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Extension > Minnesota WeatherTalk > November 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lack of sunshine in November

Lack of sunshine in November:


Many citizens around the state have remarked about the lack of sunshine so far this month. Indeed the data show emphatically the absence of sun has been quite pronounced. Mean cloudiness for the first half of the month ranges from 7 tenths to 8 tenths of the sky across most of the state and some climate stations have reported 9 days of complete cloud cover, while others have reported 8 days with fog.

If we examine historical climate statistics, November is traditionally the cloudiest month of the year, averaging nearly 6 tenths cloud cover of the sky on a daily basis. This is fully 25 to 35 percent more cloud cover than any other month. In terms of actual solar radiation (both direct and diffuse) the amount reaching the Minnesota landscape during November is approximately half of what it is in the month of July, and when compared with to the month with the next least amount of solar radiation (December) it is still about 8 percent less (a result of the low sun angle and shorter day length).

It is no wonder that November traditionally marks the annual onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sometimes called winter depression, winter blues, or seasonal depression. All of these terms refer to a mood disorder. The reduction in light is so pronounced in November across Minnesota, that many citizens turn to light therapy or other remedies to deal with it. In addition for some citizens the lack of light in November has a pronounced effect on their internal circadian rhythms so that the very long nights provoke earlier bedtimes or later awakening in the morning.


New Seasonal Climate Outlook:



The new seasonal climate outlooks were released by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center on Thursday, November 16th. They are weighted on the occurrence of a mild La Nina episode (cooler than normal waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean prevailing throughout the Northern Hemisphere winter) and favor a cooler and wetter December-February period for Minnesota and the Dakotas. This by no means implies a winter similar to what we had four years ago (2013-2014), but obviously we might expect more below normal temperatures and perhaps more snowfall this winter across the state. It is much more uncertain if a cool, wet weather pattern will persist into the early spring months in 2018.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


NOAA scientists report this week that portions of India and Pakistan have been plagued by persistent smog during November, fouling the air and make it quite unhealthy. Extreme levels of fine particulate matter showed up in some measurements taken there, producing a very poor air quality index.


A new study by scientists from the NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory finds that melting ice across the Northern Hemisphere, most significantly the Greenland Ice Sheet, will have variable effects on major coastal cities. The different regions of ice as they melt will translate to variable changes in sea level.


Congratulations to the clergy, faculty, and staff of St John’s University in Collegeville, MN for their recent award and recognition from the NOAA-National Weather Service. They have contributed 125 years of continuous daily weather observations to the central Minnesota climate data base, an enviable record which has allowed residents and state agencies to better understand climate behavior in that part of the state. Their dedication and outstanding service are justly commended.


The web site Carbon Brief announced a new online interactive map which examines the distribution of extreme weather events across the globe and according to case studies to what degree each of those weather events was related to climate change. The map covers almost every type of weather that has been studied by scientists.

MPR listener question:


My wife and I recently moved to the Twin Cities from Rome, Georgia where we used to always grill our turkey outside for Thanksgiving. She won’t let me do it if the temperature is below 40 degrees F because it takes too long. How often is the temperature on Thanksgiving below 40 degrees F on Thanksgiving in the Twin Cities?

Answer:


Let me put it this way, since 1872 a period of 145 years the Twin Cities have recorded a daytime temperature of 40 degrees F or higher only 28 percent of the time, most recently in 2015. That means that 72 percent of the time it is colder than 40 degrees F, so doing any outdoor grilling of turkey might be a bit of a challenge.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 17th:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 40 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 26 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 17th:

MSP records for this date include: 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 1.67 inches in 1915. Record snowfall on this date is 9.0 inches 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°F in 1959.

All-time state records for November 17th:


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

Past Weather Features:


The coldest ever November 17th on a statewide basis was in 1914 as an Arctic High Pressure system rested over the state. It brought subzero temperature readings to 40 Minnesota communities, and even the daytime maximum temperature at Hallock never rose above 9°F.


Probably the warmest November 17th in state history was in 1953 when 35 communities in Minnesota reported afternoon highs of 70°F or greater. Even Grand Marais along the north shore of Lake Superior saw temperatures climb into the mid 50s F., and even the daytime maximum temperature at Hallock never rose above 9 degrees F.


