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NOAA-Climate Prediction Center seasonal climate outlook

The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center released the new seasonal climate outlook on Thursday (Sept 19) this week

The new climate outlooks released by NOAA-CPC on Thursday (Sept 19) favor a warmer than normal October across all of the Great Lakes Region, including Minnesota. Then the balance of the autumn and early winter shows equal chances for warm or colder than normal conditions to prevail. Though the precipitation outlook does not favor below normal values of precipitation during the balance of autumn the CPC drought outlook shows that many parts of Minnesota are expected to remain in drought through the month of December. You can see the various climate outlooks at the CPC web site.

 Cool up north

Since last Saturday (September 4) many northern observers have reported multiple frosts and the lowest temperatures since the middle of last May. Some lows reported this week included:
31 degrees F at Grand Rapids and Little Fork
30 degrees F at Roseau, Leech Lake, Kabetogama, and Wright
29 degrees F at International Falls, Ely, and Floodwood
28 degrees F at Brimson, Hibbing, and Tower
27 degrees F at Isabella, Orr, and Crane Lake
26 degrees F at Embarrass

Further north at Thompson, Manitoba they reported a new record low temperature on September 15th of 21 degrees F. The cool temperatures in the north helped accelerate fall leaf color change with is reported to be about 25 percent in play now and will perhaps reach peak in some areas up north next week.

Drought Update

Spotty, but significant thunderstorms visited the state over September 15-16 (Sun-Mon) this week bringing 1-2 inches of rain to some areas. Among those reporting new daily record amounts of rainfall for September 15th were Ottertail with 1.92 inches, Rothsay with 1.52 inches, Milaca with 1.25 inches, and Mora with 1.12 inches. Though not record-setting other significant 2-day rainfall totals included 1.85 inches at Moorhead and 2.23 inches at Pelican Rapids. As a result of these rains the Minnesota landscape designated to be in drought shrunk by 4 percent from 55 percent last week to 51 percent his week. Another round of thunderstorm rains on Thursday (Sept 19) brought significant rainfall to parts of western and southern Minnesota with 1-2 inch amounts common and wind gusts ranging from 40 to 60 mph (77 mph in Renville County) which flattened some corn fields. Among those observers reporting over an inch of rainfall were Madison, Marshall, Princeton, Hutchinson, Montevideo, Rush City, La Crescent, and Bird Island. At Big Lake in Sherburne County a rainfall total over 3 inches was reported.

Elsewhere in the USA the largest drought improvement from last week to this occurred in the state of Colorado, where September 9-15 brought 10-21 inch rains to many parts of the front range. Many cities reported flooded roads, basements, and significant damage to infrastructure. A number of towns were isolated by flood waters. Among these cities were Aurora (15 inches), Boulder (up to 21 inches), Golden (nearly 12 inches), and Loveland (11 inches). Because of the rains the area of the Colorado landscape in severe to extreme drought shrunk from 58 percent to 17 percent this week. The official Coop observer at Boulder, CO reported the wettest month in history (17.08 inches) and wettest year in history (30.14 inches) shattering all records back to 1893.

Climate Change Adaptation Conference at the Science Museum on November 7, 2013

Several organizations are partnering to host the first statewide conference on Climate Change Adaptation, Planning and Practice. It will take place at the Science Museum of Minnesota in downtown St Paul on November 7, 2013. Registration for the all day program is only $50. Sessions will be devoted to city planning, agriculture, transportation, natural resources (including watershed management), and public health.

Weekly Weather potpourri

In the Western Pacific Ocean Super Typhoon Usagi was taking aim at Taiwan and Hong Kong for the coming weekend. As of Friday wind speeds ranged up to 175 mph and sea wave heights were approaching 50 feet with this storm. This moderately large and extremely strong storm will bring heavy rains to Taiwan and Hong Kong over the next 72 hours. Both storm surge and wind damage is expected when the system makes landfall.

Tropical Storms Manuel and Ingrid pounded Mexico with heavy rains earlier this week causing the death of at least 47 people and flooding many areas. More rains are expected due to the development of another Tropical Storm in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend and into early next week.

Dmitry Kiktev, Deputy Director of the Russian weather agency is predicting near normal temperatures and generally favorable conditions for the Winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi over February 6-23, 2013. As a precaution, organizers have stored nearly half a million cubic meters of snow in huge refrigerated reservoirs for deployment across the ski slopes should Mother Nature not provide an adequate amount of snow by the start of the Olympic Games. You can read more here.


MPR listener question

Earlier this year I heard you and Cathy talk about southeastern Minnesota (Grand Meadow specifically) as one of the wettest spots in the state. What are currently the wettest and driest spots in the state for 2013?

Answer: Fillmore County is probably still the wettest county in the state for 2013 as Ostrander reports over 40 inches of precipitation this year. Nearby Grand Meadow and Harmony have reported over 37 inches of precipitation for the year. The northwest is among the driest areas of the state. Both Warroad and Roseau report less than 15 inches for the year so far.

Twin Cities Almanac for September 20th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 69 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 50 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 20th

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 94 degrees F in 1937; lowest daily maximum temperature of 47 degrees F in 1875; lowest daily minimum temperature is 28 degrees F in 1962; highest daily minimum temperature of 75 F in 1895; and record precipitation of 1.82 inches in 1902; A trace of snow fell in 1927 on this date.

Average dew point for September 20th is 48 degrees F, with a maximum of 72 degrees F in 1970 and a minimum of 22 degrees F in 1930.

All-time state records for September 20th

The state record high temperature for this date is 99 degrees F at Fairmont (Martin County) in 1891 and at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 1984. The state record low temperature for this date is 14 degrees F at Karlstad (Kittson County) in 1973. State record precipitation for this date is 4.97 inches at Harmony (Fillmore County) in 1983; and state record snowfall for this date is 0.4 inches at International Falls (Koochiching County) in 1945 and again at Thief River Falls (Pennington County) in 1954.

Past Weather Features:

An 8-day Heat Wave prevailed over September 16-23, 1891. At least 13 Minnesota communities reported consecutive days with highs in the 90s F, and Montevideo topped out at 101 degrees F before cooling off to a high of only 68 degrees F on the 24th. September of 1891 proved to be the 4th warmest in state history.

A widespread hard-freeze ended the growing season for most parts of Minnesota on September 20, 1962. Many observers reported morning lows in the teens and twenties F. It was 28 degrees F as far south as Preston and Waseca. Indian summer came in October that year with a run of days with afternoon highs in the 70s and 80s F.

Another season ending hard frost and freeze came on September 20, 1973 with many observers reporting lows in the teens and twenties. Indian summer brought many days in the 70s F during October.

September 20, 1983 was extremely wet in southeastern Minnesota as strong thunderstorms brought 2-3 inches of rain to most places. Preston and Harmony were hit with nearly 5 inches of rain which caused a great deal of street flooding in those communities.

September 19-20, 1984 brought a brief September Heat Wave to the state with temperatures showing into the 90s F in 50 communities. Following the short Heat Wave temperatures plummeted on September 26th bringing a hard freeze to most areas.

A brief, small tornado (EF-0 winds 65-85 mph) touched down near Woodbury (Washington County) about 6:30 pm on September 20, 2007. No damage was reported as the funnel was on the ground for less than half a mile. Heavy rains and lightning strikes were reported from surrounding counties.


Mostly dry over the weekend with near average temperatures. Increasing cloudiness and stronger winds on Sunday. Warming temperatures next week with a chance for showers late Monday into Wednesday. The month should end very warm by next weekend as well.
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