A record-breaking streak of warm — even summerlike — weather appears to be ending.
But before reality sets in with rain and snow and more seasonal temperatures for early November, the last few days provided a respite. North Brainerd residents were out in shorts and T-shirts walking their dogs, or mulching leaves or welcoming in the southern breeze with open windows Sunday, Nov. 8, as temperatures reached 70 degrees. For the Brainerd area, Sunday’s high broke an 89-year-old record.
Records have steadily fallen this past week as temperatures were 30 degrees warmer than normal. Justin Schultz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth, said the jet stream lifted northward with a large ridge of high pressure bringing in the warmer air masses especially with a southerly wind helping usher in warmer southern air and setting new high temperature records across the region. “It's just been fantastic weather to kind of get outside and do those last second, last minute preparations for winter because you know it’s coming,” Schultz said.
November started on a cool note and followed in the aftermath of a chilly October where temperatures were below normal for the entire stretch between Oct. 15-Oct. 30. October brought early snow and plenty of it to become the Brainerd area’s snowiest October in history with 10.3 inches eclipsing the previous recordholder of 7 inches in 1951.
After hitting a month high of 82 degrees on Oct. 9, temperatures fell steadily and stayed in the lower 30s to upper 20s for daytime highs for the second half of the month. Temperatures were often 12 to 20 degrees colder than normal between Oct. 16-Oct. 29, moderating slightly to a high of 51 degrees on Halloween. The cooler than normal trend continued Nov. 1 with a high of 36 degrees, nearly 10 degrees colder than normal for this time of year.
But that changed beginning Monday, Nov. 2, with temperatures warming to 59 degrees. By Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, the weather was matching or breaking records with regularity.
The Brainerd lakes area reached 72 degrees Nov. 3 for a tie with the warmest day on record set 55 years ago for the date in 1965.
On Wednesday, the Brainerd lakes area reached 75 degrees setting a new high temperature record for Nov. 4, replacing the former recordholder of 73 degrees in 1975.
Thursday failed to fall in line with the high of 61 degrees far short of the record of 71 set on Nov. 5, 2016.
But the ship was righted by Friday with a high of 75 degrees knocking aside the former 45-year recordholder of 72 degrees from Nov. 6, 1975. It also set the stage for a blast of summer temperatures even as autumn leaves swirled in the breeze. Saturday didn’t have to muster highs in the 70s to set the new record, it surpassed the former recordholder by reaching 67 degrees, replacing the obviously warm early November 45 years ago when the mercury rose to 65 degrees on Nov. 7, 1975.
But it took the high of 70 degrees Sunday to break a record that has stood for 89 years. It won’t be official until the end of the day, but the weather station at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport recorded 70 degrees before 3 p.m. enough to edge out the high of 69 set Nov. 8, 1931. The normal high this time of year is 43 degrees.
Temperatures remained warm well after dark with a steady 67 degrees before 7 p.m. Sunday. A strong southern wind blew throughout the day with gusts as high as 40 mph exchanging fallen leaves across yard boundaries.
It appears the record-setting warm days, which provided additional time for yard work, putting up holiday lights or simply an opportunity to enjoy being outside, is coming to an end. The high temperature for Monday, which will likely fall short of the record, is expected to be recorded at midnight with gradual cooling throughout the day. The forecast calls for showers Monday, even a chance for a thunderstorm. The breezy south wind will shift to a northwest breeze by the afternoon sending temperatures plummeting to about 34 degrees by 5 p.m. There is a chance for rain and snow showers Monday night and into Tuesday morning.
“Not only are we going to see the temperatures go downhill but it will be a fairly soggy day as well,” Schultz said.
Schultz said the afternoon rain should be more persistent with the potential for a half-inch to 3/4 rainfall Monday. By late afternoon there could be a wintry mix and freezing rain. It looks as though the brunt of Tuesday’s anticipated snowfall may shift east of Brainerd leaving 1 inch to an 1.5 of snow in the lakes area.
By Veterans Day on Wednesday the sun should return with a high expected to top out at 40 degrees. Highs in the low- to upper-30s or near 40 degrees are expected to end the week and the coming weekend.
New high temperatures records in November 2020
72 degrees set Nov. 3,
75 degrees set Nov. 4,
75 degrees set Nov. 6,
67 degrees set Nov. 7,
70 degrees set Nov. 8 — unofficial record as of press time.
Winter weather spotter course
With winter around the corner the National Weather Service in Duluth is offering something new for 2020 with a winter weather spotter course.
The class will last about an hour and cover winter weather science, the winter 2020-2021 outlook, how to measure and report winter weather to the National Weather Service, and many resources available to stay up-to-date on the forecast.
This class will be offered via GoToWebinar, and a recorded version will be posted on the weather service website. People do not need to be official spotters to take part in the class. This webinar will focus on northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, but the weather service reported those outside the region were welcome to attend.
There will be four identical sessions offered:
Monday at 1 p.m. Nov. 9.
Tuesday at 11 a.m. Nov. 10.
Thursday at 7 p.m. Nov. 12.
Friday at 10 a.m. Nov. 13.
A version of the talk with closed captioning will also be recorded for those who can’t make the live classes. To register for the winter spotter class, visit https://bit.ly/3eC8KZc.
The weather service noted those without a strong internet connection can access the audio via a computer, smartphone or tablet. To check to see if a computer, phone, or tablet is ready for the webinar, go to https://bit.ly/36g7reK.