A slow-moving winter storm plagued the state over November 15-17, 1996. This storm brought a mixture or rain, sleet, ice, and snow which resulted in widespread school closures and travel hazards. In southwestern Minnesota, thousands were without power for 5 days because accumulating ice brought down power lines. In northwestern Minnesota winds of 35-45 mph brought blizzard conditions, with heavy snow, and zero visibility. Many roads and highways were closed. Snow accumulations across the state ranged from 5 to 16 inches.

Outlook:


Colder than normal over the weekend, but generally sunnier skies as well. It will warm up to above normal temperatures on Monday, then cooler with a slight chance for snow on Tuesday. Moderating temperatures much of the rest of the week, and generally dry weather.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Coldest temperatures since March

  Coldest temperatures since March:


At least 35 Minnesota climate stations reported subzero low temperatures this week, the first time that has happened since the second week of last March. Celina (St Louis County) reported a low temperature of -17°F on November 10th, a new all-time state record low for this date. In addition a number of northern Minnesota communities reported new record lows on November 10th as well, including -16°F at Orr (St Louis County), -15°F at Bigfork (Itasca County County), -14°F at Embarrass, and -13°F Cotton, and Brimson. So far average November temperatures around the state are running 6 to 12 degrees F colder than normal, with several new record low temperatures reported on both November 8th and November 10th. On a statewide basis the first ten days of November have been the coldest since 1995.


A distinct change in the temperature pattern for the month is coming next week, as temperatures are expected to rise to above normal values over Tuesday through Friday. Perhaps this is our chance to catch-up on outdoor chores!

January-October 2017 USA Climate Trending Warm and Wet:


NOAA announced this week that the first 10 months of 2017 have been the 3rd warmest in history across the USA (for data back to 1895). They also noted that the January-October period for the nation as a whole was the 2nd wettest in history as well. For Minnesota the rankings are more modest. The first 10 months of 2017 have been the 9th warmest in history, and the 31st wettest in history. This year marks the 6th consecutive wetter than normal year across Minnesota, and the 12th in the last 14 years.

Lake Superior Storm Festival:


For those who like to make a trip to the north shore4 of Lake Superior during the autumn season, you might want to consider the weekend of November 10-12 in order to attend the 5th Annual Lake Superior Storm Festival. A variety of events will take place at Lutsen Resort and in Grand Marais. Among many other activities, I will be speaking at Lutsen Resort on Saturday, November 11th at 3pm with a program titled "A History of Great November Storms on Lake Superior."

25th Annual Kuehnast Lecture:


I have the honor of giving the 25th Anniversary Kuehnast Endowment Lecture next week on November 16th, 2pm at the McNamara Center on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus. I hope to combine some science, history, and stories over the past 40 years as Extension Climatologist for the University of Minnesota. If you are interested, please come as this is a public event.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


NOAA scientists announced this week that La Nina conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean now exist. There is a 65-75 percent chance that weak La Nina conditions will persist throughout the Northern Hemisphere winter and therefore have some effect on the weather patterns across North America. This could translate to colder than normal temperatures and perhaps more snow for portions of northern Minnesota.

There consecutive years of below average rainfall across portions of South Africa have caused significant drops in reservoir water supplies in many places, including Cape Town where water rationing has now begun. There is hope that the November-December period, corresponding to the Southern Africa Monsoon Season, will bring more abundant rainfall and help alleviate the drought there. NOAA's Tom Di Liberto writes about this.


Yale Climate Connections reports this week that senior citizens have been provoked enough with climate science research that they are mobilizing in some states to advocate for climate actions (both adaptation and mitigation) at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Such is the case for a group of elders in Massachusetts.


Tropical Storm Haikui was churning across the South China Sea in the Western Pacific Ocean this week generating strong winds and high seas. It was expected to bring stormy conditions to portions of Vietnam later in the weekend.


The BBC News Service announced this week that an automated, real-time reporting weather station has now been installed on the United Kingdom's highest landscape, Ben Nevis, a peak that sits at 4411 feet above sea level. This is thought to be one of the windiest and snowiest spots in the United Kingdom and now thanks to some work by the scientists for the UK National Environmental Research Council there will be a constant data stream from this location, also accompanied by a real-time webcam.


