Freeze warning

NWS in La Crosse, Wis.

Southeast Minnesota got its first taste of winter Friday with temperatures in the 30s, raw winds and even some flurries.

That comes after spring weather gave us one last fit in the form of fast moving storms of heavy rain and frequent lightning that crossed into southeast Minnesota from northeast Iowa overnight Friday. 

Rochester Public Utilities tweeteted Friday morning that the storm front caused a primary line to come down in northwest Rochester, knocking out power from around midnight until 4 a.m. for around 2,400 of its customers.

Parts of southeast Minnesota then saw a 20-30 degree drop in just six hours, according to the National Weather Service in La Crosse, after a strong cold front plowed through the region from the east.

Freeze alert

NWS has issued a Freeze Warning for southeast Minnesota, north central and northeast Iowa and portions of central Wisconsin from 10 p.m. Friday until Saturday morning.

Temperatures as low as 28 degrees are expected, which is bad news for crops and vulnerable plants. NWS advises covering or moving inside the plants you'd like to see survive the weekend.  

Oct. 14 was last year's first day of measurable snowfall in Rochester, according to NWS. The average date Med City gets its first tenth of an inch of snow (defined as measurable) is Nov. 5. 

Even if sprinkled snow begins to accumulate on Friday (which is not expected), an Oct. 11 snowfall in Rochester would be only the fifth earliest on record by NWS. 

The first day of October in 1999 was the second earliest Rochester snowfall, while the earliest came on Sept. 26, 1942. So it could be worse. 

Agri News Reporter

Noah joined the Post Bulletin staff in 2018 as a regional and Agri News reporter, and has covered Southeast Minnesota as regional and sports reporter since 2016. He enjoys talking to farmers, playing basketball and watching HBO.