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Temperature Moderation Brings More Precipitation

Temperature Moderation Brings More Precipitation:

After enduring the coldest first two weeks of November since 1991, temperatures over the past week have moderated from a few degrees warmer than normal to several degrees warmer than normal. With this change in pattern, more clouds and moisture have been prevalent too. Some areas of the state have seen precipitation (rain or snow) on four of the past five days. In fact portions of Fillmore, Wabasha, Olmstead, Mower, Freeborn, and Faribault Counties have reported between 1.5 and 2 inches of precipitation for the month so far. And up north many parts of Cass, Lake, St Louis, and Cook Counties reported 5 to 9 inches of snowfall on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Both Cass Lake and Isabella reported record snowfall on Thursday morning (Nov 21) with over 9 inches, while Gunflint Lake reported a new record snowfall amount of 8 inches, and Babbitt a new record amount of 7.5 inches.

It appears that this moderating temperature pattern and increased precipitation pattern across Minnesota may prevail for the rest of the month according to the outlook models. Northern Minnesota especially is expected to have above normal snowfall for the rest of November and into the first week of December.

New Seasonal Climate Outlook:

The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center released a new seasonal outlook on Thursday of this week. For the December-February period (core of the winter season) they call for equal probability of above or below normal temperatures prevailing across Minnesota. But, for most of the northern USA, including Minnesota, they see a continuation of the wetter than normal weather pattern, an indication of above normal snowfall. Snow lovers should be pleased with this outlook.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Tropical Storm Sebastien continues to gain strength in the central Atlantic Ocean where it could to become a rare late-season hurricane. Sebastien is more than 400 miles north-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands. The tropical storm is moving northeast into the open Atlantic waters and remains no threat to land.

Climate change will increase the size of stalled high-pressure systems that can cause heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather, according to a new study from Rice University. Atmospheric blocking high events are a feature of mid-latitude climates and appear to be increasing in length (number of days) as the climate changes. You can read more at the Science Daily web site.

A new report highlighted in this week’s AGU-EOS details the consequences of climate change for worker productivity and public health on a country by country basis. In the USA worker productivity has declined in some areas due to limits on higher temperature exposure (mostly in agriculture and some industries), while elderly citizens have suffered more from Heat Waves in recent summers.

MPR listener question:

My husband and I live in Walker and we are avid cross-country skiers and always look forward to the snow season. Most weekends you can find us exploring trails in central and northern Minnesota. We were wondering what are some of the maximum snow depths that have been recorded during the month of November, which is usually the first month that we can ski?


On a statewide basis some portions of Norman, Beltrami, Lake of the Woods, Koochiching, St Louis, Cook, and Lake Counties have seen over 30 inches of snow depth during November (these years include 1933, 1965, 1977, and 1991. The greatest November snow depth in your home community of Walker was in 1965 when it was 20 inches deep during the last week of the month. In the average year Walker sees a snow depth of about 6-7 inches by the end of November.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 22nd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 37 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 23 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 22nd:

MSP records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 60 degrees F in 2012; lowest daily maximum temperature of 12 degree F in 1921; lowest daily minimum temperature of -6 degrees F in 1880; highest daily minimum temperature of 45 degrees F in 2009; record precipitation of 0.74 inches in 2016. Record snowfall is 5.5 inches in 1898.

Average dew point for November 22nd is 29°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 53°F in 1963; and the minimum dew point on this date is -7°F in 1970.

All-time state records for November 22nd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 72 degrees F at Preston (Fillmore County) in 1990 and at St James (Watonwan County) in 2012. The state record low temperature for this date is -26 degrees F at Ada (Norman County) in 1896. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.18 inches at Willow River (Pine County) in 1898. Record snowfall for this date is 13.0 inches at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) also in 1898.

Past Weather Features:

November 22, 1896 was the coldest in state history. Following a recent snowstorm, a polar high- pressure system descended over the state from Canada and brought mid-winter cold. Most places saw subzero morning low temperatures. Many parts of northern Minnesota saw the thermometer register temperatures in the minus 20s F.

An early winter snow storm brought 7-13 inches of snowfall to many parts of Minnesota over November 21-22, 1898. Sleighs were used for Thanksgiving transportation.

The warmest November 22 occurred in 2012 when over 80 climate stations reported afternoon high temperatures of 60°F or greater. Springfield, Albert Lea, St James, and Winnebago reached 70° or higher.


Pretty good weekend for November coming up with plenty of sunshine and generally above normal temperatures. Continued sunny and mild on Monday, but then increasing cloudiness with a chance for rain or snow by Tuesday. Near normal temperatures but chances for light rain or snow on Wednesday and Thanksgiving day as well.

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Mary H. Meyer said…
Thank you Mark Seeley! Always fun to read the historic weather comparisons for Minnesota and see what is happening in the weather world.