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Drought talk returned as the Twin Cities received just under half of the normal rainfall for the second month in a row. Heavy rains fell elsewhere. Pelican Rapids received 2.23 inches Sept. 15-16. On Sept. 19, a storm with high winds and large hail ripped southwest-to-northeast across the state.
The Twin Cities had an Oct. 2 record rainfall of just under an inch — paltry compared with the 2.76 inches at Pine Island and 1.4 at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus Oct. 3, both local records for that date as well. Those amounts were eclipsed by the 5.85 inches of rain at Preston overnight Oct. 5, a statewide record for the date, that came in a storm that caused flooding across southeastern Minnesota and closed Hwy. 61 in Winona County with a mudslide. To the north, much of central Minnesota had nearly double the normal rainfall for the month.
Towns in east and northeast Minnesota got 5 inches of snow the week of Oct. 18-24. But Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where official Twin Cities conditions are logged, didn’t get its first frost of the season until Oct. 27, three weeks later than average.
Leaves lingered on trees in the Twin Cities through the first week of the month; many fell green because of the late spring and dry conditions in late 2012 and mid-2013.
Winter stomped in Dec. 2-4 with 35.3 inches of snow north of Two Harbors, closing schools for two days in Duluth. In the Twin Cities, snow fell on 23 days in the month. The snow was escorted by deep, widespread cold, making it the seventh-coldest December on record for the state. Embarrass hit 43 below on Dec. 31, the statewide low for the year. The Twin Cities saw 11 subzero overnight lows in the month, but there was also a record high of 47 on Dec. 28. In International Falls, “the Icebox of the Nation,” it was the second-coldest December on record.
Bill McAuliffe • 612-673-7646