HydroClim Minnesota - November 2010
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: November 3, 2010
What happened in October:
- October 2010 precipitation totals were above average in northwest, northeast, and east central Minnesota; below average in the southern one-third of Minnesota; and near average elsewhere. After a record-setting wet September, the first three weeks of October were quite dry across the state. Most locations reported little or no precipitation through October 22. The benign weather was followed by a very active four-day period that was responsible for nearly all of October's rainfall and snowfall.
[see: October 2010 Climate Summary Table | October Precipitation Departure from Normal]
- The bulk of October's precipitation was produced by a massive storm that plowed through Minnesota on October 26-27. The storm dropped two to four inches of precipitation in northeast and east central Minnesota, produced three to six inches of snow across much of the northern one-third of the state, spun up damaging winds, and boasted the lowest atmospheric pressure value ever recorded in Minnesota.
[see: Record Low Pressure and Mammoth Storm]
- Monthly mean temperatures for October 2010 were warm across Minnesota, topping the historical average by three to five degrees. Extreme temperature values for October ranged from a high of 92 degrees at Redwood Falls on the 8th, to a low of 14 degrees at Brimson on the 31st. Many high temperature records were set on October 8 and 9.
[see: October 2010 Climate Summary Table]
Where we stand now:
- 2010 warm season precipitation totals were well above historical averages in nearly all Minnesota communities. Large sections of the state reported April 1 - November 1 precipitation totals that ranked above the 90th percentile when compared with historical data for the same time interval. In some locales, April 1 - November 1 precipitation totals were near, or above, all-time highs. Total seasonal rainfall in these areas has topped the historical average by eight or more inches, the statistical equivalent of receiving two extra summer months worth of precipitation. There is a geographically-isolated exception to this generally wet pattern. Seasonal precipitation totals fell short of average in portions of Minnesota's Arrowhead region. In this area, mid-March through early November precipitation totals were more than four inches below the historical average.
[see: Weekly and Seasonal Precipitation Maps | Wet Summer | Dry Weather, Northeast MN]
- The U. S. Drought Monitor, released on October 28, depicts most of Cook County and portions of Lake County as undergoing Severe drought. Other northeastern Minnesota areas are considered to be under the influence of Moderate drought or are Abnormally Dry. Heavy rain and snow in this area during the final week of October improved the situation significantly. Future releases of the Drought Monitor will demonstrate categorical improvements, but not the complete elimination of the drought status. Although the U.S. Drought Monitor no longer depicts drought in east central Minnesota, some hydrologic systems in this area remain impacted by long-term dryness that began in June of 2008. This long-term precipitation anomaly is responsible for low water levels in larger lakes and wetland complexes across Anoka, Ramsey, Chisago, and Washington counties. The rest of Minnesota is without drought designation. 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: U.S. Drought Monitor]
- The U.S. Geological Survey reports that stream discharge values at many river monitoring locations are at all-time highs for the date. Conversely, stream discharge values for northern Lake County rivers are below the 10th percentile when compared with historical data for the date.
[see: USGS Streamflow | DNR Streamflow]
- The Lake Superior water level is down seven inches from last year at this time and down 13 inches from the long-term October average. Water levels on a few larger lakes in east central Minnesota lakes remain very low. White Bear Lake, on the Ramsey/Washington county border is up only slightly from its all-time record low level mark set in October.
[see: Corps of Engineers Great Lakes Water Levels | White Bear Lake Water Level]
- As of October 31, the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reports that topsoil moisture was 0% Very Short, 2% Short, 68% Adequate, and 30% Surplus.
[see: Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress and Condition]
- The potential for wildfires is currently rated by DNR Forestry as Low throughout Minnesota.
[see: Fire Danger Rating Map]
- The November precipitation outlook depicts no significant tendencies away from historical 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 indicates a strong tendency towards above-normal temperatures throughout Minnesota. 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 historical climatological probabilities across Minnesota. The November through January temperature projection also offers equal chances of below, near, or above-normal conditions.
[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 North Central River Forecast Center]
From the author:
- A note of concern from the author ... saturated soils in the Red River basin along with high autumn stream base flows enhance the possibility of spring flooding along the Red River and its tributaries in 2011.
Notes from around the state:
Upcoming dates of note:
- November 18: 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://mndnr.gov/waters - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Waters
- http://www.lre.usace.army.mil - US Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District
- 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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