Sunday, October 2, 2011

September weather summary and October outlook

Much like August, September will go down in the books as one of the driest for the month on record.  In the Twin Cities, just 0.36 inches of rain fell at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the least amount of precipitation recorded since observations were taken at the airport.  This 2.72 inches below the normal amount for the month.

2011                      0.36
1940                      0.41
1952                      0.42
2009                      0.46
1969                      0.49

It’s also the second driest September on record for the Twin Cities.  The state was in a “blocking pattern” most of the month as an upper-level low became stationary over northern Illinois, cutting off the necessary moisture needed for rainfall.

For the first time since the middle of May, the Twin Cities is now below normal for annual precipitation:


Locally, across the southwest Twin Cities metro, it has been very dry.  Flying Cloud Airport is about six inches of precipitation below normal.


Across southwest Minnesota, the story is the same.  At Redwood Falls, the area is roughly seven inches of precipitation below normal.


Looking at the bigger picture, a good portion of Minnesota saw 50 percent or less of normal precipitation during the month.  Only extreme northwestern Minnesota saw normal amounts.


As you might have guessed, the lack of rain has aggravated the drought situation further across the state with drought conditions now found across much of southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, and severe conditions in the arrowhead region.


As far as temperatures for the month, much of the state saw normal or above normal temperatures for the month.

In the Twin Cities, the average monthly temperature for September was 62.9°F degrees, which was 0.9°F above normal.


According to Dr. Mark Seeley, “Extreme temperatures for the month were: 94 degrees F at Madison, Canby, MSP, Redwood Falls, and Winona on September 1st; and just 19 degrees F at Embarrass, Wannaska, and International Falls on the 15th. Minnesota reported the nation's coldest temperature for the 48 contiguous states 4 times during the month: on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 24th.”

Looking ahead to October, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a warmer and wetter month across the state and the eastern half of the country:


Above average precipitation is being indicated across the state, however, the long-term models through the middle of the month are not squeezing out much precipitation during October.


Will we see snow in October?  At least through mid-October, no.  However, I’ll keep you updated on major weather systems as they approach the area.  Like always, stay tuned!


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