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November Climate Summary

November Climate Summary:

Cold and dry are the words for November. It was the coldest November since 2014 with average monthly temperatures around the state ranging from 5 to 7 degrees F below normal. Approximately two-thirds of the days brought cooler than normal temperatures. Extremes for the month ranged from 61°F at Marshall on the 1st to -20°F at Cotton (St Louis County) on the 20th. Within the state climate network over 75 low minimum temperature records were set or tied during the month, while over 90 low daytime maximum temperature records were set or tied.

Precipitation was less than normal for the month in most places, ranging mostly from 0.50 to 1.50 inches. Some places received over 2 inches, topped by 2.70 inches at La Crescent and 3.11 inches at Grand Portage. Snowfall was variable, with many areas around the state reporting 3 to 6 inches, and higher amounts in the north. In the northeast many climate stations reported 10 to 19 inches for the month. Grand Portage climate station set a new daily snowfall record on November 12th with 12 inches.

Lastly, even for November it was a cloudy month, with only 1 or 2 clear sky days. Nearly 80 percent of all days were cloudy or mostly cloudy.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

A quick assessment of the first 11 months of 2018 in Minnesota shows that mean temperatures around the state are slightly warmer than normal (significantly cooler thought than the last three years). Seventeen of the last 20 years have been warmer than normal. Also the first 11 months of 2018 rank among the wettest 15 in state history. Fourteen of the past 20 years have been wetter than normal in Minnesota.

AGU-EOS this week feature an article about the costs and risks associated with climate change in the USA. It is a part of the Fourth National Climate Assessment and describes some significant risks associated with specific geographic regions of the country.

The University of Notre Dame offers an Urban Climate Assessment Tool for city councils and city sustainability officers to use in planning for climate resilience. For some cities within our region this tool would be worth checking out.

United Kingdom Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced earlier this week the results of a comprehensive look ahead at climate change signals and consequences expected over the rest of this century. Warmer summers and more extreme events are expected, along with significant sea levels rises. You can read more at the Met Office web site.

MPR listener question:

I heard some people say that the reason California has had such persistent drought and higher fire danger is because nighttime temperatures have increased so much that fog and dew do not occur with the same frequency they once did. Is this true?


Indeed climate data from California recently shows that nighttime temperatures have been increasing and not allowing as much fog and dew to form. This denies the landscape vegetation of something that was historically known as “occult precipitation” which is the condensation that forms on vegetation as a result of the nighttime air temperature dropping to the dew point. It may have been a contributing factor to the higher fire risk this autumn.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 30th

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 33 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 18 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 30th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 62 degrees F in 1922; lowest daily maximum temperature of 2 degree F in 1896; lowest daily minimum temperature of -17 degrees F in 1964; highest daily minimum temperature of 42 degrees F in 1962; record precipitation of 0.84 inches in 1934. Record snowfall is 8.0 inches in 1934.

Average dew point for November 30th is 17°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 48°F in 1922; and the minimum dew point on this date is -21°F in 1964.

All-time state records for November 30th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 68 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 1922. The state record low temperature for this date is -45 degrees F at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1896. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.80 inches at Moose Lake (Carleton County) in 2010. Record snowfall for this date is 18.0 inches at Willmar (Kandiyohi County) in 1985.

Past Weather Features:

November 30, 1896 was the coldest in state history by far. With several inches of snow covering the ground and Arctic Air Mass passed over the state bringing extreme low temperatures. Over 15 communities saw low temperatures plummet to -20°F or colder. The high temperature at Roseau was -19°F, after a morning low of -36°F.

Over November 28 to December 1, 1985 back to back winter storms brought very heavy snowfalls to Minnesota. Many new daily record snows were measured, and total snowfalls over the four days topped 18 inches in many parts of the state. Willmar totaled over 25 inches.

Ten years ago an unusual warm spell of weather from November 27 to December 3, 1998 allowed for many Minnesota golf courses to open for a late autumn round of golf. Temperatures were in the 50s and 60s F each day with several hours of sunshine and no snow on the ground.


A strong winter storm will affect the southern half of Minnesota over the weekend, especially late Saturday through early Sunday. Mixed precipitation will fall in some areas, while southern counties get heavy snow, as much as 6-8 inches. Freezing rain earlier on Saturday may be a possibility on some areas, before the storm system turns to all snow. Strong winds will also make driving difficult. Relatively quiet weather will prevail from Monday through Thursday of next week with colder than normal temperatures. A chance of snow returns by later on Thursday.

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The early snow cover this year makes me think we are in for a "long white".
My question for Weather Talk is what is the record for continuous days of snow cover in the Twin Cities...and the state?