The NCDC anticipates an early 2014 release of its new climate division database. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.
Maps and Graphics:
|Temperatures were significantly above average
nationally for October. Warmth that has been persistent in the West
for many months also spread across much of the central states this
month, with the east coast remaining near average or slightly
cooler than average, especially in the Northeast.
Precipitation was less than average across much of the country in
October with only the extreme Northeast and Northwest receiving
significantly above average rainfall.
For additional details, see the Monthly
Highlights section. For details and graphics on weather
events across the U.S. and the globe go to NCDC's Global Hazards page.
The Atlantic Basin had above
average activity in terms of the number of named storms in 2003. As
of October 31st, 14 named storms had developed, which is well above
the 1944-1996 average of 9.8, but consistent with a marked increase
in the annual number of tropical systems since the mid 1990s
(1995-2002 average = 13.3). Six of the named storms were classified
as hurricanes and three of those were 'major' (category three or
higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale) See the Atlantic Hurricane page for further
In the Eastern North Pacific,
the season began slowly, though 16 named storms had developed as of
the end of October. None of the storms reached hurricane strength
until Hurricane Ignacio in late August, however seven storms had
reached hurricane strength by October 31st, with one of those
reaching 'major' status. The 1966-1996 average for the Eastern
Pacific is for 16.4 storms to form. The 1995-2002 average is
slightly lower than this at 12.8. See the East Pacific Hurricane page for more
Indices used to determine the
state of ENSO suggest that the Equatorial Pacific is in a
neutral ENSO phase and Sea
Surface Temperatures are slightly above normal across the
eastern equatorial Pacific. To see the
latest NOAA advisory and
typical impacts of a La Nina or El Nino episode for the U.S.,
go to NOAA's
Climate Prediction Center.
Monthly and Seasonal Highlights:
- October 2003 ranked as the 8th
warmest October in the 1895 to present record. The preliminary
nationally averaged temperature was 57.0°F (13.9°C),
which was 2.3°F (1.3°C) above the long-term mean.
- October 2003 was drier than
average for precipitation nationally, ranking 30th driest. The West
region and center of the U.S. were mostly dry, while the Northeast
and extreme Northwest were wet for October.
For tables of national, regional, statewide and selected city data
from 1895-present, for October, last 3 months or other periods,
please go to the Climate At A
- August-October temperature was above
average and ranked as the 7th warmest such period in the 1895 to
present record. The preliminary nationally averaged temperature for
August-October was 65.8°F (18.8°C) which was 1.4°F
(0.8°C) above the long-term mean.
- August-October 2003 was near average
for precipitation in 2003, ranking 51st driest in the last 109
- November 2002-October 2003 ranked as
the 18th warmest such 12 months in the 1895 to present record. The
preliminary nationally averaged temperature was 53.6°F
(12.0°C) which was 0.8°F (0.4°C) above the long-term
- Precipitation was average to slightly above average for
November-October leading to a rank of
41st wettest for the last 12 months based on a record of 108 such
Regional and Statewide:
- October 2003 ranked much above average temperature for 12 states, with 2 of those states
(CA and NV) averaging record warm out of 109 Octobers.
- Alaska was much warmer
than average for October 2003, with a positive anomaly of
- October was much wetter than
average for 4 states, with 2 western states much drier than
average. Most of the West and center of the country were drier than
- For the Hard Red Winter
Wheat Belt, preliminary data indicate that precipitation was
less than average for October. The growing season for the Hard Red
Winter Wheat is October-February.
- The 3 month period,
August-October, was record warm for 4 western states and also
for the West and Northwest regions.
- August-October 2003 was especially
dry for the Upper Mississippi Valley, and also drier than
average for much of the West over the 3 months. In the the
northeastern region, 13 states were significantly wetter than the
long term mean.
- The last 12 months were record wet for 3 Mid-Atlantic states, as was the
Southeast region as a whole. Dry
conditons remained in many northern and western states.
See NCDC's Monthly
Extremes web-page for weather and climate records for the month
It should be emphasized that all of the temperature and
precipitation ranks and values
are based on preliminary data. The ranks will change when the final
data are processed.