<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> November and Fall 2013 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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Cold November Not Comfortable, But Rare Recently

Saint Cloud Weather Summary for November 2013 and Fall 2013

Early surges of cold air dominated much of November 2013 in Minnesota. However, no record temperatures were set, mostly because of the lack of snow cover. The average November 2013 at the St. Cloud Regional Airport was 28.8°F, 1.6°F colder than average. However, this was the coldest November seen in St. Cloud since November 2003 (28.0°F). That's more a reflection of the very warm Novembers over the past 15 years. Three of the past 14 Novembers ranked among St. Cloud's six warmest Novembers, including 2001 (41.8°F, ranked #1), 2009 (39.3°F, ranked 3rd), and 1999 (37.4°F, ranked 6th). In fact, since the cold November of 1996 (22.5°F; tied for 7th coldest), 12 of the next 15 Novembers were warmer than this November.

The average November temperature from 2004 through 2012 was 33.6°F, more than three degrees above the average.

The cold temperatures in November 2013 were primarily a result of the chilly low temperatures. The average low temperature of 18.7°F was three full degrees colder than the average November low temperature and was the coldest since November 1997. There were 9 mornings with a low temperature in the plus single digits, including three mornings with a low of 1°F (November 23, 24, and 27). Seven of the last 9 days of November had lows in the single digits. However, none of these broke records, since all the records from November 9 on are below zero. To get that cold in November, snow cover, which reflects over 90% of the sun's energy back to space, is likely required.

The cold finish to November, with temperatures remaining below freezing all of November 26 through 29 and for 6 of the last 9 days of the month, has allowed rapid lake freezing in central Minnesota. Freeze up in late November is about the same time as the average for those lakes that are monitored (most for the past 20-30 years, which is a bit short to give a true indication of normal).

Drier So Far, But That Means Relatively Snowless

November marked a bit of a back slide towards the drier conditions seen in July through September. The total melted precipitation in November was 0.53 inches, 0.85 inch below average. That knocked the total July through November precipitation back to more than five inches below average (9.02 inches actual; 14.43 inches average). This trend allowed most of central Minnesota to return to the moderate drought category on the Current US Drought Monitor. The weekly update from the Minnesota State Climatology Office shows 5-8 inch rainfall deficits from southeastern Stearns County through Wright and Meeker Counties to the west Twin Cities suburbs from last week of June through early November. That still is far short of the nearly nine-inch rainfall deficit for June through November seen last year, the driest June-November period in St. Cloud records (comparison of Drought Monitor vs last week of November 2012).

The snow season is at least off to a welcome slow start. There was one day of measureable snowfall in November, 2.8 inches on November 5. Added to the 0.8 inch that fell on October 20, the snowfall through November is 3.6 inches, six whole inches below average. This makes ten straight falls with less than average snowfall through November. Since four of those previous nine seasons ended up having above average snowfall for the season, early season snowfall is a poor predictor for the rest of the snow season.

Since the end of November brought an end to meteorological fall (September 1 through November 30), the fall statistics are in. The average fall St. Cloud temperature was 45.5°F (55.8°F high; 35.2°F low), 0.6°F above average. There were 6.74 inches of precipitation in September through November, 0.59 inch below average.

November 2013 did have severe weather that will be remembered worldwide. The devastating Typhoon Haiyan struck the Phillippines on November 7. Over 5600 people died and the debris clean-up continues. And, on November 17, a series of tornadoes completely destroyed a few towns in Illinois and Indiana, including Washington, IL. And, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, a snow and ice storm killed 14 people in accidents from Arizona into Texas.

After A Top 5 Snow Season, Average Snowfall is More Likely

Of course, St. Cloud is coming off an extraordinarily snowy cold season of 2012-2013. There were 78.5 inches of snow for the season, the 4th snowiest in St. Cloud records. There were 140 days with at least one inch of snow on the ground (tied for the 4th highest total), 120 of which were in a row from December 8 through April 7 (the 4th latest end for the consecutive snow cover streak).

The forecasts for the upcoming winter have been relatively vague with even the true believers in long-range forecasting noting that this forecast is more difficult than average. However, I can look back on the seasons after St. Cloud's snowiest seasons to look for a trend. Of the previous nine snowiest seasons, only 4 seasons had less than average (41.9 inches) snowfall. However, all nine seasons showed a drop from the record snowy levels. The average decrease was 32.4 inches, which would correspond to a near average snowfall. There were two seasons, 1928-1929 and 1975-1976, with more than 50 inches of snow, but also three seasons with less than 30 inches of snow. So, this analog forecast method (using past seasons to predict future seasons), would tend to favor snowfall season much closer to average.

That Snow Cover Begins By Mid-Week?

Average still means nearly three continuous months (86 consecutive days) with at least an inch of snow on the ground, which begins, on the average on December 10. The averages shown in this table are the entire period average of 41.9 inches. The average of the past 30 years is higher, 46.1 inches. In the short-range forecast, however, a foot of snow is likely across the northern third of Minnesota during the next three days. St. Cloud will be on the southern edge of that snowfall, so a moderate snowfall (3-6 inches) could begin the continuous streak of snow cover by Wednesday.


    November 2013 Statistics
Fall (September 1-November 30) 2013 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: Monday, December 2, 2013 9:23 AM
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