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November Starts Cold, Following a Wet October

November Starts Cold, Following a Wet October:

November started colder than normal following the snow of late October. Many places reported temperatures from 10 to 12 degrees F colder than normal over the first two days of the month. The first subzero temperature of the autumn season was reported at Brimson (St Louis County) on the morning of November 1st. A few places in both northeastern and southeastern Minnesota reported snow as well, including 2 inches at Hokah (Houston County) and Mabel (Fillmore County), and a half inch at Kabetogama (St Louis County).

Although about half the days of October were colder than normal and half warmer than normal, average monthly temperatures were generally 2 to 6 degrees warmer than normal across the state, mostly thanks to record warm start to the month. At least 74 communities reported one day or more of 90° F or higher. Within the state climate station network, 149 daily high maximum temperature records were set, and 180 daily high minimum temperature records were set during the month. Of special note were two new statewide maximum temperature records, 96°F at Granite Falls (Yellow Medicine County) on October 1st , and 96°F at Theilman (Wabasha County) on October 2nd. Conversely a handful of cold maximum daily temperatures were set over the final 3 days of the month, including a cold afternoon high temperature of just 28°F at Lamberton (Redwood County) on the 29th. Extremes for the month ranged from 96°F at Granite Falls on the 1st and Theilman and the 2nd, to just 5°F at Hibbing on the 31st. Overall with a statewide mean temperature for October of 47.3°, the month ranked among the 25 warmest in state history.

Rainfall was frequent (about half of the days) and above normal in most places during October. Many climate stations reported a monthly total precipitation of 4 to 6 inches, over twice normal. Marshall reported 6.01 inches, the 3rd most in history, and Tracy reported 6.49 inches, also the 3rd most in history. Lamberton reported 6.38 inches, their 2nd wettest October in history, and Winona Dam reported 7.70 inches, their wettest in history. Within the state climate station network, there were 71 new daily precipitation records set, including one new statewide daily record of 4.17 inches at Winona Dam on October 25th. Overall, the statewide average total precipitation for October was 3.33 inches, ranking as the 17th wettest in history.

Over the final days of the month there were a handful of daily snowfall records reported including 6.1 inches at Thorhult (Beltrami County) and 6.0 inches at Lake Bronson (Kittson County) on the 27th. Then on October 31st too many daily snowfall records were set to list here, but some of them were 7.2 inches at Wolf Ridge ELC (Lake County), 4.4 inches at Brimson (St Louis County), 3.5 inches at Itasca State Park, and 3.0 inches at New York Mills (Otter Tail County). Many Twin Cities area observers reported over 2 inches.

The mild and wet autumn was generally beneficial in extending the gardening season and replenishing soil moisture. The combination of September and October temperature-wise ranked as the 6th warmest in history on a statewide basis, and with respect to precipitation ranked as the 20th wettest.

With all of the autumn precipitation, drought conditions have been significantly mitigated, though not entirely erased. The current Drought Monitor this week still shows close to 44 percent of the Minnesota landscape in Moderate Drought or worse, but this is the lowest figure since June 27th., a period of 19 weeks.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

This week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin features a unique study funded by the German Research Foundation, “Can Artificial Intelligence-Based Weather Prediction Models Simulate the Butterfly Effect?” Deploying artificial intelligence (AI) in weather forecast models does not adequately account for the “butterfly effect” (small perturbations in the atmosphere that can become magnified through random interactions). This may put a limit on the ability of AI to enhance weather forecast models.

The Weather Underground provide a comprehensive report on Storm Ciaran this week. This storm brought high winds and heavy rains to parts of northwestern Europe. In the southwestern part of the United Kingdom heavy rains brought flooding to many communities. Record breaking high winds (over 100 mph) caused damage and power outages along the Normandy coast in France. Damaging winds were also reported from Belgium and Spain. The United Kingdome Meteorological Office reported record low barometric pressure in parts of England for this strong November storm.

A new study published in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment by University of Maryland researchers documents the anthropogenic salt cycle, emphasizing the negative impacts of recent changes. The researchers found that “excess salt propagates…… causing freshwater salinization syndrome to extend beyond freshwater supplies and affect food and energy production, air quality, human health and infrastructure.” Some of this excess salt comes from its use in making roads more passable in the winter season.

MPR listener question:

Talk about procrastination, I still have one side of the house to paint and need one more day of 50°F weather to get it done. Any chance? BTW I live in Roseville.


Historically over the past 150 years November has not brought a 50°F day in only 8 years, thus 95 percent of the time we see at least one day of 50°F during November. So, history is on your side. In the forecast guidance it appears that this Sunday and Monday may bring 50°F plus to the Twin Cities, and even the second weekend of November may bring such temperatures. It looks like you are in good shape to get your work done.

Twin Cities Almanac for November 3rd:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 48 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 33 degrees F (plus or minus 8 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 3rd:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 74 degrees F in 2008; lowest daily maximum temperature of 18 degrees F in 1991; lowest daily minimum temperature of 8 degrees F in 1991; highest daily minimum temperature of 55 degrees F in 1955; record precipitation of 0.53 inches in 1970. There was a record 4.2 inches of snowfall in 1951.

Average dew point for November 3rd is 30°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 60°F in 1987; and the minimum dew point on this date is 2 degrees F in 1991.

All-time state records for November 3rd:

The state record high temperature for this date is 82 degrees F at Montevideo (Chippewa County) in 1909. The state record low temperature for this date is -8 degrees F at Park Rapids (Hubbard County) in 1951. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.62 inches at International Falls (Koochiching County) in 1919. The state snowfall record is 26.0 inches at Onamia Ranger Station (Lake County) in 1991.

Past Weather:

On November 3 of 1951 many climate stations set new record low temperatures with readings in the single digits and even subzero in northern counties. Park Rapids reported a morning low of -8°F and climbed to an afternoon high temperature of just 18°F. It was the beginning of a long winter season in Minnesota.

Many Minnesota citizens took their lunch break outside on November 3 of 1978. Most places in the state saw afternoon high temperatures climb into the 70s F with bright sunshine prevailing.

Twenty-two years ago, many parts of the state were recovering from the Halloween Blizzard, which over a period of 3 days brought 20 to 36 inches of snowfall to many parts of the state. Those working to remove the snow also had to contend with very cold temperatures, with single digit and even subzero temperatures in some areas and Wind Chill conditions of minus teens.


Temperatures will moderate over the weekend and climb above normal across much of the southern half of Minnesota this lingering into Tuesday. It will be sunnier, but brezzy. In the north temperatures will remain closer to normal over the weekend with chances for snow and rain into Monday. There will be increasing chances for precipitation (mixed) on Tuesday and Wednesday with cooler temperatures. Then moderating temperatures toward above normal values by next weekend.

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