<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> November and Fall 2011 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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Late Summer Dry Streak Browns Autumn

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for November 2011 and Fall 2011

The reversal of the wet warm season continued throughout the fall, according to the statistics from the Saint Cloud Regional Airport. Only 2.39 inches of rain fell between September 1 and November 30, nearly 5 inches short of the normal total of 7.33 inches. This made autumn 2011 the fourth driest fall since records began in 1881 and the driest fall since 1976.

The dry spell began in St. Cloud in late August. From August 21 through the end of November, there has been only 2.89 inches of precipitation, nearly six inches below the average of 8.79 inches. And, Central Minnesota has been relatively moist compared to the rest of the state. Rainfall deficits along the North Shore are over 7 inches and much of southern Minnesota to the south of the Minnesota River has been 7-10 inches short on rainfall, according to the State Climatology Office Dry Late 2011 report. In fact, central Minnesota has had the lowest shortfalls in the state. The persistent dry conditions have produced severe drought conditions across southern and northeastern Minnesota on the National Drought Monitor. Given the lack of moisture during the fall, when more of the rain can recharge ground water than any other time of the year, some big spring rains will be needed after the frost leaves the soil to allow greening.

The very dry late summer and fall conditions were in marked contrast to how the year began. During the first part of the growing season from April 1 through August 20, St. Cloud had picked up 20.81 inches of rainfall, nearly 6 inches over the average of 14.90 inches. There was precipitation on 89 days in the first 232 days of the year. That's about 2.7 rainy days per week. Since August 20, there have been only 27 days out of 102 with measurable precipitation, about 1.8 days per week.

Of the 2.39 inches of precipitation during the fall, only 0.23 inch fell in November, the 17th driest on record. There were only 2 days with measurable precipitation in November and both were snow events. On November 19, St. Cloud was sideswiped by a narrow heavy snowband. The St. Cloud Reformatory picked up 3.8 inches of snow, enough to break the daily snowfall record. In a narrow band from St. Stephen through Rice, Sauk Rapids and eastward to Milaca, Mora, and Hinckley, between 8 and 11 inches of snow fell.

For the year, St. Cloud has picked up 27.67 inches of precipitation through December 13, just a bit above the average of 27.26 inches.

The dry weather was primarily warm in November, continuing a recent trend. The average November temperature was 34.1°F, 3.7°F warmer than normal. This included two periods of 60-degree highs, one on the 5th and another on the 12th, when St. Cloud came within two degrees of the record high. The week leading up to Thanksgiving was also warm with one high in the 50's. There were two very cold days on the heels of the November 19 snow, with a pair of single digit lows on the 20th and 21st.

The warm November helped to produce an average fall temperature of 48.0°F, 3.9°F warmer than normal, but that's nothing new. Over the past 17 falls, 5 have been warmer (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005) than this fall. Before that, however, there had been no fall this mild during the previous 30 years dating back to 1964.

The long range forecasts have been for a colder than normal meteorological winter (December 1 through February 28), dominated by La Nina, unusually cold waters in the tropical Pacific. This would also lead to a warm, dry winter in the Southern Plains, not providing any help to ease the drought conditions. However, December to this point has seen an active southern US storm track, which has produced welcome rain in the Southern Plains and snows in the Southern Rockies. In the meantime, cold air masses have been swept quickly across central Canada and the northern US, not allowing any major cold outbreaks.

We'll see what the rest of the winter brings.


    November 2011 Statistics
Fall (September 1-November 30) 2011 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, December 13, 2011 11:05 AM
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