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Drought, slightly cooler temperatures, and the weekend's forecast

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Mark Seeley
MPR meteorologist Mark Seeley
MPR Photo/Tom Weber

MPR's Cathy Wurzer discusses weather with University of Minnsota Climatologist Mark Seeley.

Most Minnesota observers reported mean October temperatures that were 1 to 2 degrees F cooler than normal, breaking a long string of months with above normal temperatures.  Extremes for the month ranged from 87 degrees F at Wheaton on the 1st to just 8 degrees F at Babbitt on the 31st.

Precipitation for October was generally less than normal, except for some northern and southeastern counties where surplus precipitation was reported, mostly thanks to storms over the 4th and 5th and over the 24th and 25th.  

Despite the good news that some Minnesota observers reported above normal October precipitation, drought kept its grip on much of the state during the month.  Some observers reported less than one inch for the month, and most places across the middle of the state as well as the southwest and south-central counties were well below normal values.  

The dry October followed an unusually dry September as well, resulting in the 3rd driest September-October combination in history on a statewide basis, trailing only 1952 and 1976.  As we end October well over 40 percent of the state's landscape remains in severe to extreme drought condition according to the USA Drought Monitor.

What's the outlook for the weekend? Mostly cloudy Saturday with a slight chance of rain or snow in the southwest, continued cooler than normal temperatures.  Getting warmer on Sunday and Monday with a chance for rain later on Monday. Chance of mixed precipitation on Tuesday and warmer yet deeper into next week.