<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> November and Fall 2012 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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Mild November Doesn't Equal Wetter

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for November 2012 and Fall 2012

Driest June-November in St. Cloud Records

The milder than average conditions resumed in November after a one-month break, but precipitation was still very hard to come by. This worsened the severely dry conditions seen in much of Minnesota since the beginning of June.

The November total precipitation at the St. Cloud Regional Airport was 1.05 inches, .33 inch below average. However, the meteorological fall (September 1-October 30) precipitation totalled only 2.02 inches, producing the fourth driest fall. Just behind the fall of 2012 is the fall of 2011 with only 2.35 inches. Note how these two falls stand out from many recent years.

The actual dry period in St. Cloud began in June. Since the end of the 5th wettest spring in St. Cloud records, there have only been 9.32 inches of precipitation in June-November. That is the lowest June-Nov precipitation in St. Cloud precipitation records that date back to 1893. That total is 8.98 inches below average. The first 5 days in December have been dry enough to push that precipitation deficit back over 9 inches. This is the biggest single year shortfall St. Cloud has seen since the dry periods of the 1950's. The State Climatology Office's weekly drought summary shows that several areas of central Minnesota from Morris through Willmar and southern Stearns Counties have rainfall deficits above 10 inches since mid-June.

Warmer Than Average Temperatures Resumed in November

On Track for Second Warmest Calendar Year

The November average temperature at the St. Cloud Regional Airport was 32.9°F, 2.5°F warmer than average. This marked the resumption of warm conditions that has now produced 16 warmer than average months in the past 18. This November also is the tenth straight November with a warmer than average temperature. Seven of the 10 years were at least two degrees warmer than average with 2009's 39.3°F ranking as the third warmest November. Outside the past decade, November 2001 is the warmest November on record with a 41.8°F temperature.

While this November had 9 days with a high of at least 50 degrees, including 5 days out of 6 during November 17-22, it marked St. Cloud's first November without a high of at least 60 degrees in the past 5 years. There was one warm daily temperature record tied: the average temperature on November 19 was 48 degrees, tying the record set in 1904. This was the 42nd record daily warm temperature tied or broken (16 highs, 16 averages, 10 lows) during 2012. There has been one 2012 record cold low, the 18°F low on October 12.

On the other hand, much colder weather moved in behind a Thanksgiving Day cold front. The cold was accompanied by 2.4 inches of snow (and much more in northeastern Minnesota), followed by really cold air. The snow cover helped low temperatures to fall to zero degrees on November 24, only the sixth November day with a low of zero or colder in the past 15 years. During the 16 years before that (1982-1997), there were 16 days with a low of at least zero. This all comes after the 2011-2012 cold season had the fewest lows of zero or colder in St. Cloud records (10 days).

:Given all of the warm weather earlier in the year, St. Cloud, with an average December (15.9°F), will finish 2012 with an annual temperature of 46.9°F. This would be the second warmest calendar year behind 1931. Note that 5 of the 11 warmest years have taken place since 1987. However, the December average temperature would have to be at least 12 degrees above average to catch 1931 for the top spot.

St. Cloud has already had 4 measurable snowstorms and there were 2.2 inches on November 22, providing our first inch and the first 6 days of the cold season with a snow cover. On the average, St. Cloud has nearly three months (86 days) with continuous snow cover of at least an inch with the average starting date of December 10. Ironically, there is a chance of accumulating snowfall this Saturday night or Sunday.

We've had two complete opposites in snow cover the past two years: there were only 32 consecutive days with snow cover in 2011-2012 (64 total days) and 130 consecutive days in 2010-2011 (131 days total). The total snowfall showed those extremes with 66.1 inches in 2010-2011 (8th highest) and 27.4 inches in 2011-2012.

Beyond a weekend storm, what's up for the meteorological winter (December 1-February 28)? Your guess is better than mine. Even the true believers in long-range forecasting, National Weather Service climate prediction group has less confidence than usual in their forecast, since the expected colder than normal waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, called La Nina, didn't arise as forecast. Minnesota is predicted to have above average chances of cold temperatures, but no trend for snow.

I'd rather take my chances at PowerBall.....


    November 2012 Statistics
Fall (September 1-November 30) 2012 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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Send comments to: raweisman@stcloudstate.edu
Last updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 3:58 PM
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