<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> November and Fall 2010 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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November 13-14 Snowstorm

How The Blankety-Blank Did We End Up Warm in November?

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for November 2010 and Fall 2010

Mid-October Weather Through November 10

The chill of winter seemed to take hold of central Minnesota during November 2010, but the statistics from the St. Cloud Regional Airport fly in the face of that observation. The average temperature for November 2010 was 32.5°F, 3.7°F warmer than normal. That was created during the first 10 days of November, which averaged 44.3°F. If that weather would have continued for the whole month, it would have ended up being St. Cloud's warmest November on record. There were 4 stright days with a high in the 60's, and 4 lows warmer than 40 in this ten day period. November 9's average temperatures of 54 degrees broke a record for the warmest daily average temperature.

Winter Takes Hold Last Three Weeks of November

However, the weather pattern changed drastically after those first 10 days. Steering winds consistently brought air from central Canada during the final three weeks. The average temperature for the last 20 days of November was only 26.6°F, 2.2°F colder than normal. If that weather had held up for the whole month, November would have been the coldest November St. Cloud has seen since 1997. After never having a high colder than 46 degrees in the first 10 days of the month, St. Cloud only had 5 highs in the 40's during the last 20 days. The low temperature of zero on November 25 was only the fourth such November day in the past 10 years (2 in 2003 and one in 2007). This used to be quite common, however, with as many as 6 lows at or colder than zero in 1989 and 1992.

Any comparison to recent Novembers must note that recent Novembers have been quite mild, including last November, which was the third warmest in St. Cloud records. Two other November in the past 11 years rank among the 6 warmest.

Cold Weather Comes With Snowfall, But Much of It Misses St. Cloud

The colder weather also produced two major snowstorms in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota, the storm of November 13-14, which produced up to 10 inches of snow in the southwestern Twin Cities, a northern and northeastern Minnesota storm the day before Thanksgiving, and last Monday's storm that produced 10 inches in Redwood Falls and 8-10 inches in northeastern Minnesota. However, the St. Cloud area mostly found itself in the warm sector most of the time in these storms. So, November snowfall at the St. Cloud Reformatory totaled 3.6 inches, 5.2 inches below normal. That is in stark contrast to Duluth's 27.9 inches of November snow, and 35.6 inches so far this cold season. (To compare, St. Cloud averages 48.4 inches for the entire cold season!) Minneapolis-St. Paul had 9.8 inches of November snow, the most in the 2000's. St. Cloud's more modest total is still the secondmost since 2004.

The colder pattern didn't produce a lot of precipitation. Only 1.02 inch fell in St. Cloud in November, about two-thirds of the normal amount.

Late November Snowstorms Are Unusual Recently, But Not Overall

In central Minnesota history, however, there have been several heavy near-Thanksgiving snowstorms. In 1983, a November 23-24 snowstorm dumped a foot on eastern Minnesota and over 20 inches in Duluth. On November 26-27, 1988, a widespread heavy snow dumped 6 inches here and up to 25 inches in central Minnesota. And, in 1993, there was a storm which produced a foot of snow in western Minnesota and 2-3 feet of snow in northeastern South Dakota. The most recent major snow during Thanksgiving weekend was on the Sunday and Monday of Thanksgiving week in 2001 that dumped 29 inches in Willmar and 28 inches in New London. Much of the rest of central Minnesota had a foot of snow (11.9 inches in St. Cloud), but this storm is largely unremembered since there was only 3 inches of snow in the Twin Cities. You can see some evidence of these storms in the daily snowfall records for the last 10 days of November. Every day has had a storm that produced at least 5.7 inches of snow.

Winter is Here, As If You Didn't Know

With the start of December, meteorological fall (Sept 1-Nov 30) has ended. The average fall temperature in St. Cloud was 56.3°F, 2.1°F warmer than normal. This was largely fueled by warmer than normal weather in both October and November. St. Cloud's fall rainfall was 10.77 inches, about 4 inches more than normal. This was mostly fueled by the 7.16 inches of rain in September, the third rainiest September in St. Cloud records. For the growing season (April 1-November 30), St. Cloud had 28.69 inches of rain, 5.10 inches higher than normal and the most since 2002.

The growing season had a late end as the first St. Cloud frost didn't occur until October 3, about two weeks later than the average date of September 22. The first low of 24 degrees or colder was on October 29, among the latest 15% of hard freezes in St. Cloud records.

Easier to Get Cold At This Point On

The net effect of the November snowstorms moving forward is that there are more than 10 inches of snow across the northern third of Minnesota with more than 6 inches of snow across most of North Dakota. While parts of the Northern Prairie Provinces don't have much snow, there is now continuous snow cover from the Arctic Ocean into northern Minnesota on the Air Force Northern Hemisphere snow analysis from UCAR. Since snow cover can reflect more than three-quarters of the sun's energy back to space and is an efficient radiator of earth's energy out to space, very cold air masses from the Arctic can "keep their cool" over this fairly deep snow cover, so it makes it easier for Minnesota and the Dakotas to feel the brunt of any cold air masses. If the long range winter forecasts are correct, we will be seeing a series of cold air masses moving from Canada into the northern tier of states, so the snow cover between the Arctic and here make it more likely that these air masses will stay cold over us.

November 13-14 Snowstorm


    November 2010 Statistics
Fall (September 1-November 30) 2010 Statistics

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All climate data provided courtesy of NOAA/NWS
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and Minnesota Climatology Working Group, including the Minnesota State Climatologist's Office, University of Minnesota-Saint Paul Campus.

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Last updated: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 9:51 AM
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