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Variable Pattern Continues

Variable moisture pattern continues

Just like the August rainfall pattern, September has been mostly drier than normal across the state, but intense thunderstorms have brought well above normal rainfall to some areas of the state.  In the northern counties Hawley (3.08"), Lake Winnibigoshish (3.28"), Thorhult (3.42"), and Tofte (4.23") have all reported well above normal rainfall for the month.
In western counties a number of observers have reported over 4 inches for the month including Pelican Rapids, New York Mills, and Slayton.  Lamberton has reported their 2nd wettest month of the year with 5.70 inches.  In central Minnesota Sandstone has reported 6.02 inches and Hutchinson has reported 6.55 inches of rainfall, the highest in the state.  Stacy (Chisago County) has reported over 4 inches, giving them over 40 inches for the year, one of the wettest on record.  And in southeastern Minnesota Grand Meadow (Mower County) reports 4.35 inches for the month

Among those experiencing a drier than normal month are Browns Valley with just 0.57 inches (8th driest in history) and Bemidji with 0.52 inches (9th driest month of September there).  However recent weather outlooks favor a wet conclusion to the month, so these locations may end up with significantly higher monthly totals by the middle of next week.

Tornadoes in northwestern counties

Friday night (September 19th) brought severe weather to northwestern Minnesota counties.  Both Kittson and Roseau Counties reported tornadoes.  The first tornado was on the ground for 10 miles south of Northcote and Lancaster in Kittson County.  It was estimated to be EF-2 (winds 111-135 mph) and destroyed some farm buildings. The second tornado, estimated to be EF-1 (winds 86-110 mph) was on the ground for 7 miles west of Greenbush in Roseau County and it too destroyed some farm buildings and grain bins.  The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Grand Forks reported a summary of these storms on their web site.   According to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center these storms represented the 26th and 27th tornadoes reported in the state this year. A mapped summary of Minnesota's severe weather this year (red=tornado, green=large hail, blue=damaging winds) shows the geographic distribution.

NOAA logo-Select to go to the NOAA homepage

 22nd Annual Kuehnast Lecture on October 7th

 The Annual Kuehnast Lecture in Atmospheric and Climate Science is scheduled for October 7th, 3 p.m. at the St. Paul Campus Student Center theater.  The 22nd Annual Kuehnast Lecture will feature author, musician, and award-winning journalist Andrew Revkin of The New York Times and Pace University. Revkin is known widely as the founder of the Dot Earth blog. His lecture, "The New Communication Climate," will explore issues and opportunities arising as both the environment and the news media experience an era of unprecedented and unpredictable change. Music with Andrew, John Munson and friends, along with refreshments will follow the program.

 Everyone welcome - RSVP at:

Weather potpourri

Over October 1-3 next week the Presidential Summit on Climate Leadership will take place in Boston, MA.  Presidents from colleges and universities across the country have been invited to attend.  It should be an interesting discussion.

Typhoon Kammuri was expected to brush the Japanese coastline with heavy rains and high surf this weekend, as it mostly stays out to sea on its journey to the Northern Pacific Ocean.  It is the 17th named Tropical Storm of the 2014 western Pacific Ocean season.  Meanwhile Tropical Storm Rachel was expected to high seas and perhaps heavy rains to parts of Baja California this weekend

The panhandle of Texas was clobbered by severe thunderstorms over September 24-25 this week.  Many observers reported 2 to 5 inch rainfall amounts.  Lubbock Airport reported 5.66 inches of rainfall, their 3rd highest daily total ever.  Many roads were temporarily flooded there.

Now located in Exeter, the United Kingdom Meteorological Office College is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this month.  Many BBC weather forecasters took their training there, and both Prince William and Prince Harry have been students there.  I trained there briefly as well back in 1989.

A paper published this week by MIT scientists in the journal Nature Communications documents a new, greener way to manufacture concrete, one of the leading building materials used in construction industries.  The proposed revised formula for concrete releases only half of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the older formula process, and further it results in a stronger, more durable concrete.  Science Daily web site provides a nice description of this work.

MPR listener question:

I have heard you remark that 2014 has been a colder than normal year for Minnesota and that there were fewer than normal days with 90 degrees F or higher temperatures.  Who reported the highest temperature this year and where was it?


Indeed for the year to date most weather observers are reporting a mean annual temperature that is 3 to 5 degrees F cooler than normal.  The highest temperature reported this year in Minnesota was 97 degrees F at Detroit Lakes on July 11th. By the way, although September temperatures have been tracking cooler than normal across the state (5 months this year have been cooler than normal), it appears the month will end with several warmer than normal days, bringing the monthly mean values closer to normal.

Twin Cities Almanac for September 26th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 66 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 September 26th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 87 degrees F in 1923; lowest daily maximum temperature of 41 degrees F in 1942; lowest daily minimum temperature is 27 degrees F in 1965; highest daily minimum temperature of 64 F in 1998; record precipitation of 1.81 inches in 1930; and record snowfall is 1.7 inches in 1942.

Average dew point for September 26th is 46 degrees F, with a maximum of 70 degrees F in 1986 and a minimum of 20 degrees F in 1965.

All-time state records for September 26th:

 The state record high temperature for this date is 93 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui County) and at Redwood Falls (Redwood County) in 1974. The state record low temperature for this date is 11 degrees F at Crookston (Polk County) in 1893. State record precipitation for this date is 3.45 inches at Albert Lea (Freeborn County) in 1973; and the state record snowfall for this date is 7.5 inches at Long Prairie (Todd County) in 1942.

Past Weather Features:

Perhaps the coldest ever last week of September occurred in 1893.  During that period nine Minnesota locations reported low temperatures in the teens F, while most other observers reported lows in the 20sF.  It was just 25 degrees F in Fairmont and 26 degrees F at Rochester. 

September 26, 1942 is a climatic benchmark of sorts in that it marks the earliest fall occurrence of a significant snowfall in Minnesota.  Though MSP officially recorded 1.7 inches many of the city parks reported 2 or more inches. The heavy wet snow damaged trees and shrubs which had not lost their leaves.  Elsewhere the snow was heavier yet and required some
shoveling.  At New Ulm 5.5 inches fell, while at Willmar and Detroit Lakes 6 inches of snowfall was reported.

Perhaps the wettest last week of September occurred in 1973 when numerous thunderstorms crossed the state bringing heavy showers.  Many areas reported over 3 inches of rain and corn harvest was delayed. A tornado occurred near Eyota (Olmsted County), damaging some farm buildings on September 26th.

By far the warmest September 26th in state history was in 1974. Except for the Lake Superior region most observers in the state reported afternoon temperatures in the 80s F.  Over 25 western and southern Minnesota communities saw the thermometer reach 90 degrees F or greater that day.


Mostly sunny and warmer than normal over the weekend.  Increasing cloudiness on Monday with a chance for showers, especially in northern sections.  Somewhat lower temperatures next week, but still warmer than normal with chances for scattered showers and thunderstorms by Wednesday and Thursday.
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