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Wet Conclusion to September Followed by Record Warm Start to October

Wet Conclusion to September Followed by Record Warm Start to October:

As mentioned last week, on a statewide basis September delivered average rainfall that was above normal, the first month to do so since last April. For northeastern Minnesota counties, September was the 2nd wettest in history with average rainfall of nearly 7 inches. One observer near Duluth reported over 13 inches for the month. Conversely many parts of southwestern Minnesota reported less than 1 inch of rainfall for September, and places like Luverne, Pipestone, and Slayton reported less than three-quarters of an inch.

A lion’s share of the rainfall occurred over the last week of the month, with many climate observers reporting rain every day of the week, totaling over 3 inches and in a few cases over 4 inches. On September 29 MSP reported a record-setting rainfall of 1.51 inches, and on the 30th Hastings Dam reported a record 1.10 inches.

With the wet end to September came some soaring temperatures, providing the warmest start to October since 1976. Forty climate stations reported an afternoon high temperature of 90°F or greater on October 1st, including a new statewide record high of 95°F at Milan for that date. On October 2nd another 39 climate stations reported 90°F or greater, with Lamberton reporting a statewide record-tying value of 95°F for that date (Wheaton was also 95°F in 1953). Finally on October 3rd, when the Heat Wave began to subside, 7 more climate stations reported high temperatures of 90°F or greater.

Within the state climate station network over the first three days of October, there were 135 daily record high maximum temperatures and 193 daily record warm minimum temperatures, including a morning low of 71°F at Marshall on October 2nd.

Overall, we have recorded the warmest first five days of October in state history. Most climate stations have averaged 14 to 18 degrees warmer than normal. With this magnitude of aberration in the temperature pattern there is no doubt that October will be a warmer than normal month. The important question is will the rainfall pattern help to mitigate the drought across the state, which still persists in most areas. Latest guidance from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center suggests that drought will persist across most of the state through the end of the year.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin contains an article about researchers who have found that Tropical Cyclones can transport birds and flying insects considerable distances, displacing them to habitats where they are not commonly found. Flying creatures such as birds and insects can become trapped inside the eye of a tropical cyclone carried along as it moves over considerable distance.

The BBC Weather Center reported earlier this week that September was the warmest in history for the United Kingdom, averaging about 5°F above normal. They also recorded the warmest temperature of the year during the first week of September (highly unusual for that country) with a reading of 91°F at Kew Gardens. It was also the warmest September in history in France, Germany, Denmark, and Austria.

Jet Stream is an online school curriculum for educators, emergency managers, or anyone interested in learning about weather and weather safety. It is presented in 15 different sub topics related to understanding all the elements of the weather. The National Weather Service makes this curriculum available to all interested parties. You can read more about it online.

MPR listener question:

We have already experienced so many hot temperatures in October, we were wondering has Minnesota ever seen below zero temperature readings in the month of October?


Indeed, on several occasions. In October of 1887, 1913, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1925, 1936, and 1976 below zero temperatures were recorded, mostly in northern counties. The earliest ever below zero F reading was at Argyle (Marshall County) on October 20, 1916 when they recorded -1°F. There is nothing on the horizon for this October like that.

Twin Cities Almanac for October 6th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 64 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 45 degrees F (plus or minus 7 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for October 6th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 87 degrees F in 2007; lowest daily maximum temperature of 40 degrees F in 1952; lowest daily minimum temperature of 25 degrees F in 1873; highest daily minimum temperature of 70 degrees F in 2007; record precipitation of 1.69 inches in 1941. There was a trace of snow on this date in 2005.

Average dew point for October 6th is 41°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 69°F in 2007; and the minimum dew point on this date is 12 degrees F in 2000.

All-time state records for October 6th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 94 degrees F at Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) in 1993. The state record low temperature for this date is 8 degrees F at Alborn (St Louis County) in 1935. The state record precipitation for this date is 3.98 inches at Wolf Ridge ELC (Lake County) in 1998. The state snowfall record is 3.0 inches at Caribou (Kittson County) in 1974.

Past Weather:

Heavy rains blanketed southern and southwestern Minnesota on October 6, 1911. Many observers reported 2 to 4 inches of rainfall which abruptly stopped crop harvesting and caused a great deal of ponding water on farm fields.

October 6 of 1935 brought record cold temperatures to most locations in the stated. Many observers reported morning low temperatures in the teens and twenties. It was just single digits in northeastern Minnesota. The afternoon high temperature at Brainerd barely made it above freezing at 33°F.

Probably the warmest October 5th in state history was in 1963 when many areas of the state reported afternoon temperatures of 80°F or above. Eight Minnesota counties saw temperatures of 90°F or higher.

A strong cold front brought snowfall to 17 Minnesota communities on October 6, 1974. Areas of northern Minnesota reported from 1 to 3 inches. The snow was short-lived as temperatures rebounded in to the 50s F the next day.


Cooler and drier over the weekend with plenty of sun. Chance of frost each morning Saturday through Tuesday with little or no precipitation. A warming trend will start the middle of next week, with a chance for precipitation by Thursday and Friday.

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Steve, Roe said…
Thanks for all the data, fodder for us weather junkies