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Snow cover season begins

Snow cover season begins:

Even though more than 100 climate stations reported some snow this autumn before November began, all of that snow melted as the ground was too warm for snow cover to persist. There have been 87 more reports of snow from the state climate network so far this month, ranging from a few tenths of an inch to over 4 inches. In the northwestern counties Detroit Lakes and Fertile have reported over 4 inches, while in the northeast Duluth and Two Harbors have reported over 4 inches. And further up along Lake Superior’s north shore Grand Portage has reported 13.5 inches this week. But now the ground temperatures are cold enough in some areas of the state for the snow cover to stick around. Air temperatures this month have been colder than normal, with many nights dropping into the teens F, and even daytime temperatures remaining in the 30s F. The high temperature on Thursday, November 8th in the Twin Cities was only 28 degrees F, while at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) the high only reached 19°F.

Soil temperatures at the 4 inch depth now range in the mid 30s F around the state, and some soils are freezing up at the 1 inch level. In the higher elevations of Lake and Cook Counties in northeastern Minnesota, snow cover ranges from 2 to 4 inches. The coming weekend may bring some additional snow to areas of the state as well, but after that looks to be a somewhat prolonged dry spell.

The Annual Minnesota Climate Adaptation Conference:

The Annual Minnesota Climate Adaptation Conference will be held next week on the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus. This brings together a diverse audience to discuss climate adaptation practices, and share knowledge about climate change impacts.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA reported this week that Alaska just recorded its warmest October in history with a statewide average temperature of 34.5°F, fully 9°F above normal. It was also the 6th consecutive warmer than normal October for that state, which has seen 9 of the last 10 Octobers average well above normal in terms of temperature.

Tropical Cyclone Alcide was well off the northeast coast of Madagascar churning with winds over 95 mph and sea wave heights of 24 feet on Thursday this week. It was expected to weaken and remain out to sea, posing no threat to that nation.

Diwali, the most important Hindu festival in north India, celebrates the victory of good over evil. This week in Delhi, India so many fireworks were used during the celebration that the air quality became a serious health risk, with widespread smog, and reports of very foul particulate matter in the air. You can read more from the BBC News.

MPR listener question:

From Lakeville, MN a question: it's been wet this fall when looking at total rainfall, but it seems that in this part of this year, there have been fewer than average rain-free days. Since September 1, how does the number of days on which some rain has fallen this year compare with similar periods in past years?


For September 1 to November 8, a period of 69 days, the Twin Cities climate record back to 1871 shows that the average number of days when a trace or more of precipitation falls is 29. So far this year MSP airport has reported a trace or more of precipitation on 36 days. So you are quite right to perceive that precipitation has been more frequent this autumn. Incidentally, back in 1941 precipitation occurred on 45 of the 69 days in this interval.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 9th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 45 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 30 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 9th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 70 degrees F in 1999; lowest daily maximum temperature of 22 degree F in 1945; lowest daily minimum temperature of 12 degrees F in 1945; highest daily minimum temperature of 52 degrees F in 1999; record precipitation of 1.28 inches in 1970. Record snowfall is 4.5 inches in 1983.

Average dew point for November 9th is 26°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 54°F in 1977; and the minimum dew point on this date is -1°F in 1913.

All-time state records for September November 9th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F at Springfield (Brown County) in both 1999 and 2006. The state record low temperature for this date is -15°F at Milan (Chippewa County) in 1921. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.08 inches at Cloquet (Carlton County) in 1983. Record snowfall for this date is 26.0 inches at St James (Watonwan County) in 1943.

Past Weather Features:

A massive, slow-moving winter storm brought very heavy snowfall to Minnesota over November 7-9, 1943. Many areas of the state received 12 to 26 inches, with widespread road and school closures.

By far the warmest November 9th in state history occurred in 1999, when the vast majority of climate stations in the state reported daytime highs in the 70s F. Several southern and southwestern communities reported temperatures of 80°F or higher. Being a Tuesday, some employees skipped out of work at lunch time to play a round of golf.


Colder than normal temperatures throughout the weekend and much of next week. Increasing cloudiness later on Saturday with a chance for snow showers until late morning on Sunday. Then generally dry, sunny, but cool for most of next week, with some moderation in temperatures by Thursday or Friday.

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