Taking a Look at some Spooktacular October Climate Facts (Credit: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information)
It’s the spookiest day of the year, so the weather does not hesitate to bring tricks or treats. NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information has released some spooky climate facts for the month of October. October is a month where states can start to see the tricky change over from rain to snow or enjoy one last fleeting treat of summer warmth. The warmest October for the contiguous United States occurred back in 1963, with an average temperature of 54.9° F. The coldest October for the contiguous United States had an average temperature of 48° F in 1925. Climate records date back to 1895, and since then temperatures have approximately warmed at 0.8° F per century.
As the days grow colder in October, some locations begin to see their first snowfalls. Places such as the Rockies, the Northern Plains, and the Central Plains into the Upper Midwest region are often some of the first to experience snow. Higher elevations along the East Coast can also experience the tricky nature of this early snowfall. These places don’t need to fear because October snowfall usually only averages out to about two inches. The driest October for the contiguous United States was recorded back in 1952, where only 0.54 inches of precipitation had fallen. Not as much time travel is needed to recount the wettest October on record. 2009 was the wettest October where an average of 4.29 inches of precipitation fell across the United States. October precipitation has increased at a rate of 0.4 inches per century. In the image above, check out some climate normals for some spooky named places across the United States.
October is the last full month of Hurricane season, and while typically the season would start to wind down, we have seen some dangerous and deadly storms within the month. One such instance occurred earlier this month; a Category 4 Hurricane Michael which made landfall in Mexico Beach, Florida as the strongest landfalling hurricane to impact the United States during the month of October. It was the strongest in regards to pressure since Camille in 1969, and in wind strength since Andrew in 1992. Other notable Tropical October records include Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Hurricane Opal in 1995 and Superstorm Sandy. As a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, Wilma recorded the lowest centralized pressure ever at 882 millibars and then went on to make landfall in Southwest Florida as a category 3 storm. Superstorm Sandy made landfall on October 29,2012, near Atlantic City, NJ and caused 159 fatalities and 72.2 billion dollars worth of damage. Opal was also a dangerous storm and caused billions in damage. Even though Hurricane Season ends on November 1st, October shows us that we can’t let our guard down even as the season dwindles.
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©2018 Meteorologist Shannon Scully