<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> October 2013 Saint Cloud Weather Summary
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Eighth Northern Plains Winter Storm Conference: Coming October 28-29, 2013 in Saint Cloud!


Rain Reigns Over October

Saint Cloud October 2013 Weather Summary  

After amassing a 6.41 inch shortfall in rain between July 1 and September 30, St. Cloud and the rest of Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin badly needed some rainfall. In October, they got it. Much of the state received more than 5 inches of rain with the Saint Cloud Regional Airport picking up 4.34 inches of rain, more than one and three-quarter inches above the 2.49 inch average. Still, that rainfall fell just short of the 10 rainiest Octobers in St. Cloud records, placing 13th. Tenth place was 4.52 inches. Among recent years, 2005 (9th place, 4.81 inches) and 2009 (3rd place, 6.02 inches) had more.

That 4.34 inches in October was more than the three-month rainfall of July through September (4.15 inches). In total, the St. Cloud Municipal Airport is still more than four and a half inches behind on rainfall since July 1 (8.49 inches actual, 13.05 inches average). Still, this was enough rain to drop the ease the dry spell designation from central Stearns County northward to the abnormally dry category on the US Drought Monitor for October 29. All of the severe drought classification in Minnesota was eliminated by the October rainfall (see US Drought Monitor animation page). The latest summary of the summer-fall dry spell from the Minnesota State Climatology Office shows that rainfall deficits vary across Stearns County from about three inches near Albany, Holdingford, and St. Wendell to over six inches towards Fair Haven, Annandale, and Clearwater.

Note that this was still a short-term dry period since the April through October (growing season) rainfall was 22.13 inches, close to the average of 22.39 inches. That high total was the result of a wet April and May.

15 of the 31 October days had measurable precipitation. That's one less than the October record of 16 days, set in 1959 and 2009. St. Cloud did set a record for October days with at least a quarter inch of rain. There were 8 this month (average: 2.5 days), the most in St. Cloud records. The old October record was 7 days in 1968 and 1970. There were three days with half an inch of rain, including back-to-back days on October 14 and 15. In fact, between October 11 and 20, only two days didn't have measurable rainfall. The 2.82 inches during those 10 days was more than the average for the entire month.

In this very wet October, it became cold enough to produce at least some snowflakes on 6 days. 0.8 inch accumulated on October 20, beating the October average of 0.7 inch.

According to a study by University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus Donald Baker, the fall after the end of the growing season is the most effective time of year for rain to recharge soil moisture. About half of the rainfall goes into ground water because of the low use by plants. Also, cooler weather than during the summer keeps loss by evaporation low.

Temperature-wise, October in St. Cloud was near the average, but in an annoying way. The average St. Cloud temperature was 44.9°F, 0.8°F cooler than normal. The average high temperature of 53.3°F was three full degrees cooler than normal, mainly caused by the combination of cloudy days and a few chilly air masses. The low temperatures ended up being 2.2°F warmer than average, but people are more annoyed by chilly, cloudy days than heartened by mild nights.

The first frost in St. Cloud didn't come until October 13, more than two and a half weeks later than the average of September 26, and the first hard freeze waited until October 25, three weeks later than the average of October 4, and among the 10% latest on record.. The frost free period for the growing season was 152 days, two weeks more than the 137 day average. However, April and May were damp, so it was difficult to get crops planted on time..

 

 

    October 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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Send comments to: raweisman@stcloudstate.edu
Last updated: 1-November-2013
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