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November Turns Wet

November Turns Wet:

With nearly everyday bringing some form of precipitation to the state over the last week, most climate observers are reporting a wetter than normal November so far. Rain and snow have fallen in most areas, especially over November 9 and 10, when scores of observers reported 1 to 2 inches of precipitation. In fact, several climate stations reported new daily record values for November 10th, including:
1.66 inches at Dawson
1.35 inches at Milan
1.50 inches at Artichoke Lake
1.59 inches at Mora
1.67 inches at Isle
1.87 inches at Cloquet
1.35 inches at Hibbing
1.27 inches at Brainerd
1.92 inches at Two Harbors

Thanks to the wet spell, many places in central and northern Minnesota report over twice normal precipitation for the month so far, some between 2 and 4 inches. Wolf Ridge (Lake County) along the north shore of Lake Superior reports 5.06 inches of precipitation so far, their 2nd wettest November in history.

Snowfall has been abundant too this week, especially in northern Minnesota from Roseau east to Grand Portage. Many places have reported 6 to 10 inches of snowfall for the week. Gunflint Lake reported a new daily record snowfall of 5.5 inches on November 15th, while Wolf Ridge reported a record 8.9 inches on November 17th, which brought their monthly total snowfall to near 30 inches.  The Minnesota DNR State Climatology Office offers a nice summary of the over precipitation from these storms.

According to the US Drought Monitor the area of Minnesota embedded in some form of drought shrunk slightly over the previous week. Roughly 48 percent of Minnesota is designated to be in Moderate Drought or worse.

Weather Potpourri:

This week BBC meteorologist Ben Rich looks at how some of the extreme weather around the world in 2022 shows why we should care about climate change. It is an effective video to share with kids in the classroom.

A new study appearing in Nature Communications reveals that the composition of vegetation in Arctic environments that have already been impacted by climate change dictates to a large degree the rate or pace of warming. The results demonstrate that some of the greatest differences in energy conversion are found between dry areas with little vegetation, where grasses and lichens typically grow, and wet areas such as peat bogs, that are rich in mosses, shrubs and small trees. Dry soil surfaces produce greater warming than wet areas as the energy from wet areas is converted into evaporation.

A recent paper in Environmental Research Letters suggests that climate change will impact lightning distribution and frequency across Europe. This will partially be caused by a change in the mixing depth of the lower atmosphere and also the composition of droplets in the clouds, both of which affect lightning potential.

MPR listener question:

With the recent onset of cold temperatures and snow can you tell us if soils are starting to freeze up yet around the state?


According to reports from the Minnesota State Climatology Office, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the North Dakota State Climatology Office shallow soil temperatures (between 4 and 6 inches) are ranging between 33°F and 35°F the past couple of days. So they are on the threshold of freezing up at least in the surface layers. With the onset of even colder temperatures over the weekend (perhaps single digits above and below zero) it is likely they will freeze up by early next week. The deeper layers of soil, beyond 10 inches deep remain in the 40s F.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 18th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 41 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 27 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 18th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 68 degrees F in 1941; lowest daily maximum temperature of 13 degrees F in 1874; lowest daily minimum temperature of -4 degrees F in 1891; highest daily minimum temperature of 53 degrees F in 1953; record precipitation of 0.82 inches in 1981. Record snowfall is 7.6 inches in 1957.

Average dew point for November 18th is 26°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 56°F in 1941; and the minimum dew point on this date is -2 degrees F in 1989.

All-time state records for November 18th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 75 degrees F at Faribault (Rice County) in 1923. The state record low temperature for this date is -19 degrees F at Duluth (St Louis County) in 1940. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.10 inches at Hinckley (Pine County) in 1996. Record snowfall is 15.0 inches at Crookston (Polk County) in 1998..

Past Weather:

On November 18 of 1953 a September-like weather pattern prevailed across the state bringing temperatures that were over 20 degrees F above normal. Most places in the state reported afternoon highs in the 60s F, with 70s F being reported from 11 counties. Little snow was on the ground.

November 18-19 of 1981 brought heavy, wet snow in a narrow band across much of central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities. Many areas reported 10 or more inches. The heavy snow brought down power lines in some areas and caused the inflated roof of the newly constructed Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome to tear and collapse.

November 18 of 1986 brought mid-winter temperatures to most parts of Minnesota. Many climate stations reported morning lows in the single digits and over 40 stations reported subzero readings. The afternoon high temperature at Hallock (Kittson County) only reached 2°F.


Very chilly weekend with lots of single digit low temperatures, perhaps even subzero up north. Continued mostly dry and cool through Thanksgiving week with some moderation in temperature. Some areas will see daily high temperatures climb above the freezing mark.

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Precip on 15 of 18 days so far in Nov. Pretty amazing after a record dry Oct.