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Minnesota had warmest September on record

The long, glorious summer of 2015 just kept rolling along into early autumn, giving Minnesota its warmest September in recorded history. The Minnesota State Climatology Office says the average statewide temperature for September 2015 will come in...

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The long, glorious summer of 2015 just kept rolling along into early autumn, giving Minnesota its warmest September in recorded history.

The Minnesota State Climatology Office says the average statewide temperature for September 2015 will come in above 64 degrees, smashing the old record of 63 degrees set in 1897.

The records go back to 1895, said Pete Boulay, state climatologist.

"In general, Septembers have been warming across the state, and this was the warmest September yet," Boulay said.

The average temperature in Duluth this September was nearly 60 degrees, and nearly 6 degrees above the normal since records have been kept at Duluth International Airport, starting in 1948. That should be good for second or third warmest September on the list, behind the record 62.1 degree set in 2009.

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Duluth still hasn't seen its first official frost of the season with 36 degrees Wednesday the coldest morning so far. On average Duluth sees its first frost either Sept. 27 or Sept. 30, depending on what period of records are used.

Using the 30-year normals from the National Weather Service, Sept. 30 is now the average first frost, a full week later than it used to be, Sept. 23, just a decade ago.

The average monthly temperature in Duluth has risen a half-degree per decade since the 1940s, Boulay noted.

Many areas of Northeastern MInnesota away from Lake Superior saw frost or freeze levels Tuesday and Wednesday morning, including Cook, Hibbing, International Falls and Ely.

The average first frost for areas adjacent to Lake Superior usually comes in October, with the latest at the Duluth Harbor at Oct. 18.

September was the seventh consecutive above normal month for Duluth. Temperatures have been generally in the 70s or warmer - one measure of summerlike weather - since about June 7 in Duluth, marking some 14 weeks of summerlike temperatures.

Since May 27 there have been 33 days with temperatures in the 80s or warmer and only 23 days with highs in the 60s or cooler.

"It's been a noticeably long summer in Minnesota," Boulay noted. "That's something we can all appreciate when winter comes."

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The National Climate Prediction Center is forecasting mostly normal temperatures for the Northland for the next week, with highs in the upper 50s or low 60s, and lows in the 40s and upper 30s. But almost every forecast beyond that - for the next month, for autumn and for winter - is predicting above-normal temperatures for the region, thanks in part to the continued El Nino warming of Pacific Ocean waters.

September was unusually wet in Duluth as well as warm, with 6.81 inches of rain. That's 2.82 inches above normal and the 5th wettest record in city history.

Related Topics: WEATHER
John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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