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Climate Summary for November

Climate Summary for November:

Warm and dry describe the climate for Minnesota during this November. The statewide average temperature for the month (nearly 33.5°F) falls within the warmest 15 Novembers in history (back to 1895), while the statewide average precipitation for the month (around 0.38 inches) falls within the driest 12 Novembers historically.

Approximately two-thirds of the days were warmer than normal. Within the Minnesota climate station network average November temperatures ranged from 2°F to 5°F above normal, with larger departures in northern sections of the state. Statewide extremes included 70°F at Hastings Dam (Dakota County) on November 16th, and -11°F at Celina (St Louis County) on November 28th. During the warm spells of weather at mid-month 35 daily maximum temperature records were tied or set, including 69°F at MSP on the 16th. In addition, 10 warm daily minimum temperature records were tied or set. Minnesota reported the lowest temperature in the 48 contiguous states only once during November. The coldest Wind Chill readings of the month were -16°F at Hallock (Kittson County) on the 27th and at Roseau (Roseau County) on the 28th.

November precipitation was less than normal across the entire state. Only northeastern counties reported some monthly totals between 1 inch and 1.80 inches. Many climate stations reported one of their driest months of November in history, with numerous reports of less than a tenth of an inch for the month. Some examples:

Milan (Chippewa County) 0.02 inches, 3rd driest November in history
Lamberton (Redwood County) 0.04 inches, 2nd driest November in history
Benson (Swift County) 0.05 inches, 3rd driest November in history
Rochester (Olmsted County) 0.11 inches, 4th driest November in history
Lake City (Wabasha County) 0.02 inches, 2nd driest November in history
St Cloud (Stearns County) 0.08 inches, 4th driest November in history
MSP (Hennepin County) 0.04 inches, 2nd driest November in history

There were a number of climate stations (too many to list) that reported their driest November. Some examples include:
Stillwater (Washington County) 0.02 inches tied with 1912
Pipestone (Pipestone County) 0 precipitation, tied with 1914
Spring Valley (Fillmore County) Trace of precipitation
Collegeville (Stearns County) Trace of precipitation
Luverne (Rock County) 0 precipitation

Snowfall too was below normal during November, with many climate stations reporting less than one inch. Some areas of north-central and northeastern Minnesota reported 3 to 7 inches for the month, but that is still below normal.

With all this dryness in November, following a generally wetter than normal September and October, the Drought Situation in Minnesota remained mostly stagnant, or grew marginally. The cold snap of the last week has provoked some soils to begin freezing up, which brings an end to the autumn soil moisture recharge season.

A final note on November’s climate. It lived up to its reputation for windiness. Many climate stations reported wind gusts of 30 mph or greater on over a third of the days. Also, wind gusts of 40 mph and even 50 mph were reported from several areas of the state.

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

In this week’s AGU-EOS Bulletin there is a review of a recent report from the United Nations Environment Programme that is quite disturbing. The report specifies that current international efforts and targets to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases is insufficient to keep global temperature from rising above 1.5°F above preindustrial times. In fact it is likely that global temperatures will continue to rise to at least 2.9°F above preindustrial times. The report emphasizes that further, more accelerated commitments on reducing GHG emissions are needed.

While Minnesota reported a warmer than normal month of November, the month was closing out this week with some of the coldest November weather in 13 years across the United Kingdom. According to the BBC it was as cold as 18°F in the Scottish Highlands and just 19°F in Cumbria this week. Freezing fog blanketed the Midlands while snow fell across Scotland and East England.

This week, Jonathan Erdman of the Weather Underground writes a historical perspective on the famous lake-effect snows of the Great Lakes. There have been incredible snow seasons around the Great Lakes, with measured seasonal snowfalls over 300 inches. Further snowfall rates from lake-effect snow storms can rival the most extreme rates of snowfall measured in the Rocky Mountains.

MPR listener question:

Here at the Howling Dog Saloon in Luverne we have gone the entire month of November without any precipitation? Whew! Do you know what the longest period without precipitation is for our community? Some of us think it must be more than 40 days.


Your guess was a pretty good one. The longest period without precipitation in Luverne was 44 days, from December 26 of 1899 to February 7 of 1900. For the month of November you set a record this year beating the 27 consecutive dry November days of 1962.

Twin Cities Almanac for December 1st:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 34 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 21 degrees F (plus or minus 11 degrees F standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for December 1st:

MSP records for this date: highest daily maximum temperature of 68 degrees F in 1998; lowest daily maximum temperature of 1 degrees F in 1919; lowest daily minimum temperature of -15 degrees F in 1893; highest daily minimum temperature of 43 degrees F in 1962; record precipitation of 0.83 inches in 1985. There was also a record 8.4 inches of snowfall in 1985.

Average dew point for December 1st is 18°F; the maximum dew point on this date is 49°F in 1982; and the minimum dew point on this date is -17 degrees F in 1930.

All-time state records for December 1st:

The state record high temperature for this date is 70 degrees F at Chaska (Carver County) in 1998. The state record low temperature for this date is -51 degrees F at Pokagama (Itasca County) in 1896. The state record precipitation for this date is 2.12 inches at Two Harbors (Lake County) in 1985. The state snowfall record is 16.0 inches at Winona (Winona County) also in 1985.

Past Weather:

The coldest December 1st in state history was in 1896 when many climate stations set record lows. Virtually all of the state saw subzero morning low temperatures with readings of -30°F or colder common in northern Minnesota. Pokegama Ddam reported -51°F. The afternoon high at Crookston reached -16°F.

December 1-2 in 1985 brought a winter storm and heavy snow to Minnesota. Many areas of the state reported 8 to 14 inches of snowfall, with up to 19 inches in some places. Many schools were closed on Monday the 2nd.

December 1 of 1998 brought record-setting warm temperatures to the state under sunny skies. There was no snow on the ground and many southern and central counties basked in afternoon temperatures in the 60s F and golf courses did a flourishing business in the afternoon. After starting the morning at 27°F Chaska warmed up to 70°F by the afternoon.


Continued warmer than normal temperatures into the weekend and next week with temperatures running several degrees above normal. Slight chance for snow flurries later on Saturday and into Sunday for portions of southern Minnesota, and chances for snow flurries in the north on Monday night and Wednesday. Wednesday through Friday of next week will bring the warmest temperatures.
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