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October Starts Warm and Dry

October Starts Warm and Dry:

Many areas of the state through the first week of the month are reporting average temperatures from 5 to 9°F warmer than normal. Afternoon high temperatures in the 80s F were reported from 9 southern Minnesota counties, and it was 70°F as far north as Gunflint Lake and Big Fork.

As for rainfall, most areas of the state have reported less than two tenths of an inch so far this month, except for a few spots in southwestern Minnesota and far northeastern Minnesota. Some areas of the state are reporting total precipitation for the year so far that is 7 to 10 inches less than normal. The US Drought Monitor shows an expanding area of drought encompassing the state as we move through the autumn season. Portions of 26 counties are in Severe Drought, while portions of 14 counties are in Extreme Drought according to the report this week. Much of the rest of the state is in Moderate Drought or at least drier than normal.

Conversely a few northern locations are still on a record-setting pace for a very wet year. For example, at International Falls the January through September (9 month0 total precipitation stands at 31.65 inches, the 2nd most ever in history there; at Grand Portage along the Lake Superior shoreline the January through September precipitation totals 31.63 inches, the most ever; and at Hibbing the January through September total precipitation of 27.22 inches ranks as the 3rd highest historically.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The BBC reported this week that Sydney, Australia, with 86 days left on the 2022 calendar, have already seen a recording setting year in precipitation. Their currently yearly total is close to 87 inches and will be added to over the next two and half months with the onset of summer. More rain is in the forecast for the coming weekend with rivers already swollen, soils already saturated, and dams full.

This week the Weather Channel features a story with some insights on how Hurricane Ian had devastating effects on the Shrimping Industry fleet that operates out of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. Up to 11 shrimping boats were destroyed or severely damaged by the storm, and it will take a good deal of time to recover.

There is a very interesting article in the journal Science this week that is titled “Why nations lead or lag in energy transitions.” The authors describe how some countries political structures and policies are much better suited for a transition to clean energy. Unfortunately the USA, Canada, and Australia do not fall in this category

MPR listener question:

You and Cathy have talked a lot about drought this year in Minnesota and the need for rainfall this fall season to replenish the soil moisture deficits, which are getting pretty large. What is the largest October single day rainfall ever reported in Minnesota, and do you think that level of rainfall could happen this month?


Many of the long-term climate stations in Minnesota have reported single day rainfalls over 5 inches during the month of October (as recently as 2005 and 2013). And two climate stations have reported over 7 inches in one day during October. As for this October, we may get our heaviest dose of rainfall the last week of the month. Over the first three weeks of October all the models favor a continuation of the drier than normal pattern.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 7th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 63 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 45 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 7th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 85 degrees F in 2011; lowest daily maximum temperature of 41 degrees F in 2000; lowest daily minimum temperature of 25 degrees F in 1976; highest daily minimum temperature of 68 degrees F in 1879; record precipitation of 0.98 inches in 1904. Record snowfall is a trace in 2002..

Average dew point for October 7th is 41°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 70°F in 2007; and the minimum dew point on this date is 14 degrees F in 2012 .

All-time state records for October 7th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 94 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1993. The state record low temperature for this date is 11 degrees F at Fort Ripley (Crow Wing County) in 1876. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.50 inches at Mankato (Blue Earth County) in 1931. Record snowfall is 4.0 inches at Morris (Stevens County) in 1894.

Past Weather Features:

An early winter storm brought 2 to 4 inches of snowfall to many portions of western and northern Minnesota on October 7, 1894. Morris reported 4 inches and Moorhead reported 3.3 inches. But the snow was short-live as temperatures warmed up into the 50s and low 60s F the next day.

Thunderstorms delivered one of the biggest rainfalls of the year over October 7, 1931, especially across southern Minnesota where 2 to 3 inches occurred. Mankato reported 3.5 inches, their single biggest one-day rainfall of that year.

Nearly every part of the state experienced a hard freeze on October 7, 1976. The only climate stations that did not report frost were in Grand Portage, Two Harbors, and Grand Marais. Many climate stations reported morning lows in the teens F.

October 7, 1993 was the hottest in history with over 60 communities reporting afternoon highs in the 80s F. Temperatures of 90°F were reported from 6 western Minnesota climate stations.


Mostly sunny with temperatures closer to normal this weekend. Dry and even warmer on Monday and Tuesday, then a chance for showers by Wednesday. Some of the rains could be significant in the southern half of the state. Cooler towards the end of next week.
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