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Near Record Warmth for First Half of October

Near Record Warmth for First Half of October:

Temperatures have continued well above normal through the first two weeks of October. Most areas have reported average temperatures from 10 to 12 degrees F warmer than normal. Over 120 warm daily minimum temperature or warm daily maximum temperature records have been set within the state climate station network.

For the first two weeks of the month at MSP airport the average temperature ranks as the third highest in history (back to 1872), trailing only October of 1879 and 2011. Further north it has been even warmer in a historical context as International Falls reports their warmest first two weeks of October in history, beating the old record from 1920. Most areas of the state have yet to report a frost this autumn season. Both Mora and Hinckley reported frost on Friday morning (October 15). The first widespread threat for frost around the state may come on Saturday morning.

Several areas of western and northern Minnesota (some in the area of Severe to Extreme Drought) benefitted from 1 to 2 inches rains last weekend. Dawson (Lac Qui Parle County) reported nearly two inches, while Alexandria (Douglas County) received over 2 inches. Crookston (Polk County) and Artichoke Lake (Big Stone County) reported over 3 inches. As a result, the US Drought Monitor map released on October 14th showed some improvement for Minnesota, as the area of Severe to Extreme Drought dropped to about 42 percent of the landscape (it was over 50 percent at the end of last month).

Please Nominate for the MCAP Awards:

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 reported that a La Nina Episode has fully emerged in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean and will be in play as a weather influencer this winter. It is expected to influence the weather pattern across the USA during the upcoming months of December, January, and February. NOAA scientists at the Climate Prediction Center will provide a more detailed updated outlook for this period in a news release on October 21st (next week).

In a recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters scientists document the first spatially comprehensive, global-scale characterization of the magnitude, seasonal timing, and frequency of dry- and wet-bulb temperature extremes and their trends. Their findings show that humid-heat extremes (high Heat Index Values) have increased disproportionately overpopulated regions relative to global land-areas and population exposure to humid-heat has increased at a faster rate than to dry-heat.

The BBC reported this week record-setting rains across portions of Greece.  Some areas received well over a month's worth of rain (6-12 inches), including the island of Corfu, where there was widespread flooding reported.  Heavy rains were also expected to affect portions of Turkey over the weekend.

MPR listener question:

(From Jeff Vetsch) At the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca we are reporting a record number of Growing Degree Days (daily temperature accumulation above 50°F) for growing corn this year, over 3000. Can you tell us how far south in the Corn Belt you would have to look to find a climate that produces an average of 3000 Growing Degrees Days for corn during a typical growing season?


The answer is southern Iowa. Farmers who grow corn near Indianola or Ottumwa, Iowa typically choose hybrids suited for 3000 Growing Degree Days person growing season. That is about 250 miles south of Waseca, MN

Twin Cities Almanac for October 15th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 59 degrees F (plus or minus 12 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 41 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 15th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 85 degrees F in 1968; lowest daily maximum temperature of 40 degrees F in 2009; lowest daily minimum temperature of 21 degrees F in 1876; highest daily minimum temperature of 66 degrees F in 1968; record precipitation of 1.24 inches in 1966. Record snowfall is 0.3 inches in 1992.

Average dew point for October 15th is 38°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 69°F in 1962; and the minimum dew point on this date is 13 degrees F in 1952.

All-time state records for October 15th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 93 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1958. The state record low temperature for this date is 8 degrees F at Alborn (St Louis County) in 1937. The state record precipitation for this date is 5.46 inches at Theilman (Wabasha County) in 1966. Record snowfall is 10.0 inches at Isabella (Lake County) in 1966.

Past Weather Features:

Very cold temperatures gripped the state on the morning of October 15, 1937. Most places reported morning lows in the teens and twenties F. Ice began to form on the surface of some northern lakes. The daytime high temperature at Albert Lea only reached 36°F.

Summer-like conditions prevailed on October 15, 1958 when most places in the state saw daytime temperatures reach the 70s and 80s F. Portions of southern and southwestern Minnesota reached the 90s F.

A strong storm system brought a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow to the state over October 14-15, 1966. Some southern Minnesota communities reported 3-5 inches of rain that flooded some roads and highways. Heavy snow occurred in northeastern Minnesota. Many places reported 6-10 inches of snowfall. The snow was short-lived as temperatures rebounded into the 40s and 50s F by October 17th.


Starting out very cool Saturday morning (some frosts in rural areas),but warming up to near normal temperatures by afternoon. Warming trend for Sunday through Tuesday with temperatures above normal. Somewhat cooler and closer to normal for Wednesday and Thursday. Generally, a dry period coming up.

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