SUBJECT: The dryness continues Saint Cloud October 2001 weather summary 

FROM: Bob Weisman

Earth Sciences, St. Cloud State University

The dry conditions which began in mid-June continued through October, according to the monthly statistics from the Saint Cloud Regional Airport. October 2001 precipitation only amounted to 1.28 inches, nearly an inch below normal. This marked the fifth consecutive month of below normal rainfall in Saint Cloud. In fact, the total rainfall from June 1 through October 31 is now more than seven and a quarter inches below normal, the ninth lowest rainfall total for corresponding months in the 112 years of Saint Cloud records.

The June-October period is even drier than last year’s 10.07 inches. The difference between the growing seasons of 2000 and 2001? Saint Cloud had a record wet spring this year, but was dry throughout the growing season last year which ranks as the fifth driest April-October period on record (see table below). Still, the persistent dry weather of the past 5 months has turned a spring rainfall that broke records into a total seasonal rainfall which is about normal. The lack of rain for the past 5 months is putting a strain on water tables, especially for areas that did not totally recover from the dry weather last year.

The precipitation deficit area is confined to Central Minnesota from southern Stearns and Sherburne county south to the Minnesota River. Central Minnesota is now marked by contrasts. While the total growing season rainfall is near record levels in Morrison County, it is only about 80 percent of normal in Renville County.

Although Saint Cloud did not get the October record snowfall of 10.9 inches that fell in Grand Forks, we did tie a record. The 0.5 inch of snow which fell on the evening of October 24 did tie a daily record for the most snowfall on that date with October 24, 1987. However, this storm was far from the earliest snowstorm to hit Saint Cloud. In fact, most of the records for earliest snowfalls were set in recent memory. The earliest measurable snowfall was 0.2 inches set on September 21, 1995. The earliest snowfall of at least an inch was set on October 12, 1969 when 3.6 inches fell. The earliest snowfall of at least 6 inches was the Halloween blizzard of 1991. From October 31 through November 1, 12.1 inches of snow fell, making it the first 6 inch snowstorm and the first foot snow storm.

Saint Cloud temperatures did not make news in October 2001. The average temperature of 46.1 degrees was within one-quarter of a degree of normal. No record temperatures were set.

SUMMARY FOR OCTOBER 2001               OCT 2001         NORMAL
Average high temperature ( F)            57.5            57.4
Average low temperature ( F)             34.7            34.4
Average temperature ( F)                 46.1            45.9
Warmest high for this month ( F)         82 on the 2nd
Coolest high for this month ( F)         38 on the 25th  
Mildest low for this month ( F)          48 on the 10th
Coldest low for this month ( F)          20 on the 7th

October                                   1.28            2.21
Greatest in 24 hours (Oct 2001)           0.44 on the 13th
Total Precip: June-September              9.86           17.15
Total Growing Season Precip (Apr-Sept)   22.39           22.24

October                                   0.5             0.5
Greatest in 24 hours (Oct 2001)           0.5 on the 24th (tied record 
                                                           set in 1987)

 AVG = 21.90 SDEV = 5.19; 112 YRS; 109 GOOD YRS

  11.02 1976
  12.80 1910
  12.89 1922
  13.57 1992
  14.04 2000 - 5TH PLACE ALL TIME
  14.52 1996
  14.83 1931
  14.96 1988
  15.00 1948
  15.25 1930
  22.39 2001
 AVG = 16.29 SDEV = 4.63; 112 YRS; 109 GOOD YRS

   9.06 1950
   9.11 1893
   9.17 1976
   9.38 1910
   9.41 1936
   9.59 1992
   9.63 1894
   9.63 1922
   9.86 2001 - 9TH PLACE ALL TIME
  10.07 2000 - 10TH PLACE ALL TIME


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Last modified: November 1, 2001