Skip to main content

Wet, cool, and cloudy start to October

Wet, cool, and cloudy start to October:

The month of October has begun with plenty of moisture, measured in terms of rainfall, cloudiness, humidity, and dew points.

Cloudiness has been persistent across much of the state just as it was in the beginning of October 2005. Most days have had complete or near-complete cloud cover, with relative humidity ranging from 70 to 95 percent.

The majority of climate stations in the state have reported rainfall on at least one day and for some on three days so far in October, with many places already seeing a total of over 1 inch (2 to 2.50 inches is the range of normal total precipitation for the month of October in Minnesota).

A strong cold front passage affected the state on Wednesday, October 3rd. The dew point in the Twin Cities hit a remarkable 70°F on that day, setting a record high for the date, and matching only three other years in Twin Cities’ history when the dew point has it 70 degrees F in October, those years being 1962, 2005, and 2007. As a cold front swept across the state on Wednesday, October 3rd, many climate stations reported wind gusts over 40 mph, and some reported wind gusts over 50 mph, along with drastic temperature drops of 30 to 40 degrees F. In the Twin Cities the temperature dropped roughly 30 degrees F in 4 hours and 43 degrees F overnight. Some temperature falls in western Minnesota were remarkable from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning:

at Windom (Cottonwood County) the temperature dropped from an afternoon high of 85 degrees F to an overnight low of 34 degrees F, a 51 degrees F drop

at Lakefield (Jackson County) the temperature dropped from 84 degrees F to 29 degrees F, a 55 degrees F loss in temperature

at Pipestone the temperature went from an afternoon high of 84 degrees F to a Thursday morning low of 27 degrees F, a 57 degrees F drop

at Marshall the afternoon high of 89 degrees F was followed by an overnight drop of 60 degrees F to just 29 degrees F by Thursday morning…..whew! That is like stepping from July to December in less than 24-hours. Many other western and northern communities saw lows drop to just 25 to 28 degrees F by Thursday morning.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

In NOAA science news this week there is a post by Tom Di Liberto about how the forecasted El Nino episode this winter may boost the number and amplitude of high tide days along USA coastal regions for the coming winter season.

In a video released by the Yale Climate Forum they discuss how climate change makes for stronger storms. This video uses many well-known experts, with specific storm examples, and clear explanations.

The United Kingdom Meteorological Office announced this week that it is teaming up with the Surfers Against Sewage to mitigate pollution. Surfers Against Sewage campaigns against environmental pollution, and its current focus is on reducing and removing single-use plastic waste from the ocean environment.

There is an interesting interview posted this week by BBC News where their reporter had a Q&A with Dutch scientist Dr Heleen de Coninck who is one of the co-ordinating lead authors of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on 1.5C which will be released next Monday in South Korea. She expresses optimism and hope for reducing greenhouse gas emissions more dramatically in the future.

MPR listener question:

I am curious about the maximum spread between the high and low temperature for a single day in October. On (October 3) for example MSP reported a high of 79 degrees F and a low of 39 degrees F, on a midnight to midnight basis. Is that a record temperature spread for one day in October?


No, according to the Twin Cities climate records, there were at least two days when the temperature difference between the maximum and minimum was greater:

October 21, 1895 with a high of 63 degrees F and a low of 22 degrees F (41 F difference)
October 19, 1981 with a high of 66 degrees F and a low of 25 degrees F ( 41 F difference)

Twin Cities Almanac for October 5th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 44 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 5th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 88 degrees F in 2011; lowest daily maximum temperature of 37 degree F in 1952; lowest daily minimum temperature of 25 degrees F in 1952; highest daily minimum temperature of 63 degrees F in 2007; record precipitation of 2.31 inches in 1911. A trace of snow fell on this date in 1991.

Average dew point for October 5th is 42°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 67°F in 2007; and the minimum dew point on this date is 14°F in 1952.

All-time state records for October 5th:

The all-time state high temperature for today's date is 98 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1963; the all-time state low for today's date is 11 degrees F at Pine River (Cass County) in 1988. The all-time state record precipitation for this date is 6.61 inches at Wild River State Park (Chisago County) in 2005. Record snowfall for the date is 7.0 inches at Camp Norris (Lake of the Woods County) in 2012.

Past Weather Features:

October 5, 1935 brought record cold temperatures to many western and northern Minnesota communities. Morning lows ranged from 12 to 18 degrees F, as many shallow lakes and ponds showed a coating of ice, and farmstead water pumps froze up.

By far the warmest October 5th in state history came in 1963 when over 35 western and southern communities reported afternoon highs of 90 degrees F or higher. At some locations even the overnight lows remained in the 60s F.

A very early winter storm over October 5-6, 2000 brought the first significant snowfall of the season to many northern Minnesota communities. From 1-3 inches of snow fell across portions of Roseau, Pennington, Lake of the Woods, Beltrami, and Koochiching Counties in Minnesota.


Continued cooler than normal temperatures into the weekend with a chance for showers later on Sunday, even some snow flurries in northern areas. Continued cool and cloudy much of next week periodic chances for showers nearly everyday.

Print Friendly and PDF