Skip to main content

September starts cool and dry

September starts cool and dry:

The month of September has begun cooler and drier than normal across the state. This helped to boost attendance over the final days of the State Fair. Temperatures for the month so far are running from 2 to 6 degrees F cooler than normal, and over 20 northern Minnesota climate stations have already reported morning lows in the 30s F. The coldest spots so far are Fosston (Polk County) with a reading of just 30 degrees F on the 6th and Crane Lake (St Louis County) with a reading of 30 degrees F on September 8th.

On Labor Day, September 4th a strong cold front crossed Minnesota during the afternoon bringing some showers and rapid temperature change. In St Cloud the temperature dropped over 21 degrees F in less than an hour during mid-afternoon, while in the Twin Cities the temperature dropped 10 degrees F in just 10 minutes during the late afternoon. Winds gusted to between 40 and 50 mph with the cold front passage. Many people at the State Fair sought shelter from the rain as well as warmer clothes.

The Galveston Hurricane of September 8, 1900:

On Saturday, September 8, 1900 between 6,000 and 8,000 people perished in Texas as a result of the landfall of the famous Galveston Hurricane. This storm is the center piece in the famous and popular book "Isaac's Storm" which documents the efforts of Dr. Isaac Cline, Director of the Galveston Weather Office in his attempts to warm residents of Galveston about the risks of this storm.

Three days following the landfall of the Galveston Hurricane, its remnant low pressure center had migrated north into portions of Missouri and Iowa, and brought thunderstorms and heavy rains to many parts of southern Minnesota. Many climate stations reported 2 to 5 inches of rain over September 11-12, and parts of Blue Earth County reported nearly 6 inches, a record amount that still stands today. Fall harvest activity was very delayed that month as a result of wet soils.

More on hurricanes and Minnesota weather can be found at the Minnesota State Climatology Office web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The NOAA National Hurricane Center is obviously having a very busy week monitoring the movements and intensity of three hurricanes: Katia in the southwestern part of the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of eastern Mexico; Jose in the Central Atlantic Ocean just east of the Lesser Antilles; and Irma now passing between Cuba and the Bahamas. Earlier in the week NOAA announced that Irma was one of the strongest and largest hurricanes to ever form in the Atlantic Ocean. It remains a very serious threat to Florida and the Carolinas as we head into the weekend.

A new study released by the United Kingdom Met Office in cooperation with the Woodland Trust reveals that earlier spring budburst for nine of eleven tree species is clearly related to a signal of climate change, warmer temperatures in March. Larch and Alder are two of the tree species most affected by this.

A recent study from Scientific Reports documents that ice-ocean albedo (reflectivity) feedbacks play a critical role in the variation and long term loss of Arctic Sea ice. This is a significant factor year to year in the ongoing seasonal loss of Arctic ice cover, which appears to be declining rapidly in the summer season in each passing year.

Earth and Space Science News editor Mohi Kumar was in Houston, TX during the passage of Hurricane Harvey last week and wrote a day by day account of the storm. It makes for a very interesting read and is written as an accounting by a survivor.

MPR listener question:

What has been the biggest snow storm in Minnesota during the month of September?


There have been two large ones which caused a great deal of disruption. Both occurred a long time ago. Over September 24-25, 1912 an early winter storm delivered a mixture of sleet and snow to northern Minnesota. Observers there reported 2 to 6 inches of snow, while parts of Polk County reported up to 7 inches of snow. Over September 25-26, 1942 a storm brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to many parts of the state. In many areas the total snowfall ranged from 4 to 8 inches. Roads were even plowed in Renville County following this storm.

Believe it or not both of these late September snow storms were followed by 70°F and 80°F days in early October!

MSP Local Records for September 8th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 99 degrees F in 1931; lowest daily maximum temperature of 54 degrees F in 1929; lowest daily minimum temperature of 36 degrees F in 1883; highest daily minimum temperature of 74 degrees F in 1931; record precipitation of 1.52 inches in 1885. No snowfall has occurred on this date.

Average dew point for September 8th is 55°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 73°F in 1947; and the minimum dew point on this date is 25°F in 1995.

All-time state records for September 8th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 105 degrees F at New Ulm (Brown County) in 1931; the all-time state low for today's date is 20 degrees F at Red Lake (Beltrami County) in 2000. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 5.54 inches at Young America (Carver County) in 1991. No snow has fallen on this date.

Past Weather Features:

The warmest September 8th for Minnesota was in 1931 when over 30 communities reported afternoon temperatures of 100 degrees F or higher. In western Minnesota the overnight temperature never dipped below 76 degrees F at Milan, Canby, and Montevideo. Some people slept on their porch or on the lawn outside.

The coldest September 8th was in 1956 when 15 Minnesota climate stations reported low temperature in the 20s F, bringing an early end to the growing season.

Thunderstorms brought heavy rains to many parts of the state over September 8-9, 1991. Many climate stations reported rainfall totals of 3 to 7 inches, with many flooded roads and highways. New London in Kandiyohi County reported over 8 inches of rain.


Partly cloudy with a warming trend over the weekend, and generally dry weather. Continued warmer than normal temperatures through much of next week with little chance for precipitation.
Print Friendly and PDF