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News and Information

Minnesota WeatherTalk Newsletter for Friday, November 25, 2011

To: MPR Morning Edition Crew
From: Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota Extension
Dept of Soil, Water, and Climate

Subject: Minnesota WeatherTalk Newsletter for Friday, November 25, 2011

-A record snowfall for some on November 19th
-Cold temperatures short-lived
-Warm Thanksgiving Day
-Weekly Weather Potpourri
-MPR listener question
-Almanac for November 25th
-Past Weather

Topic: Snow on November 19th was a record for some

Saturday November 19th brought snowfall to many Minnesota communities. Across central counties common amounts ranged from 3 to 10 inches. Some observing stations reported record snowfall amounts for the date, including: 11.0" at Hinckley; 7.0" at Milaca; 3.8" at St Cloud; 3.6" at Montevideo; and 3.5" at Little Falls. Mora reported 7.8 inches, the 2nd highest amount historically for the date, and many other observers reported over 8 inches, but they had little or no climate history to compare. For much of the state it was the snowiest November 19th since 1948.

Topic: Cold temperatures last week were short-lived

After seeing above normal temperatures around the state for the first half of November, the temperatures last week were decidedly cooler than normal. Some observers reported their first single digit and below 0 F readings of the fall season. Hallock with -6 degrees F on the 17th and Embarrass with 3 degrees F on the 18th were the coldest in the 48 contiguous states. After a brief spell of cold from the 17th to the 21st temperatures rebounded to above normal levels which will likely persist to then end of the month.

Topic: Warm Thanksgiving Day

November 24th brought the warmest Thanksgiving Day for many Minnesota communities since 1990. Near Redwood Falls the afternoon temperature reached 66 degrees F, just two degrees F shy of the state record for the date (68 F at Wheaton in 1984). But many Minnesota communities reported new record highs yesterday (November 24th) prompting a good deal of outdoor activity for the holiday. Those reporting record highs included: 65 degrees F at Canby; 64 degrees F at Tracy; 61 degrees F at Austin; 60 degrees F at Rochester; 59 degrees F at MSP (tied record); 57 degrees F at Fargo-Moorhead; and 55 degrees F at Detroit Lakes (tied record).

Weekly Weather Potpourri:

The NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) and the American Radio Relay League (AARL) will celebrate Skywarn Recognition Day on December 3, 2011. During the day Skywarn radio operators will visit National Weather Service Forecast Offices and converse with other radio operators around the world. Volunteer Skywarn radio operators help the National Weather Service during storms and severe weather episodes. You can read more about this at....

The USA House of Representative voted recently to kill the bill proposing new NOAA Climate Services. This is unfortunate in that years of planning and internal reallocation of resources had been put into play to make NOAA Climate Services productive and efficient in providing data and climate outlooks to the energy, transportation, agricultural, and insurance sectors of the US economy. This decision makes no sense to those of us serving the public in weather and climate education, and further it signals a distrust of NOAA administration that is unwarranted.

Environment Canada reports snow cover across southern Manitoba and Ontario ranges from 7 to 10 inches this week. Temperatures have been as cold as -16 to -18 degrees F there so far this month and widespread snow cover is expected to persist and increase in depth.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center was watching the formation of a tropical cyclone off the southern tip of India this week. This storm could bring heavy weekend rains to southern India.

MPR listener question: For the Twin Cities Metro Area when was the coldest and snowiest period between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Answer: Though last year was record-setting for snowfall between Thanksgiving (Nov 25) and Christmas (Dec 25) with 33.9 inches, the temperature pattern was far from being among the coldest, averaging 17.2 degrees F. By far the coldest and snowiest periods between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays was in 1983. Thanksgiving was on November 24. Between that date and Christmas Day (Dec 25) the mean temperature was just 6.9 degrees F with a record setting low of -29 F on December 19th, and total snowfall was 33.5 inches (2nd highest behind last year).

Almanac for November 25th:

The average MSP high temperature for this date is 35 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees F standard deviation), while the average low is 22 degrees F (plus or minus 10 degrees standard deviation).

MSP Local Records for November 25th:

MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 62 degrees F in 1914; lowest daily maximum temperature of 6 degrees F in 1977; lowest daily minimum temperature of -18 degrees F in 1880; highest daily minimum temperature of 44 degrees F in 1913; record precipitation of 0.97 inches in 1896; record snowfall is a 5.3 inches in 1952.

Average dew point for November 25th is 21 degrees F, with a maximum of 43 degrees F in 1933 and a minimum of -19 degrees F in 1977.

All-time state records for November 25th:

Scanning the state climatic data base: the all-time high for this date is 76 degrees F at Faribault (Rice County) in 1933. The all-time record low for this date is a very cold -36 degrees F at Pokegama Dam (Itasca County) in 1903. The all-time record precipitation amount for this date is 3.00 inches at Le Sueur in 1896. State record snowfall for this date is 16.7 inches at Island Lake (St Louis County) in 1983.

Past Weather Features:

Wettest Thanksgiving of all time for southern Minnesota was in 1896. Over November 25-26 heavy rains brought 2 to 4 inches to many communities, including: 4.80" at Worthington; 3.36 inches at Farmington; 3.25 inches at Shakopee; 3.18 inches at St Paul; 3.00 inches at Le Sueur; and 2.61 inches at Cambridge.

A Cold Wave Warning was issued on November 25, 1903 as over 24 Minnesota communities reported temperature readings below 0 degrees F. Many northern areas saw temperatures plummet into the -20s to -30s F.

November 24-25, 1914 brought a late fall heat wave of sorts to Minnesota, as 22 communities reported temperatures in the 60s and 70s F. There was a lethal hog cholera outbreak in southern and western counties, and livestock producers took a hit on their bottom line.

Golfers were seen out playing courses on November 25, 1960 as 28 Minnesota cities reported afternoon temperatures in the 60s and 70s F.

With nearly a foot of snow on the ground in much of the Minnesota landscape, November 25, 1977 brought record cold. Nearly every community in the state saw temperatures fall to below 0 F values. Hallock reached a daytime high of only -6 degrees F.

The last week of November, 1993 brought almost continuous daily snowfall to many Minnesota observers. Over November 24-25 the snowfall was especially heavy in western parts of the state, closing some roads there and making Thanksgiving travel very difficult. Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls reported 17 inches of new snow.

Word of the Week: WOW

This acronym stands for Weather Observations Website, a program launched jointly by the United Kingdom Meteorological Office, Royal Meteorological Society and the UK Education Office last spring. This is a worldwide weather observation program that has already collected over 12.5 million observations from the European and Canadian Arctic to the southernmost regions of New Zealand.

You can read more about WOW at...


Chance of snow in the north and rain or snow in the south on Saturday, with cooler temperatures. Winds will be strong in many parts of the state as well. Generally dry Sunday through Wednesday with fluctuating temperatures.

Further Information:

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NOTE: News releases were current as of the date of issue. If you have a question on older releases, use the news release search (upper left-hand column of the News main page) or the main Extension search (upper right of this page) to locate more recent information.


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