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Frosts more widespread, still dry, winds picking up:

Frosts more widespread, still dry, winds picking up:

About 60 percent of Minnesota reported at least one frost over the past week, and many climate stations reported morning low temperatures in the twenties F. Up north Brimson reported 26°F and Embarrass 27°F, while in southeastern Minnesota Grand Meadow reported 24°F and Preston 22°F. Suffice to say the growing season has ended for many parts of the state.

Little rain occurred over this past week, and most climate stations are well below normal for the month so far. However, widespread and welcome rains are expected over Friday and Saturday, perhaps as much as 2-3 inches in some places. With 60 to 70 percent of the state rated very short or short in stored soil moisture at the present time, the rains are likely to be absorbed readily by the landscape, a good sign. Crop harvesting will be disrupted for a few days by the rains, but farmers are making slow progress this month in getting corn and soybeans in storage. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, about 33 percent of the Minnesota landscape remains in Moderate Drought, and about 40 percent in Severe to Extreme Drought. Hopefully with the rains this situation will improve next week.

Winds have increased over the past week and generally are above average for this time of year. Most climate stations report 6 to 9 days with wind gusts of 30 mph or greater, and a number of days with gusts over 40 mph. Most medium range forecasts suggest that winds will continue to be mostly higher than normal with above normal temperatures prevailing until the last week of the month.

Early October Snows:

One of the earliest heavy snowstorms of record occurred at Camp Coldwater (later Ft Snelling) from October 12-14, 1820. The soldiers there measured eleven inches of snowfall from this storm, which introduced a second consecutive cold and snowy winter. Even after 203 years, the total of 11 inches of snow remains the record amount for the month of October in the Twin Cities area ranking ahead of 9.3 inches in 2020, 8.2 inches in 1991 (Halloween Blizzard), and 6.0 inches in 1835. Both November and December of 1820 brought abundant snowfall as well, as Minnesota was beginning to establish its 19th Century reputation as the American Siberia.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

In this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin is an interesting article which suggests that as climate change progresses, plant water use efficiency may stabilize, and plants will not be able to fix as much carbon dioxide as plant physiologists earlier thought. This is because vapor pressure deficits will increase and restrict the flow of both water vapor and carbon dioxide through the leaf stomata.

This week the BBC Weather Center has featured a program about the devastating drought in Brazil which has dried up some rivers and prevented commercial shipping by boat through areas of the Amazon. Many shipping supplies have been grounded by low water levels and some communities that have used surface water supplies have had to drill wells for drinking water.

A recent study published in iScience examined the weather impacts on grape quality in the Bordeaux region of France. The researchers found that “to increase wine quality, ideal conditions include high water abundance during the winter months and low water abundance in the summer, coupled with high temperatures.” They also concluded that climate change in Bordeaux will likely lead to more extreme weather, with variation depending on the location.

MPR listener question:

What is the most snowfall to ever fall in the month of October?


As stated above, for the Twin Cities area it is 11 inches back in 1820, a long time ago. Across the entire state, the record total snowfall for October rests with two northern communities. In October of 1916, Baudette (Lake of the Woods County) reported 19 inches of snowfall, and in October of 1932, Mizpah (Koochiching County) reported 19.4 inches of snowfall.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 13th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 60 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 42 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 13th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 84 degrees F in 1956; lowest daily maximum temperature of 37 degrees F in 1937; lowest daily minimum temperature of 22 degrees F in 1917; highest daily minimum temperature of 62 degrees F in 2000; record precipitation of 1.52 inches in 1890. There was a record 0.4 inches of snowfall in 1969.

Average dew point for October 13th is 41°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 67°F in 1962; and the minimum dew point on this date is 14 degrees F in 1937.

All-time state records for October 13th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 89 degrees F at Canby (Yellow Medicine County) in 1958 and again at Luverne (Rock County and Fairmont (Martin County) in 1975. The state record low temperature for this date is 2 degrees F at Sawbill Camp (Cook County) in 1936. The state record precipitation for this date is 4.71 inches at Fosston (Polk County) in 1984. The state snowfall record is 7.0 inches at Warroad (Roseau County) in 2006.

Past Weather:

October 13th in both 1975 and 1995 brought record-setting high temperatures to many Minnesota communities. Many southern Minnesota climate stations reported afternoon highs from 82°F to 89°F. Tower, normally a cold spot in the state, reported a record high of 81°F in 1995.

Record-setting cold temperatures prevailed across the state on October 13, 1933. The majority of climate stations reported morning lows between 10°F and 25°F, while both Leech Lake and Moose Lake reported 9°F. The afternoon high at Orr only reached 35°F.

October 13-14 in 1959 brought an early winter storm to the state. Many areas reported from 1 to 4 inches of snowfall. Portions of southwestern Minnesota reported over 5 inches.


Some lingering rain in southern areas of the state on Saturday. Then, sunny on Sunday with temperatures slowly climbing to normal or above normal next week. Mostly a dry week with a chance for showers on Wednesday.
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Anonymous said…
I would prefer to read about weather concepts like dewpoint, vapor pressure, La Nina, or continental climate than quirky records of temperature and precipitation. Educate us!