof of the Pioneer Press building registered winds of 180 mph before it blew away.

The storm peaked after sunset, between 8:30 and 10:00 pm, and rainfall was so intense, over an inch per hour, that observations about the character of the storm are not conclusive. No funnel was observed in the Twin Cities, but some of the damages provide evidence of tornadic-like winds. In fact some evidence in the Waconia area and the destruction of portions of the High Bridge in St Paul, indicate perhaps an F-4 tornado (winds of 207 mph or higher). Greenish-yellow clouds and hailstones were reported. A total of 2.56 inches of rainfall occurred over 24 hours in St Paul, with 1.23 inches coming in only 35 minutes. The evening dewpoint in St Paul was a sultry 70 degrees F.

Patrons of the Tivoli and Empire Theaters in St Paul became alarmed and sought shelter in nearby stone buildings as glass windows broke and roofs were torn off. It took Northwestern Telephone Company over a week to restore phone service to 7000 customers.

Record-setting heat dominated the Minnesota landscape on August 18, 1976. Most climate stations reported a high temperature of 90°F or greater and 14 counties reported an afternoon temperature of 100°F or higher. The morning low at Montevideo and Redwood Falls was 78°F.

The very next year, August 18, 1977 brought record cold temperatures to much of Minnesota. Roseau, Marshall, and Kittson Counties in northwestern Minnesota reported frosts, while many other places reported morning low temperatures in the 30s F. The high temperature at Fergus Falls only reached 64°F.

Outlook:


Sunny, dry, and warm over the weekend. Chance for showers up north by Monday but remaining mostly dry elsewhere. Temperatures will remain above normal through much of the week and cool down towards next weekend.

Mark Seeley
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32 minutes 5 seconds ago
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