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 6, 2015 (delayed distribution)
What happened in October 2015:
- October monthly precipitation totals were variable across Minnesota. Above-average precipitation was reported in central and east central Minnesota. Below-average monthly precipitation totals were observed in northwest, northeast, west central and south central sections of the state.
[see: October 2015 Precipitation Departure Map | October 2015 Climate Summary Table | October 2015 Percent of Normal Precipitation Map | First Measurable Snow at Many Locations: October 28]
- Average monthly temperatures for October were above historical averages across Minnesota, ranging from two to four degrees above normal. Extremes for October ranged from a high of 97 degrees F at Sabin (Clay County) on the 11th, to a low of 12 degrees F near Isabella (Lake County) on the 18th. On a statewide basis, October 11, 2015 was the warmest October 11th of the modern record. Many locations set records for the highest temperature ever measured so late in the year.
[see: October 2015 Climate Summary Table | 2015 Departure from Normal Temperature Map | Hot and Windy October 11]
Where we stand now:
- Seasonal precipitation totals (April through October) ranked near or above the historical median in most Minnesota counties.
[see: Seasonal Precipitation Ranking Map]
- The U. S. Drought Monitor map released on November 5 depicts portions of west central, northwest, and far southeast Minnesota as Abnormally Dry or experiencing Moderate Drought. The map shows no other areas in Minnesota in a dryness category. The U.S. Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where drought categories (Moderate, Severe, etc.) are based on several indicators.
[see: Drought Conditions Overview]
- The U.S. Geological Survey reports that stream discharge values are near historical medians for the date on most Minnesota rivers.
[see: USGS Stream Flow Conditions]
- In their November 5 report, the Agricultural Statistics Service reported that topsoil moisture across Minnesota was 1 percent Very Short, 17 percent Short, 79 percent Adequate, and 3 percent Surplus.
[see: Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress and Condition | U. of M. Southwest Research & Outreach Center (Lamberton) | U. of M. Southern Research & Outreach Center (Waseca)]
- The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as Low across Minnesota.
[see: Fire Danger Rating Map]
- The November precipitation outlook offers equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions across Minnesota. 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.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | November Precipitation Normal Map]
- The November temperature outlook favors above-normal conditions across 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.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | November Temperature Normal Map]
- The 90-day precipitation outlook for November through January indicates equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, or above-normal conditions across Minnesota. The November through January temperature projection favors above-normal conditions statewide.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook]
- 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.
[see: National Weather Service - North Central River Forecast Center]
From the author:
Upcoming dates of note:
- November 19: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks
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Greg Spoden, DNR Climatologist