Sun returns, more typical October temps ahead

That bright light in the sky today is called the sun.

Bright sun in the metro this morning. Image: Paul Huttner/MPR News

It’s about time. We’ve had our share of cloudy days lately. Soil moisture across Minnesota is still running high in many places. We can use a few sunny, dry days ahead to let farmers finish the harvest.

Monday’s weather maps looked more like late August. I saw a tropical dew point of 70 degrees in Decroah, Iowa Monday. Thunder, rain and hail sent our unusual Aug-tober summer packing last night.

  • 3/4″ diameter hail last night in Brooklyn Park, Blaine, Eagan and River Falls
  • .66″ rainfall last night at MSP Airport
  • 1.05″ in Burnsville, Edina and Eau Claire
  • +4.3 degrees – temps vs. average at MSP Airport so far in October

Soggy soils continue

Farmers have had a tough time getting in soggy fields lately. Monday’s crop report shows  26% of Minnesota topsoil still has surplus soil moisture.

Wet conditions in vineyards this fall at the UM Landscape Arboretum. Image: John Thull

Here’s more on conditions in the fields from this week’s Minnesota’s Crop Report.

Almost one-quarter of the soybean acreage was harvested in Minnesota during the week ending October 16, 2016, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork, the most days suitable since the first week of August. While the drier weather allowed harvest in most areas, there were reports of fields or spots in fields still too wet to harvest. Field activities for the week included harvesting and fall tilling.

Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus.

With almost all of Minnesota’s corn acreage mature, 31 percent of corn for grain was harvested, 6 days behind the five-year average and 5 days behind last year. Corn moisture content of grain at harvest was 19 percent. Corn condition rated 86 percent good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from last week.


High and dry

The weather maps are finally looking more October than August. A sprawling Canadian high pressure cell brings sunny, dry and cooler weather south across the Upper Midwest this week.


Temperatures return to more typical October levels. Frost nips around the edges of the Twin Cities once again by Friday morning.

Graphic: Twin Cities NWS

Top 5 longest growing season at MSP

The growing season at MSP is at 189 days and counting. If we make it to Friday without hitting 32 degrees at MSP Airport, that marks 192 days in the 2016 growing season. That will challenge to be the 5th longest growing season on record in the Twin Cities.

Midwest Regional Climate Center.

Fall color peak in metro

This week is about as good as it gets for fall color in the metro. Bright sunshine and blue sky will enhance leaf peeping the next few days.

Minnesota DNR