Locally heavy rains of 3 to 6 inches fell in a southwest to northeast band across the HSA on the 4th and 5th, from around Charles city IA to Grand Meadow and Preston MN, to Galesville and Neillsville WI. Due to the dry soils and drought from July through September, little more than moderate within bank rises were noted on rivers and streams in these areas.
Precipitation for October 2013 ranged from below normal over the south end of the HSA, to near to much above normal across the remainder of the HSA. The heaviest and much above normal precipitation was in a broad band from the southwest corner of the HSA through the central into north end of the HSA. A slow moving low and stalled front brought widespread moderate to locally heavy rains to the HSA from the 2nd to the 5th. A strong passing low brought widespread light to moderate rains to the HSA centered on the 15th. Scattered mainly light rain showers occurred across mainly the northern portions of the HSA on the 16th to the 20th. Colder air and weak upper disturbances brought patchy light rain and traces of snow to much of the HSA from the 21st to 23rd. A passing low brought light to moderate rains to mainly the south half of the HSA late on the 30th through the 31st.
Normal October rainfall ranges from around 2.25 inches over the central third of the HSA, to around 2.50 inches across the northern and southern thirds. Totals this month ranged from 50 to 100 percent of normal over much of the southern one-quarter of the HSA, to 200 to 300 percent of normal from the southwest corner thru the central into the north end of the HSA. Most rainfall totals for September were 100 to 200 percent of normal. Extreme totals recorded for the month ranged from 1.11 inches at Lancaster in Grant Co. WI and 1.25 inches at Calmar in Winneshiek Co. IA, to 7.18 inches at Preston in Fillmore Co. MN and 7.21 inches at Grand Meadow in Mower Co. MN.
October 2013 temperatures averaged 47 to 50 degrees. This was 1 degree above to 1 degree below the normals. Temperatures were near to much above normal from the 1st to the 12th, but for one below normal day on the 6th. Near normal temperatures occurred from the 13th to the 15th, with near to below normal readings from the 16th to the 20th. The 21st to 24th brought much below normal temperatures and several hard freezes to the entire HSA. Temperatures were near to below normal on the 25th to 29th then above normal on the 30th and 31st. Extremes for the month ranged from lows in the upper teens and 20s on the mornings of the 21st and 22nd, to highs in the middle 70s to lower 80s on the 1st and 2nd.
Even with the much above normal rainfall in places, no flooding occurred during the month due to the below and much below normal rainfall of July through September. Flows in the rivers and streams of the HSA were near to slightly below normal at the end of the month. The above normal rainfall during October did ease the drought for portions of the HSA, but the damage had already been done to many crops. Most row and forage crop yields for 2013 have been below normal. The above normal temperatures through September and the first half of October and lack of a hard, killing freeze until around 21st did allow many late planted crops to reach maturity. By the end of the month most crop progress was only a few days to a week behind normal.