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Very Wet October So Far

Very Wet October So Far:

Harvesting of corn and soybeans has been slowed or delayed due to wet weather this month. So far at least 55 climate stations have reported new daily record amounts of rainfall, mostly during the first three days of the month, and over the the sixth through the 9th. In addition many places have reported consistent rain, about every two days or so. As a result a number of climate stations, especially in southern counties have reported a total of 4 to 7 inches of rainfall and we have not reached the mid-point of October yet. Across Minnesota normal October monthly rainfall ranges from two to three inches, so many locations have already received twice the average amount.

This October rainfall pattern follows the recent trend towards wetter than normal. Sixteen of the past twenty-two Octobers in Minnesota have been wetter than normal on a statewide basis, with three among the top five wettest historically. The silver lining in all this is that for most places the soils will be recharged with moisture for next spring's crops.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA scientists reported recently that the month of September was generally warmer and drier than normal across the nation. It was the 14th warmest in Minnesota state history back to 1895, and it overall wetter than normal but only by about a half inch of precipitation. Across the nation the first nine months of 2017 (Jan-Sep) rank as the third warmest in history, but the wettest in history as well. Many states will likely report their wettest year in history by the time we get to the end of December. Of course September of 2017 will be remembered more vividly for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

NOAA scientists also released a climate assessment of the environmental conditions which have produced the highly destructive California wildfires this autumn. Last winters abundant precipitation in California helped solve drought there but ushered in a very lush and productive growing season. Then the dry, hot summer brought about high risk for autumn fires.

The United Kingdom Met Office is commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Famous October 15-16, 1987 storm which brought 100 mph winds and much damage to the country. One of the worst ever storms to hit the United Kingdom, the winds and rain caused over 1 billion dollars in damage and 22 lives were lost. You can read more about this storm and the improvements made in forecasting by going to the Met Office web site.

In this week's Earth and Space Science News from the AGU there is an article about measuring the carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants in three different countries using satellite-based technologies. Though not as accurate as ground-based measurements, the satellites are useful in assessing seasonal variations and other attributes of these emissions.

MPR listener question:

What a wet month! I have never seen it so wet in October here in Fillmore County. What is the record amount of rainfall for the month of October in Minnesota?


The all-time record rainfall for October in Minnesota is 11.25 inches at St Charles (Winona County) in October of 1900. The record amount for Fillmore County in October is 7.92 inches in October of 2013.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 13th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 60 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 41 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 13th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 84 degrees F in 1956; lowest daily maximum temperature of 37 degrees F in 1937; lowest daily minimum temperature of 22 degrees F in 1917; highest daily minimum temperature of 62 degrees F in 1879, 1968, and 2000; record precipitation of 1.52 inches in 1890. Record snowfall on this date is 0.4 inches in 1969.

Average dew point for October 13th is 41°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 67°F in 1962; and the minimum dew point on this date is 14°F in 1937.

All-time state records for October 13th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 89 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1958 and at Luverne (Rock County) in 1975; the all-time state low for today's date is 2 degrees F at Sawbill Camp (Cook County) in 1936. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 4.71 inches at Fosston (Polk County) in 1984. Record snowfall is 7.0 inches at Warroad (Roseau County) in 2006.

Past Weather Features:

The coldest October 13th in state history occurred in 1933. Frosts occurred in all corners of the state, and the morning low temperature was record-setting, below 20 degrees F in over 30 communities around the state. Thin ice formed on ponds and shallow lakes.

An autumn season snow storm dominated the headlines in Minnesota over October 11-13, 1959. This snow temporarily halted the harvest season for many farmers and brought several inches to many parts of the state. Across southern and central areas of the state 3 to 7 inches of heavy, wet snow accumulated. Itasca State Park ended up with nearly 10 inches of snow for October of that year.

One of the warmest October 13ths in state history came in 1975 when over 20 climate stations reported a daytime high of 85 degrees F or higher. It brought a warm night too as the temperature never dropped below 60 degrees F at places like Austin and Preston.

A storm brought heavy rain, and even some snow to portions of the state over October 12-13, 1997. Many areas of southern Minnesota received 2-3 inches of rain, disrupting the harvest season and causing soil erosion on some plowed fields in southeastern counties. In the Red River Valley area 2-4 inches of snow fell.


Clouding up on Saturday with showers later in the day and evening, then partly cloudy with cooler than normal temperatures on Sunday. More frosts in northern counties. Drier and warmer weather for early next week with temperatures climbing to above normal values as daytime highs range from the upper 50s to upper 60s F.

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