First Two Weeks of October Set Records in Midwest

We knew it was an unusually cold and snowy start to October in Minnesota.  We just weren’t sure it was this unusual.  According to the NWS office in Chanhassen, MN (Twin Cities NWS), the first two weeks have been the coldest on record for three of their major reporting stations – St. Cloud and Minneapolis in MN and Eau Claire in WI.

The stat is slightly misleading.  It’s actually the coldest start to October in terms of the average high temperature for the first two weeks.  The average low temperature is not record-breaking, although it is still in the top 10 of the coldest on record.  The total average departure from normal is probably in the top 5 coldest on record, but the high temperatures, on average, are the coldest start ever to October.

Click for larger image

As you can see from the image above, high temperatures ran about 15-20 degrees below normal from 10/1-14.  The low temperatures didn’t set a record because of the consistent cloud cover and damp conditions.  This reduced the radiational cooling at the surface and did not allow for temperatures to cool rapidly at night.  Still, the low temperatures were about 6 degrees below normal.

Precipitation was well above normal.  If you read this post on early Minnesota snowfall, it might not surprise you to learn that this October has already cracked the top 10 in terms of snowfall.  Of course, I’m referring to top 10 full October snowfalls – not just the first two weeks.  Another little storm in the next two weeks might push this month near the top of the record books.

The fun wasn’t limited to the Twin Cities.  Locations such as

Rochester, MN and La Crosse, WI
Sioux Falls, SD
Omaha, NE and
Kansas City, MO

also experienced record cold starts to the month.  As was noted in the previous post, the below normal temperatures might return later next week.  Looks like one of the coolest Summers on record has bled into Autumn.

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