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Fall Cool-Down Arrives

Fall Cool-Down Arrives:

This past week brought the coolest temperatures of the fall so far to Minnesota. Over October 16-21 there were many mornings that brought frost to some parts of the state. In fact, well over 65 percent of the state landscape has recorded at least one frost now. Some of the coldest temperatures of the fall season occurred on October 21st and October 22nd with many areas reporting morning lows in the 20s F. Friday morning brought even more widespread frosts across the state with some readings in the low 20s to low 30s F. Hallock, Aitkin, and Bemidji all reported a low of just 19°F. The current pattern will bring a spell of days with cooler than normal temperatures. It is definitely time to break out the sweaters and sweatshirts and perhaps even start wearing knitted caps.

Fall Chore Season:

It appears that a cool-down weather pattern will last several days. Shallow soil temperatures will likely fall below 50°F in the next few days. Time for gardeners to start thinking about planting bulbs and using mulch. In fact, there are a number of fall chores that gain a sense of urgency when the temperature declines rapidly in the fall. Some examples:

Outdoor painting which typically requires 50 degrees F
Taking in the dock and winterizing the cabin at the lake
Putting up the storm windows
Cut, split, and stack firewood, clean the fireplace
Covering the air conditioner, checking the furnace
Caulking around doors and windows
Stocking up on deicer, salt, or grit for sidewalks and driveways
Checking the car's coolant system and flushing it if necessary
Considering new winter wiper blades
Cleaning the leaves out of gutters
Prune dead word from trees and shrubs
Raking the leaves from the yard
Cleaning grain storage areas
Checking heating systems in livestock buildings
Putting the winter survival kit back in the car
Testing the snow thrower
Inventory the winter wardrobe

Time to Nominate for Climate Adaptation Award

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Program is currently seeking nominations for its climate adaptation awards in 2022. There are four categories of awards:





The MCAP program is a one of a kind bringing together climate adaptation practitioners from all over the state. If you know of outstanding work within your community or work-place please consider sending in a nomination. Instructions and more details are available on their web site.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

NOAA released a new Winter Season Outlook this week in both written and mapped forms, as well as a YouTube video presentation. For Minnesota we have an equal chance for above or below temperatures as well as above or below precipitation during the December through February period. An important caveat is that NOAA scientists expect the Drought Situation across the state to improve somewhat. Already this fall the area of the Minnesota landscape showing Severe to Extreme Drought has shrunk to about 37 percent, all in the far north regions.

The BBC reported that areas of India and Nepal suffered severed damage from flash flooding this week as unusual heavy rains plagued the area. The Indian Meteorological Department reported that some areas received over a foot of rainfall in 24-hours. More than 180 people lost their lives in the flooding.

The Weather Channel reports on a “Parade of Atmospheric Rivers” that are expected to flow off the Pacific Ocean into California next week. The forecasts call for both frequent and heavy rains to impact parts of the drought-stricken western states. Heavy snows are expected in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains.

Science Daily reports on a recent research study from York University that lakes in the Northern Hemisphere are warming six times faster since 1992 than any other time period in the last 100 years, new research has found. They report that “Lake Superior, the most northern of the Great Lakes which straddles the Canada/United States border, is one of the fastest warming lakes, losing more than two months of ice cover since ice conditions started being recorded in 1857.”

MPR listener question:

We live in Granite Falls, along the border of Chippewa and Yellow Medicine Counties in western Minnesota. We are remembering that at this time last year we were shoveling snow, and that October was snowier than any other month? How often does this happen to be the case?


Indeed, last October Granite Falls reported 12.5 inches of snow, more than November (2020), December (2020), or January, February and March of 2021. I cannot find any other snow season in the climate history of Granite Falls when October was your snowiest month. So last year was truly an exception.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 22nd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 55 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 38 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 22nd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 81 degrees F in 1992; lowest daily maximum temperature of 31 degrees F in 1936; lowest daily minimum temperature of 20 degrees F in 1936; highest daily minimum temperature of 60 degrees F in 1914; record precipitation of 0.69 inches in 1957. Record snowfall is 1.0 inches in 1925.

Average dew point for October 22nd is 38°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 61°F in 2004; and the minimum dew point on this date is 12 degrees F in 2002.

All-time state records for October 22nd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 87 degrees F at Grand Meadow (Mower County) in 1899. The state record low temperature for this date is 0 degrees F at Meadowland (St Louis County) in 1937. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.52 inches at Preston (Fillmore County) in 1979. Record snowfall is 8.4 inches at Virginia (Lake County) in 1951.

Past Weather Features:

October 22, 1899 felt like summer to most southern Minnesota citizens as afternoon temperatures soared into the 70s and 80s F. In nine southern counties temperatures even reached the low to mid 80s F.

It felt like winter on October 22, 1936 as morning temperatures ranged from the single digits to the teens F in most places. As far south as Grand Meadow was just 17°F. The afternoon high temperature at Fosston (Polk County) only reached 21°F (more like a January day).

An early winter storm brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to Minnesota over October 20-22, 1951. Some southern counties reported 1-2 inches of rain, while up north and in western counties 4-8 inches of snow fell.


Mostly sunny and cool on Saturday with increasing clouds Sunday and a chance of rain, especially in the southern sections of the state. Continued cooler than normal until Tuesday, when temperatures will warm to near normal or above. Another chance for showers by the middle of next week. Temperatures will moderate either side of normal after that.

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