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Showing posts from October, 2014

Climate Summary for October

Preliminary climate summary for October 2014: October saw a cooler than normal start to the month, a generally warmer than normal middle of the month, and a cooler than normal finish to the month.  In the end most observers reported mean monthly temperature values that were near normal.  Extreme temperatures for the month ranged from 81 degrees F at Madison (Lac qui Parle County) on the 24th to just 11 degrees F at Crookston on the 31st.  Much of the middle part of the month was dominated by bright, sunny days.

Most observers reported a drier than normal October, some with less than half of the average precipitation historically.  Western areas of the state were the driest with many reports of total precipitation less than one inch, while southeastern counties were the wettest.  Many southeastern Minnesota cities reported over 2 inches of precipitation and Caledonia (Houston County) reported 4.69 inches.  Several observers reported traces of snowfall, but measurable amounts only occu…

Warm and Dry Pattern Prevails

Warm October 23-24:  Temperatures soared into the 70s F in more than 20 Minnesota communities on Thursday and Friday this week (Oct 23-24), the highest temperatures on these dates since 1998 for many.    The highest values occurred in western communities.  Moorhead reached 72 degrees F which was just one degree shy of the all-time record for October 23rd.  Browns Valley and Milan reached 74 degrees F, with afternoon humidity values only ranging from 20 to 30 percent, indicating very dry air.  The recent run of warm weather, especially in western counties has offset the colder than normal start to the month so that average October temperature values now are running 1 to 2 degrees F warmer than normal.

Dryness expands: The Minnesota State Climatology Office reported this week that the absence of precipitation this month has caused a wider area of the state to be designated as "abnormally dry" by the US Drought Monitor. Most of the expansion of dryness has occurred in northwes…

New Seasonal Climate Outlook

New Seasonal Climate Outlook: The NOAA Climate Prediction Center released new seasonal climate outlooks on Thursday (Oct 16) of this week.  The outlooks for November through January and for December through February favor warmer than normal temperature conditions for the western states, the northern plains states, northern Great Lakes (including most of Minnesota), and northeastern states.  This outlook is in direct conflict with what the Farmer's Almanac issued earlier the autumn, which called for another long, frigid, and snowy winter for Minnesota.  Detailed in the narrative of the new seasonal outlook is the notion that the first half of winter has a higher probability for warmth than the second half of winter in our area.  This is partially exemplified in the outlook for the month of November alone, which shows a stronger signature for being warmer than normal. 

The outlook for precipitation from November through February across the Great Lakes generally favors drier than n…

Roller coaster climate pattern this month

Roller Coaster Climate Pattern The climate patterns this month have been classic for Minnesota....that is to say highly variable.  We started on the 1st with many reports of daytime temperatures in the 70s F.  In fact over 20 western Minnesota communities reported daytime highs of 70 F or above.  Then on the 4th of the month 35 Minnesota communities reported record-setting cold daytime maximum temperatures with their thermometers remaining in the 30s and 40s F all day.  Windom only rose to 43 degrees F, while Cass Lake barely reached 38 degrees F for a daytime high.  The next morning (October 5th) Zumbrota (Goodhue County) reported a record-tying minimum temperature of just 23 degrees F (tied 1952). The remainder of the week was cold with frequent frosty mornings.  By October 9th about two-thirds of the state's weather observers have reported at least one frost this autumn.

Also over October 4-5 over 30 communities reported a trace of snowfall, while the Brainerd area reported 0…

No 90 F Days for Some

September finishes warm, but no 90s F  With a flourish of warm days at the end of the month, September finished warmer than normal on a statewide basis, about 1 to 1.5 degrees F warmer than average for most observers in the state.  Though some observers saw daytime highs reach the upper 80s F there were no reports of 90 degrees F or greater during the month of September.  Of further note the 2014 growing season, designated May through September, brought no 90 degrees F temperatures to many locations in the state that customarily see a number of 90 F days during the period.  For example, Rochester recorded the first year without a 90 F temperature since 2008, and Albert Lea reported the first year without a 90 F temperature since 1993.  In western Minnesota which normally sees a warmer growing season, Pipestone and Morris reported the first year without a 90 degrees F temperature since 1915!

Wet start to October The month of October started out wet for most areas of the state, except …