Cold and Snowy October 2002 in Minnesota

October, 2002 will be remembered as when winter arrived early in Minnesota. Average temperatures finished 5 to 8 degrees below normal. The state as a whole finished 3rd coldest on record. October 2002 was also snowy for parts of the state, especially over central Minnesota. For the month of October, both St. Cloud and Duluth saw about a half foot of snow. One of the heavier monthly snowfalls was recorded at Royalton with 8.1 inches. Much of that snow fell in the October 20-21 snowstorm. Because of the cool temperatures, the snow was stubborn to melt. There were only a few patches of snow left on the ground across central Minnesota by October 30.

Listed below are some select cities and how October 2002 ranked for the coldest on record and some October snow statistics.

How October 2002 Ranked as the Coldest Month for Selected Cities

City    Oct 2002 Rank  Avg. Temp   Degrees Below Normal
Twin Cities    3rd      41.8       -6.8
Duluth         3rd      35.6       -7.9 
Falls          2nd*     33.2       -8.2 
St. Cloud      2nd      38.1       -7.2
Rochester      3rd(tie) 42.3       -5.2
Moorhead       4th      37.2       -8.1

* The cold year of 1925 is missing in this record. 

October 2002 Snowfall

City         October 2002 Amount (inches)
Royalton           8.1
Pipestone          8.0
St. Cloud          6.4
Duluth             6.3
Sioux Falls        6.3
Falls              5.3
Canby              5.0
Worthington        5.0
Fargo              1.9
Grand Forks        1.8
Rochester          1.4
La Crosse           .8
Chanhassen          .6

University of Minnesota Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley has more information on the cold snowy October in his October Wrap Up from the November 1, 2002 Weather Talk


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Last modified: November 1, 2002