September starts cool and dryThe first five days of September have started drier than normal (just as July and August did), while temperatures have been averaging 1 to 3 degrees F cooler than normal in most places. Many observers have already reported morning lows in the 30s including just 33 degrees F at Embarrass, and 34 degrees F at Bigfork, Crane Lake, and Chisholm. Temperatures as cold as 39 degrees F were reported as far south as Byron and Grand Meadow in southeastern Minnesota. Marshall, MN reported the state high of 92 degrees F on the 1st, while a few locations also reported some spotty rainfall on that date.
Rainfall deficits continue to mount in many parts of the state. The U.S. Drought Monitor now shows that over 53 percent of the state landscape is in moderate to severe drought. Severe drought is now designated for parts of Stearns, Sherburne, Benton, Wright, Meeker, and Kandiyohi Counties in central Minnesota. These counties and others had been drought-free since mid-May. Volume flow on many Minnesota watersheds is down as well, in some cases well below average for this time of year. Unfortunately the outlook favors warm and dry weather through the third week of September for most of the state.
DNR Fall Color Web SiteThe DNR Fall Color web site is up and running with frequent updates on fall colors around the state. It is a good resource to plan trips for viewing the beautiful autumn foliage in our state. So far, even in the far northeast vegetation color change is less than ten percent, but more nighttime temperatures in the 30s F may accelerate this process. Visit their web site for updates on a daily basis.
Climate Change Adaptation Conference at the Science Museum on November 7, 2013Several organizations are partnering to host the first statewide conference on Climate Change Adaptation, Planning and Practice. It will take place at the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St Paul on November 7, 2013. Registration for the all day program is only $50. Sessions will be devoted to city planning, agriculture, transportation, natural resources (including watershed management), and public health.
Weekly Weather potpourriNOAA released a report this week titled "Extreme Events of 2012 From A Climate Perspective." The scientific analysis of extreme climatic events in 2012 reveals that some of the attribution, especially the North American warm temperature signal and the loss of Arctic sea ice can be ascribed to anthropogenic climate change (human induced). The full text of this paper can be found here.
The NOAA National Hurricane Center was issuing warnings this week about Tropical Storm Lorena as it was expected to bring high winds and heavy rains (3-6 inches) to Baja California and SW Mexico into the weekend. It is not expected to reach hurricane status.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center reported only 34 tornadoes in the past month of August on a nationwide basis. This is less than half of the average number for August and continues to trend of below normal tornado activity this year. The total tornado reports in the USA for 2013 sot far (a little over 700) represents about two-thirds of the historical average number for this time of year.
The National Wildlife Federation released a new report this week about climate change impacts on freshwater fisheries. It is a very interesting report with relevance to Minnesota's freshwater fish populations. You can access it and read more here.
Peru and portions of other South American countries have suffered from severe cold and snow this past week, causing some villages to be isolated, and a good deal of livestock mortality. A state of emergency was declared in nine Peruvian provinces as temperatures plummeted to single digits and below zero F values.
Public statement from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Chanhassen, MN on Wednesday, September 5, 2013 about a change in the radiosonde program:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1110 AM CDT WED SEP 04 2013
...CHANHASSEN MINNESOTA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE BEGINS USING
NEW LMS-6 RADIOSONDES FOR UPPER AIR SOUNDINGS...
SINCE 2005 THE RADIOSONDE REPLACEMENT SYSTEM /RRS/ HAS BEEN USED TO
COLLECT...PROCESS AND DISSEMINATE UPPER AIR DATA USING MODERN GROUND
TRACKING EQUIPMENT AND GPS RADIOSONDES. UNTIL RECENTLY ALL RRS SITES
USED THE MARK IIA GPS RADIOSONDES TO TAKE SOUNDINGS.
IN 2013...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE /NWS/ SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYED
AND TESTED THE NEW LOCKHEED MARTIN SIPPICAN LMS-6 GPS RADIOSONDES
AND SUPPORTING RRS SOFTWARE AT SELECTED NWS OFFICES. THE LMS-6 IS
LIGHTER THAN THE MARK IIA AND USES DRY-CELL BATTERIES. IT ALSO
PROVIDES IMPROVED ACCURACY OF THE RH DATA. THE NWS IS NOW READY TO
IMPLEMENT THE LMS-6 RADIOSONDE ACROSS THE UPPER AIR NETWORK. THE
TWIN CITIES NWS OFFICE IN CHANHASSEN MINNESOTA BEGAN UTILIZING THE
LMS-6 RADIOSONDE TODAY...SEPTEMBER 4 2013 AT 12Z.
MPR listener questionIn recent years we have experienced some significant flash flooding around the state due to severe thunderstorm rainfalls (Duluth last year for example). What has been the worst storm this year and where was it?
Answer: Right around the summer solstice (June 20-21) a line of thunderstorms moved across the state with heavy rainfall, hail, and damaging winds. The heaviest rainfall caused flash flooding in several central Minnesota communities, including 7.75 inches at Breezy Point (Crow Wing County), 6.69 inches at Lake Park (Becker County), and 5.60 inches at Morris (Stevens County). That remains the heaviest thunderstorm of the year so far.
Twin Cities Almanac for September 6thThe average MSP high temperature for this date is 75 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 57 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).
MSP Local Records for September 6thMSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 98 degrees F in 1922; lowest daily maximum temperature of 55 degrees F in 1911; lowest daily minimum temperature is 35 degrees F in 1885; highest daily minimum temperature of 75 F in 1913; and record precipitation of 1.61 inches in 1881; No snow has been recorded on this date.
Average dew point for September 6th is 55 degrees F, with a maximum of 75 degrees F in 1970 and a minimum of 33 degrees F in 1956.
All-time state records for September 6thThe state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at New Ulm (Brown County) in 1922. The state record low temperature for this date is 23 degrees F at Park Rapids (Hubbard County) in 1885. State record precipitation for this date is 8.44 inches at Cloquet (Carlton County) in 1990; and no snow has fallen on this date.
Past Weather Features:Four consecutive nights with frost ended the growing season in 1885, as over September 4-7 the morning lows ranged from 28 to 35 degrees F around the state. Indian Summer settled in for the second half of the month bringing some daytime highs in the 70s and 80s F.
One of the worst ever September Heat Waves in state history occurred from the 3rd to the 7th of 1922. Daily high temperatures ranged from 90 degrees F to 100 degrees F over 75 percent of the state landscape. The cool spot in the state was Grand Marais with a daytime high of 74 degrees F, while New Ulm sweltered in 105 degrees F. Many Minnesota citizens slept by lakes or on outdoor porches.
Strong thunderstorms over September 5-6, 1990 brought flash flooding to portions of St Louis and Carlton Counties. Rainfall totals ranged from 3 inches to over 8.50 inches, washing out roads and flooding out Jay Cooke State Park, where campers were evacuated. The Cloquet High School was flooded and suffered over $150,000 in damages. Strong winds uprooted trees as well and hail as large as 2 inches in diameter was reported from the Kettle River area.