A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota's climate conditions and the resulting impact on water resources. Distributed on the first Thursday of the month.
State Climatology Office - DNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources, St. Paul
distributed: November 7, 2014 (delayed by one day)
What happened in October 2014:
- October precipitation totals were generally below-normal across most of Minnesota. Monthly rainfall totals fell short of historical averages by one to two inches in most locations. Areas of relative wetness were reported in some southeast Minnesota counties where October rainfall totals topped historical averages by an inch or more.
- Average monthly temperatures for October in Minnesota were near, to slightly above, historical averages. Cool temperatures early in the month were counterbalanced by a late-month warm spell. Extremes for October ranged from a high of 79 degrees F at a few west central Minnesota locales on the 24th, to a low of 12 degrees F at some northwest Minnesota communities on the 31st.
Where we stand now:
- Despite a dry July-through-October period, seasonal precipitation totals since April 1 remain above historical averages nearly everywhere in Minnesota. For large portions of the state, season-to-date precipitation totals rank above the 75th percentile when compared with the historical database for the April-through-October time period. Below-normal rainfall during the late summer and autumn slowed the record-setting pace established earlier in the growing season.
- The U. S. Drought Monitor, released on November 6, indicated that Abnormally Dry conditions exist over large sections of Minnesota. A small area of west central Minnesota is placed in the Moderate Drought category. The Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where drought categories (Moderate, Severe, etc.) are based on several indicators.
- The U.S. Geological Survey reports that stream discharge values are near the historical median for the date at most Minnesota monitoring locations. Lower-than-median stream flow is reported for a few northern Minnesota basins.
- Water levels on Minnesota lakes continue to drop in response to the dry autumn.
- In their November 2 report, the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reported that topsoil moisture across as nearly one-quarter of Minnesota's landscape is described as Short or Very Short.
- The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as Moderate in northwest, southwest, and south central Minnesota, Low elsewhere.
- The November precipitation outlook offers equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions in all Minnesota counties. November precipitation normals range from around one inch in western Minnesota to over two inches in eastern sections of the state. The average date of the first enduring snow cover ranges from the first week of November in northeast Minnesota to the final week of November in south central counties.]
- The November temperature outlook tilts towards above-normal conditions throughout Minnesota. Normal November high temperatures are in the mid-40s to upper 40s to start the month, dropping to the mid-20s to near 30 by month's end. Normal lows are in the upper 20s early in the month, falling into the mid-teens by late November.
- The 90-day precipitation outlook for November through January offers equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions in all Minnesota counties. The November through January temperature projection favors above-normal conditions in all but far southern Minnesota counties.
- The National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River, Minnesota River, and Mississippi River basins. These products address both high flow and low flow probabilities.
From the author:
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Greg Spoden, DNR Climatologist