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Beautiful start to October

Beautiful start to October:

Four of the first five days of the month brought either perfectly clear days or mostly sunny skies to the state with comfortable temperatures, light winds, and low relative humidity. Beautiful autumn weather prevailed and raised everyone’s spirits.

This pattern conforms to a study of Dr. Donald Baker at the University of Minnesota several decades ago that showed late September and early October had the highest frequency of clear skies of any period in the year. Dr. Kenny Blumenfeld of the DNR State Climatology Office has updated the autumn climate pattern associated with clear sky frequencies in Minnesota.

With the clear skies dominating early October, some of the overnight low temperatures have fallen into the 30s F. Such low temperatures were common this week in northern communities. Temperatures in the 30s F were also reported from Redwood Falls and Lake Wilson in southwestern Minnesota, and it was just 32°F one morning this week at Luverne (Rock County).

The first snowfalls of the season in Minnesota were also reported this week (Thursday night) from areas of St Louis County, including Embarrass with 0.5 inches, Orr with 0.7 inches, and Celina with 1.0 inches. Still other locations reported a trace of snow.

The 24th Annual Kuehnast Lecture, October 12th:

The24th Annual Kuehnast Endowment Lecture will take place on Wednesday, October 12th at 2pm in the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus Student Center Theater. Our topic this year is “Climate Change and the American Free Enterprise System.” Our speakers are Paul Douglas, former Twin Cities broadcast meteorologist and President of Aeris Weather; and Bob Inglis, former South Carolina Republican Congressman and founder of, which is centered on conservative principles and a free-enterprise solution to climate change. This program is free and open to the public.

Hurricane Matthew hits Florida:

Strong Hurricane Matthew ran up along the Atlantic coast of Florida on Thursday and Friday this week as a Category 3 systems (winds 111-129 mph) and a storm surge of 7 to 11 feet, rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches, and wave heights of 10 to 20 feet. It is likely to be the most destructive hurricane to hit Florida in decades, perhaps since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Undoubtedly there will be more headlines about Matthew this weekend.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The EPA announced recently a new web portal to help communities prepare for climate change through adaptation strategies and practices. It is tailored to the geography and climates of different regions of the country.

There is an interesting article this week by NOAA about climate change impacts on the New England lobster. Changes in water temperatures are having an effect on their population and range.

New research from Rutgers University scientists suggests that as climate continues to change, the combined warming of the Atlantic Ocean and the atmosphere will produce the potential for more power tropical storms than Hurricane Sandy.

Earth& Space Science News featured an article this week about the big hurricane season in the Eastern North Pacific Ocean during 2015. Record breaking levels of sea surface temperatures had a lot to do with it.

MPR listener question:

You remarked earlier on Morning Edition that some areas of northern Minnesota may have their first snow in October. Where specifically do you think this might happen?


Well, the National Weather Service issued its first winter weather advisory of the season on Thursday night this week. Counties that might see their first autumn snowfall include Beltrami, Koochiching, St Louis, Lake of the Woods, Cook, Lake, and Clearwater. So we’ll see if measurable amounts are recorded there.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 7th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 62 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 43 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 7th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 85 degrees F in 1997, 2003, and 2011; lowest daily maximum temperature of 41 degrees F in 1915 and 2000; lowest daily minimum temperature is 25 degrees F in 1976; highest daily minimum temperature of 68 degrees F in 1879; record precipitation of 0.98 inches in 1904; and a trace of snowfall was recorded in this date in several years, most recently in 2002.

Average dew point for October 7th is 41 degrees F, with a maximum of 70 degrees F in 2007 and a minimum of 14 degrees F in 2012.

All-time state records for October 7th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 94 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1993. The state record low temperature for this date is 11 degrees F at Fort Ripley (Crow Wing County) in 1876. State record precipitation for this date is 3.50 inches at Mankato (Blue Earth County) in 1931; and record snowfall is 4.0 inches at Morris (Stevens County) in 1894.

Past Weather Features:

On October 7, 1894 from 1 to 3 inches of snow fell across portions of central Minnesota. The observer at Moorhead reported 3.3 inches. t was an early start to the snow season.

Very hard freeze occurred on October 7, 1896 with temperatures in the teens and twenties F from the Iowa border all the way north to Canada. It was 14°F at Pokegama Dam and 24°F at Grand Meadow. This was an abrupt end to what had been a relatively mild autumn.

October 7, 1992 brought heavy rains to southern Minnesota as several climate stations reported over 2 inches of rain, abruptly halting the harvest season for corn and soybeans. Owatonna received over 3 inches. October 7, 1993 was the warmest in history, with afternoon temperatures ranging into the 80s F in almost all parts of the state. Scores of communities set daily high temperature records.


Cooler than normal temperatures over the weekend with chances for patchy frosts. Warming trend begins on Monday and runs through much of next week, with a chance for precipitation on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sharply warmer by the end of next week.

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