Cold October 2002 Temperatures in Twin Cities

October 2002 was unusually cold and cloudy in Minnesota. The Twin Cities finished with the 3rd coldest October in the modern era of record keeping. The average temperature for the Twin Cities was a chilly 41.8 degrees. Not only that, October finished the cloudiest in the Twin Cites since solar radiation records began at the St. Paul Campus Climate Observatory in 1963. The official snow site for the Twin Cities in Chanhassen recorded .6 inches of snow. This is an average amount of snow for the month of October in the Twin Cities. It seemed like more than that. There was at least a trace of snow reported on 10 dates in October.

Coldest October Temperatures for Minneapolis/St. Paul

Rank   Year    Avg. Temp (degrees F)
 1     1925     38.3
 2     1917     38.6
 3     2002     41.8
 4     1972     43.7
 5     1988     44.0
 6     1952     44.4
 6     1959     44.4
 8     1976     44.6
 8     1987     44.6
10     1919     44.7
normal = 48.7 degrees F
warmest - 1947, 59.3 degrees F

Historical data used for this table are from the downtown Minneapolis office of the U.S. Weather Bureau (1891-1938), and the Twin Cities International Airport (1938-present).

October was also extraordinarily gloomy. Solar radiation measurements made on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota indicate that October 2002 will finish with the lowest October daily average solar radiation value in the 40 year history of the data set (1963-present). Our thanks to Dave Ruschy of the University of Minnesota - Department of Soil, Water, and Climate for providing us with the following:

October 2002 will go down as the lowest average daily solar radiation for any October at the St. Paul Campus Climatological Observatory. Record begins in 1963. (Thus this is the 40th year of solar data at the station.)


October, 2002 averaged 175.6 langleys per day.

1963-2001 stats for October 1-31
average = 231.8
minimum = 192.0  in 1971
maximum = 284.9  in 1988


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Last modified: November 1, 2002