September 2016 Saint Cloud Weather Summary

The relentless rain that produced the 2nd wettest August and the 5th rainiest summer in St. Cloud records slowed at least for a time during the first half of September. "Only" 5 days during the first two weeks of September produced measurable rain in St. Cloud. Rain and storms became a lot more frequent through the second half of the month, but the heaviest rainfall took more than one day to fall (see NWS September daily statistics for St. Cloud). While St. Cloud ended up with 1.44 inches from the slow-moving storm on September 21-25, the rainfall totals were lower than the huge amounts seen in the northern and northwestern suburbs of Minneapolis and across south central and southeeastern Minnesota. Because of these near misses, the St. Cloud Regional Airport ended up with a below average monthly rainfall total. The September amount was 3.08 inches, 0.38 inch below average. This was the first month with below average rainfall since June. Still, the huge rainfall from July on has produced a growing season (April 1-September 30) with 25.46 inches of rain, nearly five and a half inches above average. Most of central and southern Minnesota have had between 110 and 200% of the average growing season rainfall.

More Than Enough Rain for the Entire Year

With another inch of rain in early October, St. Cloud now has topped above the average precipitation for the entire year with 28.37 inches (4.93 inches above average through October 4). The annual average rainfall is 27.73 inches. And, St. Cloud has missed some of the locally heavier rainfall. Much of Stearns County has had more than 30 inches of rain this year with Mora and Moose Lake and the eastern Twin Cities Metro with 35-40 inches so far this year and south central and southeastern Minnesota having 35-50 inches of rain (see year-to-date precipitation from the National Weather Service).

Still, St. Cloud has now had 104 days with measurable rainfall. The annual average is 97 days. An average number of precipitation days for the rest of the year will push the total into the 120's, high enough to crack the 15 years with the most frequent rainfall.

September Warmth Could Lead to a Top 20 Warmest Year

The drier weather was accompanied by persistent warmth. The average September temperature was 61.7°F, 3.1°F above average. This resumed the tendency for above normal temperatures that was persistent through the winter ( 10 Warmest Septembers

Flooding in Heavy Rain Sept 20-22
Sept 7 Camp Ripley Tornado
Fall 2016 Date of First Frost
St. Cloud First Frost Statistics
St. Cloud September Daily Records

     September 2016 Statistics

Temperatures (°F)
September 2016
Average High Temperature (°F)
Average Low Temperature (°F)
Mean Temperature for September (°F)
Temperature Thresholds
Number of Days
September 2016 Days with High Temperature of At Least 90°F
2016 Total Days with High Temperature of At Least 90°F
September 2016 Days with Low Temperature of 32°F or lower
September Temperature Extremes
Warmest High Temperature for September 2016 (°F)
September 6, 11, 18
Coldest High Temperature for September 2016 (°F)
September 13
Warmest Low Temperature for September 2016 (°F)
September 6
Coldest Low Temperature for September 2016 (°F)
September 14
Record Temperatures in September 2016
Old Record
No temperature records set
Precipitation (in)
This Year
September 2016 Precipitation (in)
Saint Cloud's Ten Rainiest/Driest Septembers
2016 Growing Season (April 1- September 30) Rainfall (in)
25.46 (+5.37 from average)
2016 Total Precipitation (in) (January 1 - September 30)
27.90 (+4.76 from average)
Precipitation Thresholds
Number of Days
September 2016 Days with Measurable (>= 0.01 inch) Precipitation
September 2016 Days with >= 0.10 inch Precipitation
September 2016 Days with >= 0.25 inch Precipitation
September 2016 Days with >= 0.50 inch Precipitation
September 2016 Days with >= 1.00 inch Precipitation
September Precipitation Extremes
Precipitation (in)
Most Daily Precipitation in September 2016
0.49 inches
September 22
Record Precipitation in September 2016
Precipitation (in)
Old Record
No records set



The low rainfall is quite evident in the river level reports issued this week. The weekly DNR map shows streamflow in the lowest 10% from St. Cloud through most of Sherburne and Benton Counties. Currently, the Mississippi River level at St. Cloud is 4.17 feet, among the 5 lowest stages seen at this gauge (note that the third lowest levels were seen in September 2007, which isn't listed in the records). The Sauk River in Waite Park is down to only 1.17 feet, the sixth lowest stage seen on that river. (In August 2007, the Sauk River was down to 0.37 feet) The streamflow from the USGS shows that the Mississippi River basin is now below the 25% mark in the Mississippi River basin at most stations from Aitkin to the Twin Cities, in the St. Croix basin, and in the central and lower Minnesota River basin. Stream flow is now in the lowest 10% in north central Minnesota, including the Duluth, Grand Rapids, and Ely areas.

Meanwhile, temperature data shows that this September is the summer we didn't have. So far , St. Cloud is working on the warmest September in more than 70 years. Through yesterday, the average St. Cloud temperature has been 65.5°F, 7.1°F warmer than normal. If we remained this warm, this September would be the third warmest September in St. Cloud records and the warmest since 1931.

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