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Warm and Dry Start to September

Warm and Dry Start to September:

Temperatures so far are averaging 3 to 5 degrees warmer than normal around the state over the first 8 days of the month. Seventeen climate stations have reported at least one day in the 90s F so far this month, while only Brimson (St Louis County) has reported a frost so far.

Until Friday of this week rainfall has been scarce to absent in most places. Only a few spots have been grazed by spotty showers so far, mostly in southeastern Minnesota. The overall pattern of dryness and drought within the state has remained fairly constant since the last week of August. Amounts from Friday’s rain showers and thunderstorms are expected to range from 0.50 inches to 1.50 inches in many areas, welcome moisture for most areas of the state.

Unlike earlier months this year, winds have been relative mild so far this month, with very few wind gusts of 30 mph or greater and a number of hours of calm.

Charles Dickens and “the Queen’s Weather”:

In the mid-19th Century Charles Dickens coined the phrase “Queen’s Weather” to describe a cloudless sky and a day with brilliant sun that brightened everyone’s spirits. Just as we appreciate a cherished memory that is enhanced by beautiful weather (a baptism, wedding, birthday celebration, parade, or fishing trip), I suspect that the memory of Queen Elizabeth II will evoke many uplifting memories for millions of people because of her stabilizing influence through challenging times.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The BBC Weather Center reported this week that EU scientists who analyzed data from the Copernicus satellite found that this summer was the warmest ever for Western Europe. In July temperatures reached as high as 104°F in England, and as high as 116°F in Portugal. Many records were also set in France. August was the warmest in history for many Western European countries as well.

In the Western Pacific Ocean Tropical Storm Muifa was expected to become a typhoon as it moves to the northwest towards Taiwan this weekend. It was expected to graze the northern parts of that island early next week with heavy rains.

According to the Weather Channel northern portions of Hurricane Kay in the Eastern Pacific Ocean may bring some significant rainfalls to southern California this weekend. This would provide some relief from drought conditions there. The National Hurricane Center forecasts that 2 to 6 inches of rainfall may occur over far Southern California landscapes by Sunday.

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin contains an interesting article about the aftermath of the asteroid impact that destroyed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Though there were immediate and tremendously widespread destructive consequences from the impact, there was a great deal of extinction brought by the following climate change, primarily produced by volumes of sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere which cooled the planet dramatically.

MPR listener question:

Chatting with the man who will paint my garage this autumn. He said he has to paint when the temperature is above 50°F during the day, and usually after November he does no more outside painting until April. What does climate say about painting outdoors in Minnesota during the autumn season?


The average maximum daily temperature starts to dip below 50°F in far northern Minnesota (International Falls for example) about mid-October. Conversely in southern Minnesota (Winona for example) the average maximum temperature remains above 50°F through the first week of November. So there roughly a three-week spread in this climate characteristic across the state. With climate change in Minnesota over recent years we have even seen some 50°F days prevail into early December in some years, but obviously we cannot count on that to happen.

Word of the Week: Biofog

This refers to a type of steamfog that results when a very cold air mass comes into contact with the warm moist air which usually surrounds humans or animals. It is usually very local in nature and sometimes can be seen around livestock feedlots in the fall in Minnesota. Another very small scale example is when people exit from a health club or gymnasium in the evening and the warm moist air from inside the building meets the cold night air near the doorways. Sports fans may have memories or visions of what this looks like as a result of seeing Viking, Lion, Bear or Packer football players emerge from the locker room at halftime. There are also some historical references to this in literature which describes massive steam clouds surrounding buffalo herds on the great plains during 19th Century.

Twin Cities Almanac for September 9th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 76 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 57 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for September 9th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 95 degrees F in 1947; lowest daily maximum temperature of 55 degrees F in 1929; lowest daily minimum temperature of 38 degrees F in 1883; highest daily minimum temperature of 76 degrees F in 1931; record precipitation of 1.79 inches in 1900. No snow has been reported on this date.

Average dew point for September 9th is 55°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 75°F in 1964; and the minimum dew point on this date is 33 degrees F in 1976.

All-time state records for September 9th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 105 degrees F at Beardsley (Big Stone County) in 1931. The state record low temperature for this date is 19 degrees F at Embarrass (St Louis County) in 2006. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.75 inches at Gunflint Lake (Cook County) in 1977. No measurable snowfall has occurred on this date.

Past Weather Features:

A storm enhanced by the remnants of the famous Galveston hurricane of 1900 brought heavy rainfall to portions of Minnesota over September 9-10, 1900. Many areas in the southern half of Minnesota reported 3 to 5 inches of rainfall with over 7 inches falling in Bird Island (Renville County). This heavy rainfall delayed harvesting activity of farmers until late in the month.

The warmest September 9th in state history was in 1931 when most areas of the state reported high temperatures in the 90s F. Climate stations in Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Redwood, Brown, Yellow Medicine, and Wilkin Counties reported temperatures of 100°F or greater.

Widespread frosts occurred across the northern third of Minnesota on the morning of September 9, 2009. Morning lows ranged from 19°F (at Embarrass) to 32°F (at Itasca State Park), bringing a sharp end to the growing season. The high temperature at Bruno (Pine County) only reached 53°F that day.


Cooler over the weekend with lingering chances for scattered showers in southeastern areas of the state early on Saturday. Warming up to near normal by Tuesday of next week with a chance for showers again by Thursday.

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