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October Starts Warm

October Starts Warm:

Continuing the trend established by the summer months, October has started out very warm. The first 7 days of the month were the warmest since 2011 and rank as the 4th warmest first week of October in state climate history. Over 80 Minnesota climate stations have reported at least one day of 80°F temperatures during the first week of the month, topped by 89°F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on the first of the month and 86°F at Milan (Chippewa County) on the 4th.

Within the state climate network at least one stations reported an 80°F daytime temperature each day of the month so far (Oct 1-7). Within the statewide climate network 10 daily maximum temperature records have been set or tied during the first week of the month, while 69 warm minimum temperature records have been set or tied. Some examples: MSP Airport set a warm minimum temperature record on October 1st with a reading of 64°F, while Gunflint Lake set a record daily high temperature on October 3rd with a reading of 81°F.

Rainfall has been highly variable through the first week of October. Some areas in southwestern and central Minnesota have seen 1 to 3 inches of rainfall, but much of the rest of the state has only reported less than half an inch. A few record daily amounts were reported including 2.72 inches at St James (Watonwan County) on October 1st and 1.91 inches at Dawson (Lac Qui Parle County) on October 2nd. Driest areas so far have been the northwestern and southeastern counties.

According to the US Drought Monitor the areas of the state (all in the northern half) that are designated to be in Severe to Extreme Drought have declined slightly, to less than 50 percent of the Minnesota landscape.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

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 workplace please consider sending in a nomination. Instructions and more details are available on their web site.

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features an interesting article by Kimberly M.S. Cartier about communicating climate change impacts. Studies point to the importance of helping people interpret local impacts from extreme weather and connecting those impacts to their root cause: fossil fuel burning and the carbon pollution it produces.” This may help to make citizens take it even more seriously and to motivate more aggressive action.”

MPR listener question:

Us snow lovers remember you reporting on record-setting snowfalls last October (2020) when some places reported over a foot of snow. Were there other years when some Minnesota areas received over a foot of snow in October?


Indeed, some climate observers reported 16 inches of snowfall last October in central Minnesota. There have been 21 other years in Minnesota history back to 1891 when October has delivered a foot or more of snowfall to some areas of the state. Most recently this happened in 2018, 2009, 2006, and 2001. Back in 1916, 1926, and 1932 over 19 inches of snowfall came in October for some Minnesota locations.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 8th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 62 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 44 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 8th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 87 degrees F in 2010; lowest daily maximum temperature of 42 degrees F in 1977; lowest daily minimum temperature of 23 degrees F in 1876; highest daily minimum temperature of 71 degrees F in 2011; record precipitation of 1.43 inches in 1970. Record snowfall is 0.3 inches in 1959.

Average dew point for October 8th is 41°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 68°F in 1997; and the minimum dew point on this date is 17 degrees F in 1932.

All-time state records for October 8th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 91 degrees F at Milan (Chippewa County) in 2010. The state record low temperature for this date is 11 degrees F at Angus (Polk County) in 1917. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.50 inches at Burlington Township (Becker County) in 1860. Record snowfall is 6.5 inches at Duluth Harbor (St Louis County) in 1925.

Past Weather Features:

October 8, 1917 brought very cold temperatures statewide. Many areas reported morning lows in the teens and much of the rest of the state reported temperatures in the twenties F. The afternoon high temperature at Cloquet that day only reached 35°F.

October 7-8, 1985 brought an early taste of winter to Minnesota. Snowfalls of 1-6 inches were reported across northwestern and north-central Minnesota. They did not last long as temperatures quickly rebounded into the 50s F.

October 8, 2010 was exceptionally warm as over half of the state reported afternoon temperatures in the 80s F. Portions of Redwood, Blue Earth, Yellow Medicine, and Chippewa Counties saw temperatures reach 90°F.


Above normal temperatures will continue on Saturday, but with a good chance for showers and thunderstorm later in the day and carrying over into early Sunday. Cooler on Sunday and Monday with another chance for showers by late Monday. Chances for showers again on Wednesday as well, perhaps even heavier. Cooler and drier by Thursday.

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