Unprecedented late-season heat wave topples records

Never been this hot this late in the season in Twin Cities records

highs rep SUN
High temperatures reported Sunday, Oct. 1
National Weather Service

It’s not just hot in Minnesota. It’s another unprecedented climate event that’s well outside of seasonal norms.

Simply put: It’s never been this hot this late into the fall season since records began in the Twin Cities 150 years in the early 1870s.

Oct. 1 record highs
National Weather Service

Here are some of the astounding records set in the past few days around Minnesota. Keep in mind the average high temperature for the Twin Cities area last weekend was 66 degrees!

  • 88 degrees, a record high for the Twin Cities on Saturday

  • 92 degrees, a record high for the Twin Cities on Sunday, and the hottest temperature ever recorded so late in the year in the Twin Cities

  • 97 degrees in Madison and Appleton on Sunday in western Minnesota, tied for second hottest temperature in Minnesota during the month of October

The hottest temperature ever recorded in the state during October was 99 degrees in Ada, in northwestern Minnesota, on Oct. 2, 1922.

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Several locations set high and overnight warm minimum temperatures over the weekend.

The heat wave continues early this week. As of this post, we are approaching another record-high temperature in the Twin Cities. The current record is 89 degrees set in 1953.

Here’s more perspective on this unprecedented late-season heat wave for the Minnesota State Climatology Office:

An extraordinary burst of summer-like heat closed out September and opened October, prompting a rare cancellation of the Twin Cities Marathon, and breaking a slew of daily, and all-time monthly high temperature records for October across the state.

The heat ramped up first on Saturday September 30, 2023, following what had been a very stormy night across eastern, central, and southern Minnesota. Temperatures soared through the 80s F and climbed into the low 90s F across the southern quarter of Minnesota. Rochester and the Twin Cities set daily high temperature records for the date, with 90 F and 88 F, respectively.

The heat reached its peak intensity on Sunday October 1st, as temperatures climbed to 90F or higher over all of western, central, and southern Minnesota. The high temperature of 92 F in the Twin Cities was the highest for the date, the highest for any October date on record and, therefore, the highest temperature ever recorded so late in the season. The same was true for the 91 F high temperature recorded in St. Cloud. Rochester again set a daily record with 90 F, as did International Falls, with 84 F.

The morning low temperatures were also unusually high, with "high-minimum" temperature records set at International Falls (62 F on 10/1), Rochester, (67 F on 9/30), St. Cloud (64 F on 9/30 and 65 F on 10/1), and the Twin Cities (69 F on 10/1).

Owing to the unusual risks to runners, the heat prompted organizers to cancel the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday October 1st for the first time in the the event's history, back to 1982.

The highest temperature recorded by a National Weather Service cooperative observer was 96 F at Theilman, followed by 95 F at Milan and Lamberton. The highest temperature on record for October anywhere in the state is 99 F, recorded at Ada on October 2, 1922.

The heat continued into Monday, and any additional record values will be added to this summary as they become official.

October 2, 2023

A cold front will bring sharply colder air to Minnesota later this week.