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October 2018 Climate Summary

October 2018 Climate Summary:

Cool and wet are the two appropriate descriptions of October of 2018. Cooler than normal temperatures prevailed on 65-70 percent of the days in the month, while a number of climate stations reported precipitation on 20 or more days. On a statewide basis October of 2018 was the 12th coldest in history back to 1895, and it was the 10th wettest in history.

Mean October temperature in 2018 ranged from 3 to 6 degrees F cooler than normal around the state. The highest reading was 89°F at Marshall (Lyon County) on the 3rd, and the coldest reading was 8°F at Hallock (Kittson County) on the 12th. Within the state climate network the following record daily values were reported:
6 reports of a record daily high maximum temperature
2 reports of a record daily high minimum temperature
10 reports of a record daily low minimum temperature
111 reports of a record daily low maximum temperature

Many climate stations reported monthly total precipitation ranging from 3 to 5 inches, well above normal. Several stations reported over 5 inches. In addition from 3 to 8 inches of snowfall came from the storms over the 11th to the 14th. Within the state climate network the following record daily values were reported:
56 reports of a record daily precipitation amount
49 reports of a record daily snowfall amount

The month was also very cloudy and windy with four days bringing strong winds over 40 mph. By the end of the month farmers were still harvesting corn, and soil temperatures had fallen below 40 degrees F so that fall nitrogen could be applied.

Norman Ford Endowment Lecture:

I was privileged to give the Norman Ford Endowment Lecture at the College of St Benedict and St John’s University on October 24th. The lecture was titled ‘The Ethics of Scientific Communication and the Challenges to Public Education About Climate Change: A Minnesota Perspective.” It was recorded and is available to view online using Utube.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Last summer in late August citizen scientists took to the streets to collect real-time data about the hottest places in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Their efforts paid off and new maps of the data are showing that, on one of the hottest days of summer, people in some Baltimore neighborhoods sweltered in temperatures of 103 degrees F, some 16 degrees higher than the coolest parts of the city at the same time in the afternoon. A similar pattern took place in D.C. a day earlier when temperatures soared to 102 degrees F in several neighborhoods, while other parts of the city were 17 degrees cooler. You can read more about it at NOAA News.

Researchers have shown that low-cost sensors that run on solar energy can be used to monitor air pollution after a disaster. This was done on Puerto Rico after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. The Science Daily web site features more details.

There is an interesting discussion this week in AGU’s EOS about research into how life recovered on Earth after historical mass extinction events. In the ocean ecosystem sometimes organisms at the top of the food chain we faster to re-populate.

MPR listener question:

I am trying to convince my brother-in-law who moved here last year from Georgia that Minnesota has climate extremes that are well beyond what he experienced in the Peach State. Can you tell us what the November temperature extremes are in Minnesota vs Georgia?


Here are the historical November temperature extremes in Georgia:
95°F at Brunswick, GA on November 8, 2001
2°F at Carrollton, GA on November 25, 1050
Here are the historical November temperature extremes for Minnesota:
84°F at Winona, MN on November 1, 1950
-45°F at Pokegama Dam, MN on November 30, 1896

A 93°F temperature range in Georgia and a 129°F temperature range in Minnesota.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 2nd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 49 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 33 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 2nd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 72 degrees F in 1978; lowest daily maximum temperature of 16 degree F in 1951; lowest daily minimum temperature of 9 degrees F in 1951; highest daily minimum temperature of 57 degrees F in 1938; record precipitation of 0.72 inches in 1901. Record snowfall is 5.3 inches in 1992.

Average dew point for November 2nd is 32°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 61°F in 1987; and the minimum dew point on this date is -5°F in 1951.

All-time state records for November 2nd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 80 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1965. The state record low temperature for this date is -11 degrees F at Moose Lake (Carlton County) in 1951. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.76 inches at Maple Plain (Hennepin County) in 1961. Record snowfall for this date is 24.0 inches at Two Harbors (Lake County) in 1991.

Past Weather Features:

The coldest November 2 in state history came in 1951. Following a big snowfall on October 30th of that year, an Arctic Air Mass brought subzero temperatures by November 2nd to over 35 Minnesota communities. At Detroit Lakes the temperature climbed to a daily high of only 11°F.

A summer-like storm with lightning and thunder brought heavy rains to many parts of Minnesota on November 2, 1961. Many areas of southern Minnesota received 1-2 inches of rain, while places like Gaylord, Winsted, and Young America received well over 2 inches, bringing a complete stoppage to farm field work.


The weekend will be mostly cloudy and wet with cooler than normal daytime temperatures. Many areas may see mixtures of rain/snow, though southern areas will likely see mostly rain. Much of next week will bring unsettled with cooler temperatures and with chances for rain and snow until Thursday.

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Anna said…
A question related to this blog post. I live in Winona and am curious about how often we've been having multi-day strings of wet-weather. It seems like this has been happening more often than normal, but maybe I'm just noticing this more because we recently got a dog and it's a real pain to exercise her when it just won't stop raining. I'm curious what the data says. For example, what is the frequency of having 72 hours of continuously wet (however that would be defined) weather in 2018 as compared to other years?