HydroClim Minnesota - November 2003

A monthly electronic newsletter summarizing Minnesota climate conditions and the resulting impact on water resources.

Distributed on the Wednesday following the first Monday of each month.

State Climatology Office - DNR Waters

compiled 11/5/03


- October 2003 precipitation totals fell short of normal by one to one and one half inches across nearly all of Minnesota. This continued a pattern of dryness that has persisted since mid-July.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/cawap/monsum/monsum.asp )
- the largest single precipitation event of the month occurred at Ada (Norman county) when 1.07 inches of rain was reported on October 11. A winter storm brought accumulating snow to many northern Minnesota communities on October 27 and 28. Four to eight inches of snow was reported in some areas. 
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/snow031028.htm , http://climate.umn.edu/doc/weekmap.asp  )
- October mean monthly temperatures for most Minnesota locations were one to four degrees above normal. The mean monthly temperatures did not portray the swings of temperature experienced by Minnesotans during October. Temperatures fell short of average by 10 to 20 degrees on October 1 and 2. Some minimum temperature records were broken on these dates. The state then experienced a dramatic warm-up. Temperatures in the 70's and 80's were common from October 6 through October 10. All-time daily maximum temperature records were set during this warm spell. All-time maximum temperature records were also set in portions of Minnesota on October 19 and 20. The month ended with a week of below normal temperatures. Temperature extremes for the month ranged from 13 degrees F at Embarrass (St. Louis county) on October 2, to 90 degrees F at Milan (Chippewa county) on October 7 and at Browns Valley on the October 7 and October 20.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/cold031002.htm , http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/hot031006_10.htm , http://climate.umn.edu/cawap/monsum/monsum.asp )


- as of November 5, a light to moderate snow cover blanketed portions of northern Minnesota. Most locations in the northern one half of Minnesota have at least one inch of snow on the ground. Four to six inch snow depths were reported north of a line from Ada to Two Harbors. 
- few significant widespread precipitation events occurred in Minnesota during the three-month period from mid-July through mid-October. Large areas of Minnesota received less than six inches of rain for the interval from July 15 through October 20. Total rainfall for the mid-July through mid-October period fell short of normal by four or more inches in many areas. Rainfall deficits exceeded seven inches in portions of southeastern Minnesota. When compared with other July 15 through October 20 time periods in the historical database, mid-July through mid-October 2003 rainfall totals rank among the lowest on record in southeastern, south central, and portions of central Minnesota.
(see: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/dry_mid_summer_2003.htm )
- as of October 28, the National Drought Mitigation Center - U. S. Drought Monitor indicated that most of Minnesota is judged to be in the "D1 - Moderate Drought" category. Southeastern Minnesota counties are rated in the "D2 - Severe Drought" to "D3 - Extreme Drought" classification. The NDMC index is a blend of science and subjectivity where intensity categories are based on six key indicators and numerous supplementary indicators.
(see: http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html )
- the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service reports that as of October 31, the state's topsoil moisture was 22% very short, 42% short, 34% adequate, and 2% surplus. Although September and October rains and snow moistened the state's topsoil, the second and third foot of the soil profile remains extremely dry.
(see: http://www.nass.usda.gov/mn/cwmn.htm , http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu/Watch/Drought/moisture.htm , http://swroc.coafes.umn.edu/Weather/Charts/Soil/2003/03_soil_water.htm , http://climate.umn.edu/img/soil_moisture/wassm12.gif )
- the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that stream discharge values for roughly 20 percent of Minnesota's rivers rank below the 25th percentile for the date. Those rivers with low streamflows include major watercourses such as the Rainy River and Mississippi River. Streamflows on most of the state's smaller rivers rank between the 25th and 75th percentile for the date.
(see: http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/dailyMainW?state=mn&map_type=weekd )
- the potential for wildfires is rated by DNR Forestry as "low" for all of Minnesota.
(see: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/ )


- the November precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. November precipitation normals range from around one inch in western Minnesota to over two inches in eastern sections of the state. The average date of the first enduring snow cover ranges from the first week of November in northeastern Minnesota, to the final week of November in south central counties. The November temperature outlook also shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. Normal November high temperatures are in the mid-40's to upper 40's to start the month, dropping to the mid-20's to upper 20's by month's end. Normal lows are in the upper 20's early in the month, falling into the mid-teens by late November.
(see: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day , http://climate.umn.edu/img/normals/precip/precip_norm_11.htm
http://climate.umn.edu/img/normals/temp_norm_adj/temp_norm_adj_11.htm )
- the 90-day precipitation outlook for November through January shows no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities. The November though January temperature outlook also indicates no significant tendencies away from climatological probabilities.
(see: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/lead01/index.html )
- the National Weather Service produces long-range probabilistic river stage and discharge outlooks for the Red River, Minnesota River, and Mississippi River basins. A hydrologic model is initialized using the current conditions of stream flow and soil moisture across a basin. The model is allowed to run into the future with multiple scenarios using more than 30 years of historical climatological data. The climatological data are weighted by 90-day climate outlooks for temperature and precipitation trends. Model output offers a complete range of probabilistic values of stream stage and discharge for numerous forecast points. The product provides a risk assessment tool which can be used in long-range planning decisions involving flooding or low flow concerns. These products are part of the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) and are produced near the middle of each month.
(see: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps )


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- November 20, Climate Prediction Center releases 30/90 day temperature and precipitation outlooks


http://climate.umn.edu - Minnesota Climatology Working Group
http://www.drought.unl.edu/ - National Drought Mitigation Center
http://www.nass.usda.gov/mn/cwmn.htm - Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service
http://mrcc.sws.uiuc.edu/ - Midwestern Regional Climate Center
http://swroc.coafes.umn.edu/ - University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton
http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/dailyMainW?state=mn&map_type=weekd - U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/ - Minnesota DNR Division of Forestry
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov - Climate Prediction Center
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps - National Weather Service, Central Region Headquarters


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