November 1999 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

This Month's Daily Statistics

DATE: 7 December 1999

SUBJECT: Oh, those brutal late fall days in St. Cloud....NOT!

Saint Cloud November 1999 and fall weather summary


If you actually stopped to notice how pleasant the weather was for raking leaves, hanging Christmas decorations, or how few weather problems there were during Thanksgiving weekend, you might have noticed that the weather was unusual. On the other hand, if you have a short attention span, you might think it was the "new normal" since last year included the warmest Thanksgiving on record.

Well, enough with the "feely-touchy" stuff; November 1999 in St. Cloud had an average temperature of 37.4 degrees, more than seven and a half degrees warmer than normal. The mild temperatures made November 1999 the mildest November in 86 years and the fourth warmest in the 119 years of St. Cloud temperature records. The average high temperature of 49.2 degrees was more than 10 degrees above normal. That figures, since there were 13 days with high temperatures of at least 10 degrees above normal.

The warmest streak ran during November 7-13 when the high broke 60 degrees 4 times and 70 degrees twice. Included in this streak were three daily record highs, each one at least 6 degrees warmer than the old records, a new record for the month of November (75 on the 8th), and a new record for the latest 70-degree high in the year. This record was set first on the 8th, then broken again 5 days later.

November 1999 in St. Cloud was also an extremely dry month. Only 0.20 inches of precipitation fell, more than an inch below normal. November 1999 tied with 1980 as the 11th driest November in the 105 years of St. Cloud precipitation records. In addition, the 1.1 inches of snow was the lowest November snowfall since 1980.

The warm and dry conditions during this November contributed to a mild and dry fall, but not as warm as last year. The average temperature for the fall (Sept. 1-Nov. 30) was only a degree and a half warmer than normal. However, it was drier this fall, with only about 2/3 of the normal rainfall. More rainfall goes into ground water during the fall than during any other season. So, the dry fall, while not long enough to be considered a drought, could lead to some serious water problems in the spring if we don't get some heavy rains after the ground thaws. The problems could even be more acute in the pockets of western and central Minnesota which missed much of the thunderstorm activity during the middle and late summer.

The low amount of snowfall in November could give us some clues about how much snowfall is likely during the winter of 1999-2000. There have been only 19 seasons in St. Cloud with less than 2 inches of snowfall through the end of November. While 19 winters don't cover all possibilities, it does provide some statistical evidence for a relatively snowless winter. Only one of these 19 winters ended up with more snow than the normal of 45.5 inches. Only 3 winters had more than 38 inches of snow. The average snowfall for these19 winters is 28.5 inches, less than 2/3 of the normal total.

Moving on to things in which I trust more, namely the jet stream, the cause of the dry and mild conditions during November was the odd position of the jet stream and storm track. For most of the first half of the month, the jet stream in the western half of North America was well into western Canada, allowing warm air to frequently penetrate into Minnesota. Meanwhile, a frequent low pressure over the eastern third of the U.S. drained the cold air to our east and kept Gulf of Mexico moisture in the Gulf for most of the month. This pattern, while not always as extreme, has been the primary one for most of the fall. If it persists, we are probably in for normal to above normal temperatures and below normal snowfall this winter.

SUMMARY FOR NOVEMBER 1999               NOV 1999        NORMAL
Average high temperature ( F)            49.2            39.0
Average low temperature ( F)             25.6            20.3
Average temperature ( F)                 37.4            29.7
Number of days with high of 32 or less    0               9.3
Warmest high for this month ( F)         75 on the 8th (broke November record; see below)
Coolest high for this month ( F)         34 on the 23rd
Mildest low for this month ( F)          37 on the 13th
Coldest low for this month ( F)          13 on the 29th
Seasonal record temperatures:
Latest 70 degree temperature:            75 on the 8th (old record: 70 on Nov. 6, 1916)
                                         71 on the 13th (old record: 75 on Nov. 8, 1999)
Monthly record temperatures:            
Warmest November high temperature        75 on the 8th (old record: 74 on Nov. 3, 1978)
Daily record temperatures:
Record highs:                            75 on the 8th (old record: 68 in 1931)
                                         68 on the 9th (old record: 62 in 1923 and 1937)
                                         71 on the 13th (old record: 61 in 1973 and 1981)
November                                  0.20            1.27
Greatest in 24 hours (Nov 1999)           .11 on the 23rd
November                                   1.1             6.8
Greatest in 24 hours                       1.1 on the 23rd
Season (1999-2000)                         1.1             7.3
SUMMARY FOR FALL (SEPT-NOV) 1999         FALL 1999       NORMAL
Average High Temperature (F)              59.1            55.2
Average Low Temperature (F)               34.3            33.4
Average Temperature (F)                   46.7            45.2
Liquid precipitation (in)                 4.17            6.29
Snowfall (in)                             1.1             7.3

     ST. CLOUD TEMPS--NOVEMBER  (119 YEARS; AVG = 29.9 F; SDEV =  4.5 F)
        WARMEST                          COLDEST
     39.5 F  1899                     18.7 F  1896
     39.0 F  1904   WARMEST NOVEMBER  20.9 F  1911
     38.6 F  1913   IN 86 YEARS;      21.1 F  1985
     37.4 F  1999 <--4TH WARMEST ON   22.0 F  1955
     36.6 F  1939    RECORD           22.2 F  1991
     36.5 F  1908                     22.3 F  1959
     36.3 F  1963                     22.5 F  1951
     36.2 F  1934                     22.5 F  1996
     36.1 F  1917                     23.2 F  1976
     36.1 F  1923                     23.8 F  1926

     ST. CLOUD PRECIP--NOVEMBER  (105 YEARS; AVG =  1.26 IN; SDEV =  0.96 IN)
         WETTEST                           DRIEST
      4.16 IN  1922                     TRACE     1916
      4.02 IN  1931                     TRACE     1939
      3.83 IN  1996                      0.01 IN  1912
      3.74 IN  1977                      0.01 IN  1941
      3.24 IN  1975                      0.05 IN  1917
      3.14 IN  1940                      0.08 IN  1904
      3.11 IN  1983                      0.14 IN  1967
      2.99 IN  1918                      0.14 IN  1976
      2.76 IN  1896                      0.16 IN  1942
      2.75 IN  1988                      0.17 IN  1984
                                         0.20 IN  1980
                                         0.20 IN  1999 <--11TH DRIEST
                                                          ON RECORD (TIED
                                                          WITH 1980)

Historic temperature data provided courtesy of the Saint Cloud National Weather Service Office, and NOAA/NWS
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