October 2015 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

Saint Cloud October 2015 Weather Summary  

2015 has been a wet year in St. Cloud, MN, but not as wet as 2014 (4th wettest year in St. Cloud records). The reasons that 2015 is tracking lower are:

The fall dryness, however, came to an abrupt end in October. Eight of the last nine October days had measurable rainfall, including the last 6 days of the month. That pushed the St. Cloud Airport October rainfall to 3.14 inches, 0.65 inch above the 2.49 inch October average. In those last 6 days of October, 2.54 inches of the month's 3.14 inches fell. The six straight days of measurable rain approached the October record of 8 days, set in 1908, 1928, and 1982. Only the 1982 streak produced more rain than the six-day streak this year.

The late month rain broke a dry spell that lasted nearly two months. Between August 25 and October 22, the St. Cloud Airport had picked up 2.84 inches of rain, nearly three and a half inches short of the 6.33 inch average.

Still, the growing season (April 1-October 31) of 2015 has had 28.02 inches, 4.78 inches above the average. That's the 28th highest growing season out of the 123 seasons in St. Cloud records. For the 2015 year, St. Cloud has had only a little more rain (total of 28.99 inches, 3.46 inches above average) than the growing season total.

The mostly dry October allowed temperatures to warm well above average. The October average temperature was 48.6°F (59.5°F high, 37.7°F low) was 2.9°F above average. The temperature highlight was the record-breaking 83°F October 11 high in St. Cloud. This was also St. Cloud's first 80-degree high in October since October 7, 2011. It was the warmest October temperature since St. Cloud reached 86 degrees on October 5, 2011.

High temperatures in western and northwestern Minnesota broke well into the 90's that day. The last October 90-degree high in St. Cloud was 90 degrees on October 2, 1992. The only other October 90-degree high was October 2, 1953.

The first hard freeze (low temperature of 28 or colder) wasn't recorded in St. Cloud until October 16, which was among the latest 20% seasons for first freeze. Since the last spring freeze occured on April 26, there were 171 freeze-free days (among 20% longest periods). Nearly all of Minnesota, except the Lake of the Woods, Red Lakes, Rainy Lake, and Boundary Waters areas stayed freeze-free through September. There are still pockets of central Minnesota, including the eastern half of Stearns County, western Wright County and much of Meeker County, which have yet to reach 28 degrees. Portions of northern Minnesota have seen teens during our cold pushes.

During the cold push of October 28, steady rain turned over to wet snow in much of northern and central Minnesota. There was as much as 2 inches of snow at Hillman, with 0.2 inch at the St. Cloud Airport. While St. Cloud averages 0.7 inch of October snow, only 51 of 124 Octobers have recorded measurable snowfall. Most recently, there was less than an inch in 2013 (0.8 inch) and 2012 (0.3 inch), and a large October total in 2009 (2.5 inch). 2002 ranks as the second snowiest October in St. Cloud records with 6.4 inches. Ironically, the Halloween Blizzard year of 1991 ranks only 9th, since the bulk of the 13.4 inches fell on November 1.

The weather pattern continues to be a roller-coaster of temperatures with cool spells followed by warmer periods, as is expected Tuesday and Wednesday. For long range forecasting, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center is mostly looking for a milder than average November through January period, due to the strong El Nino event going on in the Tropical Pacific. The Northern Plains of the US, especially from Minnesota westward into Montana, does tend to have milder than average winters during El Nino, although there have been a few exceptions. However, there is no strong trend for snowfall during an El Nino year.

The bottom line? The long-range forecast experts give us a better than average chance at a mild winter, but there is no strong prediction on snowfall.

My trend? I don't make long-range forecasts because I don't believe they are accurate often enough.


    October 2015 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
October 2015
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for October (°F)
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
October 2015 Days with Low Temperature of 32°F or lower
October Temperature Extremes
Warmest High Temperature for October 2014 (°F)
83 (set record; see below)
October 11
Coldest High Temperature for October 2014 (°F)
October 29
Warmest Low Temperature for October 2014 (°F)
October 5
Coldest Low Temperature for October 2014 (°F)
October 17
Record Temperatures in October 2015
Old Record
Record Warm High Temperature
October 11
82°F in 1910, 1930
Precipitation (in)
This Year
October 2015 Precipitation (in)
May-July 2015 Precipitation (in)
August-September 2015 Rainfall (in)
Growing Season (April-October) 2015 Precipitation (in)
2015 Total Precipitation (in)
28.99 (+3.46 from average)
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
October 2015 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
October 2015 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
October 2015 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
October 2015 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
October 2015 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
October Precipitation Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Most Daily Precipitation in October 2015

0.89 inch

October 28
Record Precipitation in October 2015
Precipitation (in)
Old Record
No rainfall records set
Snowfall (in)
This Year
October 2015 Snowfall (in)
Most Daily Snowfall in October 2015
0.2 inch
October 28
Record Snowfall in October 2014
Snowfall (in)
Old Record
No October Snowfall Records Set



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