<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> October 2005 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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This Month's Daily Statistics

Last of the Fall Deluges

October 2005 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

    While much of October finally allowed central Minnesota to dry out from the six-week period of heavy rainfall, the October Saint Cloud statistics were dominated by the heavy rainfall on October 4 and 5. The October rainfall in Saint Cloud totalled 4.81 inches, more than double the normal October rainfall of 2.24 inches. Thus, October 2005 now stands as the 8th wettest October in the 113 years of Saint Cloud rainfall records. It was the wettest October since 1984 (5.84 inches). The rainiest October in Saint Cloud records was October 1899 when 7.94 inches fell.

    The October 4-5 slow moving storm system that dumped up over 9 inches of rain in the Rush City area dropped 4.07 inches of rain in Saint Cloud. This accounted for nearly 85% of Saint Cloud's monthly total (all but .74 inch of the monthly total). The heavy rain produced flooding, mainly to Saint Cloud's south and east from the northern portion Twin Cities suburbs to Cambridge, Princeton, and Rush City. All by itself, the rain from this storm in Saint Cloud placed as the 14th wettest rainfall total for the entire month of October. The net effect of the heavy fall rains is that most of the southern two-thirds of Minnesota has ended up with normal to above normal growing season rainfall (blue colors on the weekly Minnesota State Climatology rainfall map). Only the northern part of the state from Moorhead to Baudette, Duluth, and the entire Arrowhead are short on rain for the year.

    This storm was the final event of a six-week extremely wet period. While Saint Cloud never was hit with the highest rainfall totals in any of these individual storms, the total rainfall between August 26 and October 5 was 11.92 inches, nearly triple the normal amount of 4.08 inches. Because of this rainfall total, September-October 2005 ranks as the 4th wettest September-October period in the 113 years of Saint Cloud rainfall records. The August through October rainfall total this year is the 8th wettest period in Saint Cloud history. (see rankings below) The most similar late summer and early fall in recent years took place in 2002. This year's rainfall during the past two months is slightly higher than 2002, but the inclusion of August pushes 2002 a couple of inches ahead of this year. The main difference between 2002 and 2005 so far is that 2002 was very wet all year. The 2002 total rainfall ended up over 35 inches, the 9th rainiest year in Saint Cloud history. So far, the total rainfall in 2005 is 29.30 inches, 4.40 inches above normal, but more than 5 inches behind the 2002 total through October. However, our 2005 total rainfall is higher through the end of October than the entire year rainfall total for each year, except 2002, of the past 10 years.

     Once again, the wet weather was accompanied by mild weather. The October average temperature in Saint Cloud was 48.8°F, 3.5°F above normal. While this warm temperature was not record-breaking, the mild October continues the trend of recent warm falls. Nine of the past 10 Octobers have had normal or above normal temperatures, but of these months, only October 1994 (49.8°F) and October 1998 (49.1°F) were warm than this past month. Still, none of these recent years have cracked the 10 warmest Octobers, all of which took place before 1964 and had average temperatures more than three degrees warmer than October 2005.

    The warmth of October was mainly created by having a very mild first 18 days of the month, followed by a near normal last two weeks. This resulted in a late hard freeze in much of central Minnesota. Although the temperature did get down to 28 degrees on October 7, this temperature was reached only briefly. Another low temperature of 28 degrees or colder didn't happen in Saint Cloud until October 22. The hard freeze (low of 24 degrees) that ended the growing season for all plants took place on the morning of October 25. This was late since the average date of the first 24-degree low in Saint Cloud is October 10 (growing season averages can be found here).

    Long-range weather predictions tend to be highly inaccurate, as I frequently note. During the past two weeks, October weather has become more fall-like in Minnesota and much of the US at times. However, there are still many signs of a summer weather pattern in the Northern Hemisphere. The big blocking high in the western Atlantic Ocean and the Southeastern US has finally disappeared during the past two weeks, which allowed relatively cool Canadian air to move into the eastern half of the US during the past couple of weeks. That cooler air not only set some record low temperatures in the Carolinas and Georgia last week, but also finally swept the mid-summer humidity southward into the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Still, it is abnormally warm and wet across the Caribbean, conditions that allowed three powerful hurricanes (Rita, Wilma, and Beta) to develop during the month. To our west, it is no longer extraordinarily warm in Alaska. However, the air over most of the North Central Pacific is much warmer than normal for this time of year.

    What does this mean? It's really hard to make any kind of guess for winter when we are finally settling into a fall weather pattern right now. And, with most of Saskatchewan's and Alberta's mild enough to keep many waterfowl from migrating southward, according to many area outdoors experts, any cold air masses that swoop into southern Canada will begin modifying long before they reach Minnesota. A couple of major snowstorms over the Canadian Prairies could change that, but for now, the weather pattern doesn't appear capable of giving us any prolonged cold weather.


    October 2005 Statistics

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Last updated: 1-November-2005
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