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Extension > Mark Seeley's WeatherTalk > Warm start to November

Friday, November 4, 2016

Warm start to November

Warm start to November:

Most climate stations in the state are reporting daily temperatures that range from 8 to 15 degrees F above normal for the first few days of November. This pattern is expected to persist well into the month, and may approach the record warmest first half of November which dates back to 2001 That year was the only time the Twin Cities saw daily temperatures average above 50°F for the whole first half of November. Everybody is asking when the other shoe will drop. Perhaps not until the 16th or 17th.

This warm pattern conforms to the year-long trend in Minnesota temperatures which is persistently warmer than normal. In fact the state has recorded the 4th warmest first ten months of the year (Jan-Oct) in 2016, and the 3rd wettest such period as well.

Summary of record-setting daily climate values for 2016:

The current year has been a warm and wet one for Minnesota in no uncertain terms. Among the state's 131 Cooperative Observer Climate Stations, here is a listing of the number of record-setting high daily maximum temperature, warm daily minimum temperature, and total daily precipitation measurements that have been reported so far this year:

Month        Daily Max Temp    Daily Highest Min Temp    Daily Total Precip
                         Records                        Records                          Records
January                   9                                  48                                   31
February               70                                  71                                   46
March                 149                                187                                   66
April                     21                                  38                                   31
May                      70                                  13                                   25
June                      26                                  26                                   38
July                       13                                  50                                   93
August                    4                                  18                                 108
September              5                                  55                                   95
October                 12                                 22                                   53
Total                    379                               528                                 586

These numbers are well above average for number of new record daily climate values set each year. Overall, March was probably the most unusual month of the year, ranking as the 6th warmest in state history and the 11th wettest.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

A recent research study presented in the International Journal of Climatology documents changes in soil temperature, soil moisture, and precipitation patterns in eastern Siberia and the overall effects on the climate there. Certainly the loss of permafrost, as well as an increase in the heat and moisture transfer within the soil have been observed there. These climate changes are significant and will likely have long term consequences.

NOAA's weekly update features an interesting article this week about how the changing climate of the dry mountainous areas of South America is causing more rapid deterioration of mummies there. The higher humidity is boosting the growth and metabolism of bacteria which live on the mummies skin. This climate change is of concern to anthropologists who continue to study these ancient cultural relics which are up to 7000 years old.

Tropical Storm Meari in the Western Pacific Ocean was expected to intensify and become a typhoon on Friday this week, producing wind speeds over 95 mph and sea wave heights over 25 feet. It was expected to remain mostly over the open ocean and not a threat to any major islands.

With the continued loss of Arctic Sea Ice, the Northwest Passage through Arctic Canada is becoming more navigable for commercial shipping. A German-Canadian research team has undertaking the task of mapping the best routes through this passage linking the North Pacific Ocean to the North Atlantic Ocean. It is estimated that it may take up to 10 years to develop and deploy all the technology to insure safe navigation for shipping but there is widespread interest in doing so.

MPR listener question:

I have been waiting to apply fall nitrogen to my fields this fall as a result of the warm temperatures we have been having. Most crop advisors are telling me to wait for the soil to cool off more. When do you think it will drop below 50°F and stay there? BTW I am from Martin County near Fairmont.

Answer:

The declining day length and sun angle this month will help in this regard. Because even though the air temperature may warm to 50 or 60 degrees F during the afternoon it won't effectively warm the soil that much. After the warm spell ends the middle of next week, I think we will see a more permanent decline in daily soil temperatures, which will moderate much more in the 40s F. So if you want to get done before Thanksgiving I would encourage you to begin your work by November 10th or so. If you want more current information or data updates please use the Extension Crop News and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture updates.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 4th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 74 degrees F in 1975; lowest daily maximum temperature of 17 degrees F in 1991; lowest daily minimum temperature is -3 degrees F in 1991; highest daily minimum temperature of 52 degrees F in 2015; record precipitation of 0.61 inches in 1988; and a record snowfall of 1.0 inches in 1910.

Average dew point for November 4th is 29 degrees F, with a maximum of 55 degrees F in 1956 and a minimum of -5 degrees F in 1991.

All-time state records for November 4th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 79 degrees F at Redwood Falls (Redwood County) in 1975. The state record low temperature for this date is -13 degrees F at Warren (Marshall County) in 1919. State record precipitation for this date is 1.84 inches at Fairmont (Martin County) in 1922; and record snowfall is 15.8 inches at Isabella (Lake County) in 1982.

Past Weather Features:

Very cold first week of November in 1853 at Fort Snelling. Morning temperature readings were in the single digits on three days, and only one date (the 1st) did the daytime temperature rise above freezing. First snowfall came on November 4th.

November 4, 1919 brought frigid temperatures to the state. Many northern observers reported morning temperatures that were subzero, including -12°F at Angus (Polk County). Afternoon high temperatures remained below the freezing mark as far south as Albert Lea and Grand Meadow.

November 4, 1975 was the warmest in state history as early all areas saw afternoon temperatures climb into the 70s F. Over 80 climate stations reported a new record high temperature for the date, and many reported lows that only dropped into the 40s F.

A deep low pressure system brought heavy snow to northern Minnesota on November 3-4, 1982. Many observers reported 3 to 7 inches, and in northeastern Minnesota cities 10 to 20 inches of snow was reported, with difficult driving conditions, especially along the north shore of Lake Superior.

With abundant snow on the ground as a result of the Halloween Blizzard, 1991 brought the coldest November 4th of all time. Many observers reported morning low temperatures that were below zero, while afternoon highs remained in the teens and twenties. The temperature never rose higher than 14 degrees F at Zumbrota and only made 17 degrees F in the Twin Cities.

Outlook:

Very warm with near record high temperatures on Saturday, followed by increasing cloudiness and a bit cooler temperatures on Sunday. Slight chance of showers later on Sunday and into Monday, but temperatures will remain warmer than normal for this time of year. Generally dry and warmer than normal for the remainder of next week.

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