A new study by researchers at UC-Irvine suggests that two to four times as many coastal glaciers associated with the Greenland Ice Sheet are at risk of accelerated melting due to climate change as previously thought. Part of this is due to the much warmer, deeper waters off the Greenland coastline that more rapidly melt the bottom of glaciers that extend out into the sea.



MPR listener question:


Just got back from an autumn vacation and I am wondering how much longer I might be able to plant daffodils, tulips, and crocus. I usually have planted the bulbs in my garden by this time of year and know I need to do it well before the soils freeze up.

Answer:


You still have some time to plant bulbs, but I would not wait any longer. With the cold start to November soil temperatures around the state have cooled into the mid 30s F to low 40s F already. The soil temperatures at a 4 inch depth ranged from 36°F to 42°F across southern and central Minnesota this week. A warming trend will begin this weekend and carry on most of next week, so soil temperatures should remain well above freezing, in the 30s and 40s F for at least another 10 days or so.


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 29 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 10th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 69 degrees F in 2012; lowest daily maximum temperature of 22 degrees F in 1945; 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. Record snowfall on this date is 5.0 inches 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 2°F in 1991.

All-time state records for November 10th:

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

Past Weather Features:


A slow-moving and massive winter storm crossed the state over November 9-10, 1896 leaving a swath of heavy snow across southern and western counties. Many areas of the state reported 8-12 inches of snow. Fairmont and Albert Lea reported over 13 inches. Farmers trying to finish up field work were plagued by many snow storms that much. Many areas of the state reported 20-30 inches of snow in total for November of 1896.

Probably the coldest November 10 in state history occurred in 1933, as an Arctic High Pressure system descended on the state bringing subzero temperature readings to 16 locations. Both Big Falls and Mizpah (both in Koochiching County) reported lows of -15 degrees F. The temperature never rose above 20 degrees F at Fosston (Polk County) that day.

A hurricane-strength November storm over Lake Superior on November 10, 1975 sank the Edmund Fitzgerald, with a loss of 29 lives. The storm produced rain, ice, and snow, with gale force winds and extremely large waves.

Some Minnesota citizens took the day off work to play golf on Wednesday, November 10, 1999. It was sunny and warm with over 40 communities reporting afternoon high temperatures from the low to upper 70s F. The temperature never fell below 50 degrees F at Winona and reached a high of 78 degrees F.

Outlook:


Warming up this weekend with a chance for mixed precipitation in southern sections on Saturday and snow flurries in the north. A chance of freezing drizzle in some southern counties on Saturday night. Partly cloudy on Sunday, then warmer yet on Monday through Thursday of next week, with above normal temperatures and a chance for showers on Tuesday and Thursday.
















Friday, November 3, 2017

October Climate Summary

October Climate Summary:


Despite the snow and cold that prevailed during the last days of the month, average October temperatures around the state generally ranged from 1 to 4 degrees F above normal (average). The extremes for the month were 81 degrees F on October 20th at several locations, and just 13 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) on October 29th. October was the 8th month of the year with above normal temperatures (only May and August have been cooler than normal this year). Minnesota did not report the nation's lowest temperature even once during the month. Within the statewide climate network 20 locations reported new daily high temperature records on at least one date; while 32 locations reported new daily warm low temperature records on at least one date.

On a statewide basis October of 2017 was the 15th wettest in state history, with most observers reporting from 3 to 5 inches of precipitation. Several southern Minnesota climate stations reported their wettest October in history, including: 7.87 inches at Spring Grove (Houston County); 7.76 inches at Caledonia (Houston County); 7.37 inches at La Crescent (Winona County); 7.07 inches at Hokah (Houston County); 6.83 inches at Worthington (Nobles County); and 6.66 inches at Hutchinson (McLeod County). With the statewide climate network 70 locations reported at least one new daily precipitation record set during the month.

Many areas of the state received measurable snowfall over October 27-28. In northeastern Minnesota Isabella, Duluth, Chisholm, and Wolf Ridge reported over 10 inches of snow from that storm. In fact the Duluth Airport reported 10.6 inches of snowfall on October 27th which was a new all-time state record for the date, surpassing the 7.7 inches reported at Two Harbors on October 27, 2010.

The month was also noteworthy for windiness. Many places in the state reported wind gusts of 30 mph on 12 days or more. Very large waves were seen on parts of Lake Superior.

