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Comments on the month of November



(what follows is an abbreviated version of the blog for the holiday)

Comments on the Month of November:

It appears that this November will wrap up with colder than normal temperatures and a little snow during the last week of the month. This is unlikely to offset the warm and dry trends established during the first three weeks of the month. For the month today, average temperatures are running from 4°F to 7°F above normal and statewide average total precipitation is only between 3 tenths and 4 tenths of an inch. It is probable that this November will end up among the 25 warmest historically, as well as among the 25 driest historically. In fact, for some southern counties, it could end up among the driest 10 in history. I will report more detail in next week’s blog.

Prairie and forest fires were common occurrences during the 19th Century in Minnesota. Soldiers at old Ft Snelling routinely noted them in daily weather observations. What is interesting is that for most of the century, November was a significant month for fires. In fact, only April and October show higher frequencies of fires than November. Some historians have suggested that indigenous American hunters used to start fires in November to flush game out into the open.

A study by former state climatologist Earl Kuehnast showed that the average date for the first 1- inch snow cover ranges from October 30 at Crane Lake, Minnesota (northern St Louis County) to as late as December 1st down at Albert Lea, Minnesota. So for most places in Minnesota the first 1-inch snow cover falls somewhere in November historically. The average duration of snow cover during the winter varies considerably as well, ranging from 85 days in southwestern Minnesota to over 160 days in the Arrowhead region, but these numbers have been shrinking with climate change.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 24th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 38 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 24 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 24th:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 59 degrees F in 2011; lowest daily maximum temperature of 10 degrees F in 1985; lowest daily minimum temperature of -10 degrees F in 1893; highest daily minimum temperature of 43 degrees F in 2001; record precipitation of 1.06 inches in 2001. There was a record 1.7 inches of snowfall in 1977.

Average dew point for November 24th is 18°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 52°F in 2001; and the minimum dew point on this date is -13 degrees F in 2005.

All-time state records for November 24th:

The state record high temperature for this date is 68 degrees F at Wheaton (Traverse County) in 1984. The state record low temperature for this date is -31 degrees F at Pokegam Dam (Itasca County) in 1898. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.38 inches at Vesta (Redwood County) in 2001. The state snowfall record is 16.0 inches at Tower (St Louis County) in 1983.

Past Weather:

Biter cold gripped the state on the morning of November 24 in 1898. Many record low temperatures were measured and most of the state reported subzero readings. Minus teens and minus twenties were reported in most places. The afternoon high at International Falls was just -3°F.

November 22-24 of 1983 saw a winter storm bring heavy snowfall to Minnesota. Many observers reported between 8 and 18 inches of snowfall, with huge drifts. Portions of northeastern Minnesota reported over 20 inches of snowfall.

Exactly a year after one of the biggest ever November snowfalls, November 24 of 1984 brought record-setting high temperatures. The majority of Minnesota climate stations reported afternoon high temperatures in the 50s F, and it reached 60°F or greater in seven western counties.


Continuing colder than normal throughout the weekend with increasing cloudiness late Saturday and into Sunday, as winds increase as well. Chances for snow late Saturday and through Sunday, then mostly cold and dry for Monday through Wednesday. A warming trend will start on Thursday and continue into next weekend.

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