Driest Septmeber in 130 years; “Omaha-like” 6-month Summer of 2012?

76F high at MSP at 2:48pm Friday

.30″ September rainfall at MSP is 2nd driest on record

1882 – Last September drier than 2012 was 130 years ago

“Dry September” trend? 3 of the past 4 Septembers are among the 6 driest on record

+4.91F vs. average in the metro since March 1st

16 and counting September is the 16th straight warmer than average month in Minnesota

May 2011 last cooler than average month in the metro

February 1985 last month globally cooler than the 20th century average

Fall color peak in northern Minnesota this weekend?

Spectacular weekend forecast: MSP quick look

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

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Racoon basking in late Spetmeber warmth at Banning State Park.

Image Credit: Father Paul Kammenn

September 2012: One for the record books

Another month, another near record in Minnesota.

With a paltry .30″ rainfall this month, this will go down as the driest September in 130 years, and the 2nd driest on record in the metro. Only 1882 (barley) squeezed out less rain with .27″.

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Source: MN Climate Working Group

Signs of a trend?

It’s hard to say, but with 3 of the past 4 Septembers among the top 6 driest on record it seems our early fall periods are trending drier in Minnesota. I’ve spoken with Mark Seeley about this, and he indicates there is a distinct trend toward drier autumns in Minnesota.

Last fall was the driest on record, with just 1.36″ precipitation in the metro.

Details from the MN Climate Working Group.

September through November 2011 was the driest Twin Cities meteorological autumn in the 141 year modern record. The September through November 2011 precipitation total at the Twin Cities International Airport was 1.36 inches, a negative departure of 5.92 inches from the 1981-2010 normal of 7.28 inches.

Driest meteorological autumns (September through November) in the Twin Cities (1871-2011)

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With a “dry bias” continuing into the first 2 weeks of October, it appears we may be well on the way to another dry autumn in Minnesota.

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Source: NOAA/GFS model

The incredible “6-Month Summer” of 2012? Welcome to Omaha!

Yes I may be overstating it a bit, but this has been a remarkable run of warmth since March. March was the warmest on record, and this was also the warmest spring on record at MSP, St. Cloud & Eau Claire.

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Take a look at the temps vs. average at MSP Airport since March 1st.

March +15.5F (Warmest on record)

April +2.5F

May +4.6F (10th warmest)

June +3.5F (13th warmest)

July +6.4F (2nd warmest)

August +0.8F

September +1.3F

You can see it’s not a stretch to say we’ve been feeling summer like weather for almost 6 months in the metro.

In fact the average temp since March 1st at MSP Airport is +4.91F. That’s about like living in Omaha, Nebraska where the average annual temperature is about +5F warmer than the Twin Cities.

WCCO Radio & Strib sports legend Sid Hartmann always used to threaten that the Twin Cities would be just a “cold Omaha” without professional sports. Sid, it turns out we got Omaha’s relatively balmy weather instead!

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Red maple burst in Deephaven Friday

Image: Paul Huttner – MPR News

Fall color peak up north this weekend?

This looks like the weekend to see the fall color peak in northern Minnesota according to the latest MN DNR fall color map.

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Source: MN DNR

Reality Check Ahead: Cold front arrives Wednesday

Enjoy the string of 70s through Tuesday. The next cold front comes sailing south from Canada Wednesday with a chance for a few showers, and much colder weather.

Highs may not climb out of the low 50s late next week.

It may finally start feeling like October around these parts late next week.

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Source: NOAA/CPC

Until then enjoy…and have a great weekend!


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