<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> October 2004 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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This Month's Daily Statistics

NWS Winter Forecast

Warm in an Annoying Way

October 2004 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

    October 2004 in Saint Cloud was a tighter version of the wild temperature swings since July. There were eight days that were at least five degrees colder than normal and thirteen days that were at least five degrees warmer than normal. The overall October statistics for the Saint Cloud Regional Airport showed the mean temperature for the month was 47.7°F, 2.4°F above normal. However, much of the warmth occurred overnight, when we wouldn't enjoy it very much. The average high temperature was 57.1°F, only 0.8°F above normal. However, the average October low temperature was 38.2°F, nearly four degrees above normal. Much of the blame for the mild low temperatures but suppressed high temperatures was the persistent low clouds and fog during the warmer periods. Fog was reported on 18 days this past month, including 12 of the last 15 days of the month. Heavy fog (visibility less than 1/4 mile) was reported on 4 days, exceeding the October normal of 2.2 days.

    Despite the persistent cloudiness, most of October had little or no rain. Still, October ended up with well above normal rainfall (3.43 inches), mainly due to the heavy thunderstorms on October 1 (0.90 inch) and 29 (1.84 inch). The rainfall on the 29th was nearly equal to the normal rainfall for the entire month of October (2.24 inch) and was within 0.05 inch of a daily record rainfall. Rainfall on the 29th was even heavier just to the east of Saint Cloud with more than 2 inches reported at Forest Lake and Mora. Radar-derived precipitation fields from the Minnesota State Climatology Office showed up to four inches of rain in some areas of Minnesota, but these amounts have not been confirmed by ground reports. The storms on the 29th also produced three unconfirmed reports of tornado touchdowns in open fields near Gilman, Buckman, and along the Isanti-Chisago County line. Saint Cloud also began the snowfall season with some wet snow and sleet on the evening of October 17th. All of the snow and sleet melted on contact, so the total was a trace.

     The long range forecast for Minnesota and much of the Northern Plains is for a mild winter, thanks to the presence of El Nino, an anomalous warm patch of ocean water in eastern Pacific. Two SCSU graduates, Tina Fischer and Kimberly Oelrich, have done research showing that the warm phase of El Nino tends to produce milder than normal winter temperatures in Minnesota cities. This winter's El Nino is forecast by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center to be a relatively weak event. Thus, the milder than normal winter temperatures may not pan out. Even the latest version of the National Weather Services' winter outlook has backed off a bit on the warmer temperatures in the Plains, showing the best chance of above normal weather in the western third of the US. So far, the signs of an El Nino year have been mixed. An element of the North American circulation that persist in an El Nino year made an appearance during the last half of the month. The main steering winds produced a second jet stream from California into the central US. This subtropical jet stream helps to produce severe weather in the Southern Plains and surges of unusual warmth and moisture, such as the 70-degree highs with high humidity seen on October 29. However, the other element that tends to produce warmer than normal winter weather is the persistent west to east flow across Canada that keeps the coldest air bottled up in central and northern Canada. This portion of the North American circulation has not developed; in fact, the same western Canadian high pressure area that has been responsible for our cooler weather episodes since the middle of the summer has still developed frequently during the past month and is forecast to be a major player in the weather for the first 10 days of November. Because of this, I don't think a reliable winter forecast is possible at this time.

    Of course, I can forecast one potential disaster this month: on the heels of the Red Sox winning the World Series, the Spongebob Squarepants Movie is coming out in November. My reaction can be found here and there.

NWS Winter Forecast

    October 2004 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
October 2004
Normal
Average High Temperature (°F)
57.1
56.3
Average Low Temperature (°F)
38.2
34.3
Mean Temperature for October (°F)
47.7
45.3
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
October 2004 Days with High Temperature of At Least 90°F
0
0.02
2004 Total Days with High Temperature of At Least 90°F
4
11.43
October 2004 Days with Low Temperature of 32°F or lower
6
10.9
October Temperature Extremes
Temperature(°F)
Date
Warmest High Temperature for October 2004 (°F)
80
October 6th
Coldest High Temperature for October 2004 (°F)
38
October 16th,17th
Warmest Low Temperature for October 2004 (°F)
53
October 7th
Coldest Low Temperature for October 2004 (°F)
25
October 17th
Record Temperatures in October 2004
Temperature(°F)
Date
Old Record
No Temperature Records Set
 
Precipitation (in)
This Year
Normal
October 2004 Precipitation (in)
3.43
2.24
2004 Total Precipitation (in)
27.92
24.90
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
Normal
October 2004 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
13
7.4
October 2004 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
4
4.1
October 2004 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
2
2.5
October 2004 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
2
1.2
October 2004 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
1
0.4
October Precipitation Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Date
Most Daily Precipitation in October 2004
1.84
October 28th
Record Precipitation in October 2004
Precipitation (in)
Date
Old Record
No October Precipitation Records Set
Snowfall (in)
This Year
Normal
October 2004 Snowfall (in)
Trace
0.7
Most Daily Precipitation in October 2004
Trace
October 17th
Record Snowfall in October 2004
Snowfall (in)
Date
Old Record
No October Snowfall Records Set
NWS Winter Forecast


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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: 1-November-2004
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