Soybean harvest all but wrapped up across the state during the month of October, but corn harvest remained about two weeks behind normal and over half of the acreage was left to be harvested.

Lake Superior Storm Festival:


For those who like to make a trip to the north shore of Lake Superior during the autumn season, you might want to consider the weekend of November 10-12 in order to attend the 5th Annual Lake Superior Storm Festival. A variety of events will take place at Lutsen Resort and in Grand Marais. Among many other activities, I will be speaking at Lutsen Resort on Saturday, November 11th at 3pm with a program titled "A History of Great November Storms on Lake Superior." For more information you can go to the Storm Festival web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:


This week NOAA featured an article about the very limited ozone hole observed over Antarctica this year. The smaller size of the ozone hole (smallest in 29 years of satellite monitoring) was attributed to the instability and warmer temperatures in the stratosphere that minimized the formation of high-altitude clouds. You can read more at the NOAA News Service web site.


In other news this week NOAA announced that in collaboration with the U.S. Marine Corps they were able to install two short-range Doppler radar systems in Puerto Rico to replace those damaged by Hurricane Maria. So the forecast operations in Puerto Rico have returned to near normal conditions for the first time since September 20th.


The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (Clean) announced that they are starting a series of webinars about their work to build a community more educated on climate change and energy issues. Their first seminar will be on November 9th when they will cover educational resources available for the study of climate and energy. This may ve very useful for school science teachers.


IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee provided an interview recently to discuss strategies for curbing climate change. A brief description of this interview was provided in AGU’s Earth and Space Science News this week and makes for an interesting read.


Typhoon Damrey was moving west across the South China Sea this week towards Vietnam. It is expected to strengthen and bring heavy rain and wind to that country over the coming weekend.

MPR listener question:

I was raised in Bloomington, MN and my mother always told me that after I was born (Nov 13, 1947) it snowed everyday for the rest of the month. I always believed her, but as I have now lived nearly 70 years in the Twin Cities I have never experienced a month like that. Can you tell me if this really happened?

Answer:


Indeed, it nearly did. In November of 1947 it snowed at least a trace every day from November 14 to November 30 except for the 29th. In fact it snowed on 21 days that month, something that really doesn't happen much anymore during anytime of the winter.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 3rd:


The average MSP high temperature for this date is 49 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 include: highest daily maximum temperature of 74 degrees F in 1978 and 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 1956; record precipitation of 0.53 inches in 1970. Record snowfall on this date is 4.2 inches 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°F in 1991.

All-time state records for November 3rd:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 82 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 1909; the all-time state low for today's date is -8 degrees F at Park Rapids (Hubbard County) in 1951. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 2.62 inches at International Falls (Koochiching County) in 1919. Record snowfall is 26.0 inches at Onamia Ranger Station (Mille Lacs County) in 1991.

Past Weather Features:


November 2-3, 1919 brought a winter storm to portions of central and northern Minnesota. Many climate stations reporte 3 to 9 inches of snowfall with high winds and large snow drifts. It was the start to a very snowy November that brought a total of over 20 inches of snow to many northern parts of the state. Red Lake Falls ended up reporting 35 inches of snow by the end of the month.

Following a snowy end to October, November of 1951 started out with mid-winter type temperatures. On November 3rd eleven climate stations reported morning lows that were subzero F, while even the southernmost portions of the state dipped into the mid-teens. The temperature at Ada and Hallock in the Red River Valley never rose above 15°F all day. A week later the temperatures rebounded into the 50s F.

November 3 in 1978 was the warmest in state history with nearly all areas of the state reporting afternoon high temperatures above 60 degrees F. Over 30 communities reported high temperatures of 75 degrees F or warmer and the nighttime temperature never fell below 50°F in St Paul.

A 3-day snow storm over November 2-4, 1982 brought 8 to 20 inches of heavy, wet snow to many parts of northern Minnesota. The first snowplows of the season were called out to work in portions of Lake, Cook, and St Louis Counties where snow drifts up to 5 feet blocked some county roads and highways.

Outlook:


Continued cooler than normal temperatures into the weekend with plenty of cloud cover, and a chance for rain/snow mix later on Saturday and early Sunday. Cooler yet on Monday and Tuesday with a slight chance for snow later on Monday. Then relatively dry the rest of next week with slowly warming temperatures toward next weekend.
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