Frosty weekend; 100% of MN falling into drought; 60s return Monday

Season’s 1st Frost & freeze likely in the inner metro core this weekend

30F even in metro “core” by Sunday AM

October 7th average date of 1st 32F reading at MSP Airport

20s in metro suburbs this weekend

1st flurries? A few flakes can’t be ruled out early Saturday

100% of Minnesota now either in drought or “abnormally dry”

20% of Minnesota now in “extreme” drought – (northwest & southern Minnesota)

MSP Quick look weekend forecast:

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Polar Plunge: 1st Metro “inner core” frost this weekend

Right on schedule.

The average 1st 32F degree temp of the fall season at MSP Airport is October 7th. It looks like we will hit that mark early Saturday October 6th or Sunday October 7th.

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Source: NOAA

The cold eases Monday as we (briefly) return to the 60s by Monday afternoon. The next cold front sags south with more 50s next week. Get used to it. Next week will not feel like summer…or even Indian Summer around here.

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Source: NOAA via ISU

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Source: NOAA/CPC

September 2012: 16 in a row

September marks the 16th straight month above average in the metro. The details from the Twin Cities NWS.

September 2012 continued a trend that has stood at the Twin Cities and St. Cloud since June of 2011, the average monthly was above normal. For Eau Claire, this September was the first month since May of 2011 that saw the average monthly temperature come in below normal. In addition, for the second year in a row, September was a near record dry month for the entire area, with many locations recieving less than an inch of rain for the month, which resulted in drought conditions rapidly expanding across the area to end the 2012 growing season.

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Drought deepens – again:

Another dry week and now all of Minnesota is slipping deeper into drought. It’s not just dry, it’s “extreme” in northwest and southern Minnesota.

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Right now I don’t see any significant rain that could dent this growing drought in the next 1-2 weeks. We may get some rain next weekend…but nothing that would eat away at months of drought. Forecast? Persistence.

With drought comes fires:

This week’s fires in northwest Minnesota occurred in areas of “extreme” drought. My MPR colleague UM Climate specialist Dr. Mark Seeley has details in this week’s Weather Talk. Here’s an excerpt.

Topic: October wildfires

A number of wild fires were reported this week along and east of Hwy

59 in northwestern Minnesota between the towns of Hallock and Thief River Falls. The one at Karlstad forced evacuation of residents on Tuesday, October 2nd, but most were under control later on October 3rd. Wild fires are actually fairly common during the month of October, especially following summer drought. This was even moreso the case back in the 19th Century.

Much of the 19th Century fire history in Minnesota is documented from weather observer records, most notably those from Old Ft Snelling.

From 1833 to 1874 observers noted prairie fires or forest fires in the Big Woods of southern Minnesota during 17 different Octobers (over 40 percent of those years). Sometimes the nighttime observer would note that the sky was bright in all directions as a result of these fires.

In October of 1856 the infant communities of Henderson and Le Sueur were seriously damaged by wildfires. During October of

1861 wildfires burned most of the vegetation off the Dayton’s Bluff area above St Paul. Perhaps the worst case of October wildfires happened in 1871. Following a serious summer drought prairie fires started near Breckenridge (Wilkin County) in early October and spread eastward and southward so that by the 7th fires were burning in Cokato, Howard Lake, Dassel, Lynd, Marshall, Windom, and New Ulm.

The St Paul observer noted that “smoke hangs like fog……….

the air is full of cinders….and burnt spears of grass and twig fill everywhere.” A summary of damages and deaths from those fires was never published for Minnesota, but that same month brought the devastating fires to Wisconsin (Peshtigo) and western Michigan (worst ever in those states), and the famous Chicago fire (started in Mrs O’Leary’s barn on October 8th). Those fires killed thousands of citizens in one of the worst fire outbreaks in USA history


Stay warm this weekend!


  • Lars

    Hi Paul,

    There’s a saying that it’s always raining somewhere in the world. So, if it’s dry in MN, where in the world is rainfall above average?

  • Todd

    How about a detailed preview of the weather for the Twin Cities Marathon this Sunday? I always look at the NWS, but it would be fun to hear your outlook. Thanks.