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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 occurred in north-central and northeastern counties on the last two days of the month, topped by 2 inches at Isabella.

October brought enough good field working days that most Minnesota farmers were able to harvest corn and soybean crops.  Yields were highly variable this year due to a late planting season, highly variable rainfall, and some early frosts.  But October generally favored good field drying conditions, saving farmers on drying costs prior to storing the crop.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation Rankings:

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) ranks the Top 50 Cities for each allergy season (spring and fall) based on measured pollen levels, allergy medications administered per capita, and number of allergists per capita for each major city.  They use a weighted scoring system of 1 to 100, with a mean city score of 62.5.  The top three allergy cities in America this autumn season are Louisville, KY (score 100), Wichita, KS (score 95.76), and Oklahoma City, OK (score 92.00).  Minneapolis ranks 35th this autumn with a score of just 66.96.  Last year Minneapolis ranked 37th highest.  Among upper Midwestern cities this autumn, both Des Moines, IA and Madison, WI have higher scores than Minneapolis.  So I guess we should feel good about that.

November 6th Climate Adaptation Conference:

The Second Annual Conference on Climate Adaptation, "Building Minnesota's Capacity for Climate Adaptation" will be held November 6, 2014 at the Hyatt in Minneapolis.  Keynote speakers include Dr. Harold Brooks from the NOAA Severe Storms Laboratory in Oklahoma and Steve Adams from the Institute for Sustainable Communities.  In addition there will be many fine speakers at the break-out sessions on watershed management, ecosystems, agriculture, public health, community planning, recreation, and tourism. To register you can call 612-624-7452 or use the embedded link to the conference.

Weekly Weather potpourri::

Georgetown University Climate Center released an update this week on statewide climate adaptation plans and activities among the 50 states. So far 15 states have filed a state-led climate change adaptation strategy plan which addresses changes needed in state infrastructure.

The United Kingdom Meteorological Office announced this week plans to unveil a new supercomputer that will be 13 times more powerful than their present computer.  The new system will produce weather and climate forecasts faster and with high spatial resolution than before. BTW the United Kingdom reported its warmest Halloween in history with temperatures ranging from 65-70 degrees F as far north as York and Carlisle.  Light costumes, and even shorts were being worn by trick-or-treaters.

The government in Sri Lanka reported widespread flooding and some deaths associated with mudslides this week following a week of monsoon rains that delivered several inches of moisture to what had previously been a dry landscape.  Thousands of people were displaced by the floods.

Remnants of Tropical Cyclone Nilofar were bringing high seas, moderate rains, and brisk winds to coastal regions between Karachi, Pakistan and Jamnagar, India this week.  It is expected to dissipate rapidly.  Elsewhere Tropical Storm Nuri was expected to strengthen northeast of the Philippines in the Western Pacific Ocean producing winds over 100 mph by Sunday, but largely remaining out to sea.  Tropical Storm Vance in the Eastern Pacific Ocean was expected to gain strength and bring heavy rains to coastal regions around Mazatlan, Mexico early next week.

Highlights from the weekly briefing on drought by Brad Rippey of the USDA include:
-During the four-week period ending on October 28, 2014, contiguous U.S. drought coverage decreased to 29.61% -- a 0.96 percentage point drop. 
-Drought still covers a substantial portion of the southern Plains and the western U.S.  On October 28, the highest level of droughtD4, or exceptional drought was noted in portions of California (58%), Nevada (12%), Oklahoma (7%), and Texas (4%). 
-At the end of 2014 growing season, the Midwest remains nearly drought-free.  By October 26, nearly three-quarters of the U.S. corn (74%) was rated in good to excellent condition the highest end-of-season rating since 2004. 

MPR listener question:

What kind of weather do you see for Election Day next Tuesday?


Not much impact from the weather for next Tuesday's Election.  Skies should be partly to mostly sunny with daytime highs from the mid 40s F in the north to mid 50s F in the south.  It looks like a dry day as well across most of the state.  Perhaps we'll lead the nation again in voter turnout.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 31st:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 53 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 35 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 31st:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 83 degrees F in 1950; lowest daily maximum temperature of 26 degrees F in 1873; lowest daily minimum temperature is 15 degrees F in 1878; highest daily minimum temperature of 57 F in 1933; record precipitation of 0.85 inches in 1991; and record snowfall is 8.2 inches in 1991.

Average dew point for October 31st is 34 degrees F, with a maximum of 60 degrees F in 1974 and a minimum of 4 degrees F in 1996.

All-time state records for October 31st:

The state record high temperature for this date is 86 degrees F at Worthington (Nobles County) in 1950. The state record low temperature for this date is -4 degrees F at Hallock (Kittson County) in 1913. State record precipitation for this date is 4.12 inches at Luverne (Rock County) in 1979; and the state record snowfall for this date is 8.5 inches at New Hope (Hennepin County) in 1991.

Past Weather Features:

October 30 to November 1, 1950 brought a spell of summer-like weather to Minnesota with daytime highs in the 70s and 80s F and nighttime lows in the 50s F, marking the warmest Halloween in state history.  Over 30 cities in the state reported daytime highs in the 80s F.  A cold front dropped temperatures by 30-35 degrees F on November 2nd.

October 30 to November 3, 1951 brought a winter storm and Cold Wave to Minnesota.  The precipitation included a mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow, all of which brought a halt to the harvest season.  Record-setting snowfall amounts were reported from many central and northern locations including over 10 inches at Itasca State Park, Walker, Pokegama Dam, Virginia, Hinckley, Cloquet, Aitkin, Wadena, and Mora.  Both Leech Lake and Pine River received over 14 inches.  Temperatures behind the storm front plummeted to below zero F readings in many communities. Many roads and highways were closed, as were many schools.  Up until the 1991 Halloween Blizzard this was the worst winter storm to strike the state over October 31st.

An early winter storm brought a mixture of precipitation to the state over October 30 to November 1 of 1979.  The Red River Valley saw 3 to 6 inches of snowfall, mixed with rain and sleet, while southwestern counties received mostly heavy rains which brought an end to the late harvest season.  Alexandria, Luverne, Marshall, Tracy, and Tyler observers
reported over 4 inches of rainfall, while Lake Wilson reported nearly 6 inches.

The most memorable event in Minnesota history for this time of year is the famous Halloween Blizzard of 1991. This storm affected mostly the eastern portions of the state with record-setting snowfall over October 31 to November 3.  Over 30 communities reported 20 or more inches of snowfall, with 28.4 inches in the Twin Cities.  Elsewhere Brimson, Bruno, Duluth, Eveleth, Two Harbors, and Gunflint Lake reported over 30 inches of snow.  Winds up to 60 mph produced huge drifts and a 180 mile-long stretch of I90 was closed for a time.


Cooler than normal to start out the weekend, then warming to near normal temperatures (40s and 50s F) for Sunday.  Continued near normal temperatures and perhaps a few days warmer than normal next week with little chance for precipitation.



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