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Preliminary Climate Summary for October 2022

Preliminary Climate Summary for October 2022:

With the forecast calling for above normal temperatures and no precipitation for the last four days of the month, a preliminary look at October’s climate is possible.

Temperature-wise, most climate stations will report a mean monthly temperature that ranges from 1 to 3°F above normal. Far from record-setting, nevertheless on a statewide basis this October will be among the 20 warmest historically. Extreme temperatures for the month ranged from 86°F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) on the 11th to just 6°F at Goodridge (Marshall County) on the 6th. Minnesota reported the nations coldest temperature only twice during the month.

Precipitation was below normal in October virtually everywhere in the state, with most observers reporting less than 1 inch. The driest area of the state was in the west where most climate observers reported less than half an inch of precipitation (a few eastern sections of the state were that dry as well). Some climate stations reported only 3 or 4 days with measurable precipitation, while some northern communities reported 8 or 9 such days, but the precipitation was consistently light. Snowfalls were measured over October 14 and 15, and some stations reported new daily snowfall amounts on those dates (usually 1 to 3 inches). Some northeastern Minnesota communities reported 3 to 5 inches, but it was short-lived with warmer temperatures coming shortly after the snowfalls.

At month’s end, much of Minnesota remains in the grip of at least Moderate Drought. Stream and river volume flows are low, and many lake levels are very low as well. Prospects for improvement in the drought situation before years end remain bleak.

Like so many months earlier in the year, October brought stronger than normal winds, with 8 to 12 days bringing wind gusts of 30 mph or greater.

Nominations for the 2023 MCAP Awards

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Program (MCAP) founded in 2008 promotes increasing climate resilience through research, collaboration & communication. MCAP conducts webinars and statewide conferences to bring people together to share their knowledge of climate change adaptation practices and strategies. Since 2014 MCAP has also given awards to individuals and groups in recognition of their outstanding work. The awards recognize and celebrate exceptional achievements in leadership, education, research, policies, and practices that improve resilience or climate justice through the development, advancement, or implementation of climate adaptation strategies. The award nominations are considered for five categories: Individual Adaptation Award
Collaborative Adaptation Award
Organization Adaptation Award
Creative Climate Communication Award
Climate Justice Leadership Award

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership Program is accepting nominations for awards until October 31. To nominate an individual, group, or organization go to the MCAP web site and fill out the nomination form.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

Winter annual crops planted in late summer or early autumn, delay flowering until spring and need cold to develop properly. The AGU-EOS Bulletin this week highlights a study that shows for plants that experienced warmer winters there were reduced yields due to a disturbance in dormancy. This is likely to be an attribute related to climate change which needs more study.

This week, the BBC web site features an interesting article about the Norwegian archipelago Svalgard which is well inside the Arctic Circle. Temperatures there are warming at over six times the rate of global temperature rise, and dramatic effects are emerging such as lose of sea ice and glaciers, as well as more land roving polar bears.

A recent article in the journal Nature documents the overall cost decline in producing solar energy due to development of efficient global supply chains in manufacturing solar arrays. Overall cost of solar energy has declined over the past 40 years becoming more competitive with the costs of other forms of energy. Future trade restrictions or disruptions in supply chains may have negative impacts on the continued progress in this energy source.

MPR listener question:

With all the drought headlines this fall in Minnesota, we are wondering what was the driest September and October in state history and how does this year compare?


On a statewide basis, the average precipitation for September and October (so far) is 2.11 inches, about 3.5 inches less than normal. The only drier combinations of September and October historically were 1976 (statewide average 1.55 inches) and in 1952 (statewide average of 0.79 inches). Both 1976 and 1952 were followed by wetter than normal years which made up for the autumn deficiency in precipitation.

For individual climate stations in Minnesota, the following precipitation statistics are revealing about the autumn dryness:

MSP 0.48 inches for September and October, 2nd driest in history

New Ulm 0.60 inches for September and October, 3rd driest in history

Windom 0.62 inches for September and October, driest in history

Wheaton .047 inches for September and October, driest in history.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 28th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 52 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 36 degrees F (plus or minus 9 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 28th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 75 degrees F in 1948; lowest daily maximum temperature of 24 degrees F in 1925; lowest daily minimum temperature of 17 degrees F in 1925; highest daily minimum temperature of 56 degrees F in 1974; record precipitation of 1.97 inches in 1874. Record snowfall is 0.4 inches in 1895.

Average dew point for October 28th is 34°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 59°F in 1946; and the minimum dew point on this date is 9 degrees F in 2008.

All-time state records for October 28th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 83 degrees F at Browns Valley (Traverse County) in 1983. The state record low temperature for this date is -9 degrees F at Angus (Polk County) in 1919. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.10 inches at Caledonia (Houston County) in 1900. Record snowfall is 9.5 inches at Big Falls (Koochiching County) in 1932.

Past Weather:

Ft Snelling weather observers noted prairie fires on this date in 1842, 1844, and 1850, all following dry Octobers. Another dry fall produced wildfires on Dayton's Bluff overlooking St Paul on October 29, 1861. Both prairie grasses and the woods caught fire back then, sending billowing smoke across the settlement.

The coldest October 28th in history was in 1919 when most climate stations reported a morning low temperature in the single digits or teens F. Ten northwestern counties reported subzero morning low temperatures and the daytime high at Park Rapids was only 22°F.

A winter storm passed across Minnesota over October 28-29, 1932 bringing a mixture of precipitation. Northern counties recorded significant amounts of snowfall, with several areas getting 5 to 10 inches. Big Falls reported almost a foot of snowfall.

October 28, 1983 brought record-setting warm temperatures to many parts of Minnesota. Daytime highs ranged from 70°F to 80°F with observers in Brown, Redwood, Yellow Medicine, Lac Qui Parle, and Traverse Counties reported temperatures in the 80s F.


Sunny, dry, and warm over the weekend and early next week, with above normal temperatures, some perhaps even close to record-setting. There will be a chance for precipitation towards the end of the week by Thursday, and a cool down in temperatures.

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