HydroClim Minnesota - November 2009
A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota's climate conditions and the resulting impact on water resources. Distributed on the Wednesday following the first Monday of each month.
State Climatology Office - DNR Waters
compiled 11/3/2009 (distributed one day early)
What happened in October:
- October 2009 precipitation was very heavy across most of Minnesota. Monthly precipitation totals in the southern two-thirds of the state ranged from five to eight inches, topping historical October averages by three to five inches. For some communities, October total precipitation was three times the normal and set an all-time October record. On a statewide basis, October 2009 will rank among the wettest five Octobers ever.
[see: October 2009 Climate Summary Table | October 2009 Precipitation Departure Map | WeatherTalk - October 30]
- Snowfall was observed on many days, and in many places, across Minnesota in October. New October monthly snowfall records were set at Waskish (12 inches), Rochester (7.9 inches), Brimson (6.1 inches), and Grand Meadow (6.0 inches).
[see: Early Season Snow]
- Monthly mean temperatures for October 2009 were very cold, averaging four to seven degrees below historical averages across Minnesota. October 2009 ranks among the coldest Octobers of the modern record. The month featured persistently cold and cloudy weather. During the second week of the month, many daily records were set for coldest maximum temperature. Maximum temperatures greater than 60 degrees were infrequent. Extreme temperature values for October ranged from a high of 71 degrees at Preston on the 19th, to a low of 11 degrees in Brimson (St. Louis County) on the 13th.
[see: October 2009 Climate Summary Table | Cold October Start | Cold, Cloudy, Wet October]
Where we stand now:
- Although October 2009 was extraordinarily wet in many Minnesota counties, the U. S. Drought Monitor released on October 29, continues to reflect long-term precipitation deficits. A small area of east central Minnesota remains in the Moderate drought category due to lingering precipitation shortfalls that extend back to early-summer 2008. An area of north central Minnesota,
centered on the Mississippi headwaters region, was also depicted as experiencing Moderate drought. This is the result of a very dry 2009 growing season. By late October, 12% of Minnesota's landscape was placed in the Moderate or Severe drought categories. This compares with 30% of Minnesota's total area in Moderate, Severe, or Extreme drought in late September. The early-November release of the Drought Monitor
will incorporate last week's rain and snow, and the total area depicted in drought designations will decrease further. The U. S. Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where drought categories (Moderate, Severe, etc) are based on several indicators.
[see: Drought 2009]
- The U.S. Geological Survey reports that stream discharge values for nearly 45% of Minnesota measurement sites rank above the 90th percentile in the historical data distribution for the date. Some measurements are the highest ever for the date. The early-November discharge on the Red River at Fargo is the greatest ever this late in the calendar year. Minor flooding is reported along the Red River and the South Branch of the Buffalo River. By contrast, low stream flow values are reported along the upper reaches of the Mississippi River and in some northeastern Minnesota rivers.
[see: USGS Stream Flow]
- The Lake Superior water level is up three inches from last year at this time but remains below the long-term average. Water levels on many smaller lakes and wetlands have risen markedly due to the heavy October precipitation. However, some larger lakes and wetlands complexes in east central Minnesota lakes are very low. White Bear Lake, on the Ramsey/Washington county border, is near its all-time record low level.
[see: Corps of Engineers Great Lakes Water Levels | White Bear Lake Water Level]
- The Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reports that as of November 1, topsoil moisture was 0% "Very Short", 3% "Short", 42% "Adequate", and 55% "Surplus". The heavy October rains amply recharged the soil moisture profile across Minnesota. This greatly improved forestry, horticultural, and agricultural prospects for the early 2010 growing season. However, the saturated topsoils have also led to inconvenience and high costs for the agricultural community. Only 12% of Minnesota's corn crop was harvested as of November 1, compared to a five-year average of 69%.
[see: Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress and Condition]
- The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as "Low" across Minnesota.
[see: Fire Danger Rating Map]
- The November precipitation outlook indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities across Minnesota. November precipitation normals range from around one inch in western Minnesota to over two inches in eastern sections of the state. The average date of the first enduring snow cover ranges from the first week of November in northeastern Minnesota, to the final week of November in south central counties.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | November Precipitation Normal Map]
- The November temperature outlook leans strongly towards above-normal conditions. Normal November high temperatures are in the mid-40s to upper 40s to start the month, dropping to the mid-20s to near 30 by month's end. Normal lows are in the upper 20s early in the month, falling into the mid-teens by late November.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 30-day Outlook | November Temperature Normal Map]
- The 90-day precipitation outlook for November through January shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. The November through January temperature projection indicates a strong tendency towards above-normal temperatures.
[see: Climate Prediction Center 90-day Outlook]
- The National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River, Minnesota River, and Mississippi River basins. These products are part of the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS).
[see: National Weather Service River Forecast Center]
From the author:
- The DNR Division of Waters prepares a monthly product providing general information on the quantitative status of water resources across Minnesota.
The monthly Hydrologic Conditions Report places current measurements of precipitation, stream flow, lake levels, and ground water levels in historical context.
[see: DNR Waters Monthly Hydrologic Conditions Report]
Notes from around the state:
Upcoming dates of note:
- November 19: National Weather Service releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks
Web sites featured in this edition:
- http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group, Minnesota DNR Waters and U of M Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate
- http://www.drought.unl.edu - National Drought Mitigation Center
- http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/dailyMainW?state=mn&map_type=weekd - U.S. Geological Survey
- http://www.lre.usace.army.mil - US Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District
- http://mndnr.gov/waters - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Waters
- http://www.nass.usda.gov - USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service
- http://mndnr.gov/forestry - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry
- http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - National Weather Service, Climate Prediction Center
- http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ncrfc - National Weather Service, North Central River Forecast Center
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