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Wet October Amplifies

Wet October Amplifies:

Hard to believe but Austin, Wells, Grand Meadow, and Two Harbors climate stations have reported over 5 inches of precipitation so far this month, just past half way. Another 50 climate stations have reported over 4 inches for the month so far. October is the 7th month of 2019 that is wetter than normal on a statewide basis. Portions of Dodge, Steele, and Olmsted Counties have already reported over 50 inches of precipitation for the year so far. On a statewide basis January 1 to October 16 period is the wettest since statehood in 1858. This wet pattern shows no sign of abating.

During the big storm of last weekend, which hit the Dakotas worse than Minnesota, portions of northern Minnesota reported some significant snowfall amounts. Many areas received between 3 and 9 inches, while Battle Lake (Otter Tail County) reported 13 inches of snow on October 13th setting a new all-time state record for that date (surpassing the 7 inches that Baudette received on October 13, 2006).

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA-Climate Prediction Center release a new winter season (Dec-Feb) outlook this week. Their assessment is heavily weighted to recent trends, as well as the Madden_Julian Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation. The trend analysis supports the notion that winter will be wetter than normal across the northern tier of central states including Minnesota. So snow lovers may be happy, though we could also see some winter rain showers with oscillating above and below normal temperatures during the winter.

Other NOAA News this week highlights a report about evidence of dramatic climate change in Alaska over the past 5 years and some of its disturbing consequences. One piece of evidence is a dramatic shrinking of the snow season in Alaska, but there are many others.

NOAA-NCEI also reported this week that the global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average for September 2019 tied with 2015 as the highest for the month of September in the 140-year NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. The year-to-date temperature for 2019 was the second warmest January–September on record.

MPR listener question:

Yet another thunderstorm woke me up on Wednesday night this week in the Twin Cities. This has happened a lot this year. How many days have brought thunderstorms this year?


Using the observers from MSP Airport for 2019 there have been 42 days with thunderstorms in the Twin Cities. Obviously not all of them were nocturnal. There distribution by month was:

April brought 3 days
May brought 5 days
June brought 5 days
July brought 9 days
August brought 10 days
September brought 9 days
October has brought 1 day so far

This is not an unusual number of thunderstorm days. There are many years that have brought over 50 days.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 18th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 57 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 39 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 18th:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 87 degrees F in 1950; lowest daily maximum temperature of 30 degree F in 1930; lowest daily minimum temperature of 18 degrees F in 1972; highest daily minimum temperature of 61 degrees F in 1950; record precipitation of 1.05 inches in 1979. Record snowfall is 1.3 inches also in 1976.

Average dew point for October 18th is 39°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 65°F in 1971; and the minimum dew point on this date is 9°F in 1972.

All-time state records for October 18th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 87 degrees F at MSP Airport and Chaska (Carver County) in 1950. The state record low temperature for this date is 5 degrees F at Crookston (Polk County) in 1992. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.25 inches at Deep Portage (Cass County) in 1994. Record snowfall for this date is 16.0 inches at Baudette (Lake of the Woods County) in 1916.

Past Weather Features:

October 18-19, 1916 brought heavy snow and a blizzard to many portions of northern Minnesota. Many areas received 6-12 inches of heavy wet snow, while Baudette reported a total of 16 inches, the highest single day total ever observed in the month of October.

October 18, 1972 was likely the coldest in state history with most of the state reporting morning low temperatures in the teens. At least 10 climate stations reported minimum temperatures in the single digits, and the daytime high only reached 27 degrees F at Babbitt.


Mostly dry and sunny over the weekend with above normal temperatures. Increasing cloudiness later on Sunday with a chance for rain. Rain continues through Monday and Tuesday, but with cooler temperatures settling in. Remaining cooler than normal much of next week with another chance for rain by late Wednesday and into Thursday.

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