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Extension > Mark Seeley's WeatherTalk > Coldest temperature of the autumn season

Friday, November 15, 2013

Coldest temperature of the autumn season

Coldest temperature of the autumn season

Monday and Tuesday, November 11-12, this week brought the coldest temperatures of the autumn season so far. Thief River Falls reported a low of just 0 degrees F on the 11th, while Fosston (Polk County), Lakefield, and Pipestone reported their first readings of 0 degrees F on the morning of the 12th (Tue). Windom reported the state low on Tuesday the 12th with -1 degrees F. Many other observers reported lows in the single digits F. On Monday, November 11th Fosston reported a daily maximum temperature of just 16 degrees F, while Bemidji reported a new cold maximum temperature record of just 14 degrees F. Fortunately, the arctic cold was short-lived and temperatures warmed by 35-40 degrees F by Wednesday (Nov 13), then moderated the rest of the week.

Lake ice forming, then thawing

With the colder than normal temperatures dominating from November 5-12 some observers were reporting surface ice on ponds and shallow lakes. Even the shallow bays of lakes like Vermilion and Mille Lacs were showing ice earlier this week. Water temperatures along the western shores of Lake Superior had fallen in the range of 34-36 degrees F. With a return of 40 degrees F air temperatures some of the ice in shallow lakes was melting or shrinking in coverage. Moderating temperatures near normal and above normal will probably keep ice cover from fully developing until much later this month, perhaps after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Weekly Weather potpourri

Somalia was hit by a Tropical Cyclone last Sunday which brought high winds and heavy rains to many parts of the country. Some reports indicated rainfall amounts of 4-8 inches were common, and in a few cases rainfall may have approached 12 inches. Winds were also estimated to range from 30-60 mph. Flooding was widespread and reports indicated that the death toll from the storm may have been close to 300, with many thousands of people displaced by flooding waters. Several thousand livestock were lost in flood waters and a major highway bridge was washed away. This was only the 5th Tropical Cyclone to strike Somalia since 1966. On the heels of the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Conference held last week at the Science Museum in St Paul, an article appeared last week in the journal Science advocating for more attention to climate adaptation science and its practice. The article is based on a presentation made at the Aspen Institute last year and is written by Richard Moss of the DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He says "science for adaptation starts with understanding decision-making processes and information needs, determining where the vulnerabilities are, and then moves to climate modeling....[and] tracks whether adaptation is effective,"
A description of the article can be found here.

Remarks from USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey at this week's drought briefing:
-U.S. drought coverage continued its downward trend, with just 31.76% of the Lower 48 States in drought on November 12. This represents the lowest U.S. drought coverage since December 27, 2011.
-Based on the definitions of drought employed in the production the U.S. Drought Monitor, historical U.S. drought coverage should average near 20%. The last time contiguous U.S. drought coverage was below 20% was December 14, 2010.
-However, most of the eastern U.S. has trended dry during the last two to three months, allowing for recent development of abnormal dryness (D0) and some moderate drought (D1). By November 12, dryness (D0) had expanded to cover 38% of the Southeast and 30% of the Northeast...
-On November 10, USDA/NASS reported that 84% of the U.S. corn and 91% of the soybeans had been harvested. Lingering drought remains a concern in a few Midwestern States, including Iowa (54% in drought on November 12), Minnesota (25%), Illinois (25%), Missouri (24%), and Wisconsin (23%).

MPR listener question

I have heard you speak about the erratic precipitation pattern this year, wet to start the year, then dry in the summer, and finally wet again this fall. Which areas of the state have had the most and least precipitation this year?

Answer: By far the wettest area of the state has been the southeastern counties. Caledonia (Houston County), Grand Meadow (Mower County), and Ostrander (Fillmore County) have all reported over 46 inches of precipitation so far this year, about 30-35 percent above normal. The far northwest has been the driest for the year with places like Crookston, Hallock, and Roseau reporting less than 20 inches. Warren in Marshall County has reported less than 16 inches, less than 75 percent of normal. With 7 weeks left in the year some of these numbers could change considerably.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 15th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 41 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 27 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 15th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 69 degrees F in 1953; lowest daily maximum temperature of 13 degrees F in 1932; lowest daily minimum temperature is 1 degrees F in 1940; highest daily minimum temperature of 55 F in 1930; record precipitation of 1.58 inches in 1996; and a record 5.1 inches of snow fell on this date in 1956.
Average dew point for November 15th is 29 degrees F, with a maximum of 54 degrees F in 2001 and a minimum of 0 degrees F in 1940.

All-time state records for November 15th

The state record high temperature for this date is 76 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1953. The state record low temperature for this date is -36 degrees F at Angus (Polk County) in 1911. State record precipitation for this date is 2.68 inches at Stillwater (Washington County) in 1944; and state record snowfall for this date is 11.1 inches at Duluth (St Louis County) in 1956.

 

Past Weather Features:

A large, slow moving winter storm brought 6 to 18 inches of snowfall to the state over November 13-16, 1909. The heavy snow was a precursor to a very snowy Thanksgiving that year.  An Arctic air mass gripped the state over November 12-16, 1911 bringing extreme cold temperatures. Temperatures reported by most of Minnesota's weather observers were well below 0 degrees F on several mornings. Ten northern communities reported morning lows of -20 degrees F or colder, with Angus (Polk County) reporting -36 degrees F on the 15th, the coldest ever reading for so early in the fall. On some days the temperature never rose above 10 degrees F.  November 13-19 brought one of the most memorable mid November warm ups in state history. Temperatures average 18 to 22 degrees warmer than normal across the state. Over 50 Minnesota communities saw daytime temperatures reach 70 degrees F or higher. Many workers took their lunch outside to enjoy the last warm days of the fall season.  November 16, 1931 brought very warm temperatures to the state with readings in the 60s F. Some afternoon thunderstorms developed, producing strong winds and heavy rains which lingered into the evening hours. With this storm system came the latest autumn tornado ever documented in Minnesota. It was on the ground for 5 miles near Maple Plain shortly after 8:00 pm and destroyed a barn and some other buildings on a nearby farm.  Warm temperatures, along with thunderstorms visited the state over November 14-15, 1944. Many observers reported total rainfall between 1 and 2 inches. Observers at Hallock, Maple Plain, and Stillwater reported over 2 inches of rainfall. A winter storm brought rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow to the state over November 14-16, 1951. Ice-coated power lines and trees were knocked down in southeastern Minnesota, causing widespread power outages. There were scores of traffic accidents and many roads were closed. Gonvick in northwestern Minnesota saw 26 inches of snow accumulate.  An unusual mid-November thunderstorm brought heavy rain to southern Minnesota counties on November 15, 1973. Many observers reported over an inch of rainfall in just one hour. Total rainfall exceeded two inches at Bricelyn and Blue Earth.

Outlook

Generally a cloudy weekend with above normal temperatures. Chances for rain in the south and snow in the north each day. Chance of snow mostly Sunday night with cooler temperatures on Monday. Moderating above normal temperatures and dry during the middle of next week with an increasing chance for showers towards the weekend.

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