Assessing the U.S. Climate in October 2016

The contiguous U.S. October average temperature was 57.7°F, 3.6°F above the 20th century average, making it the third warmest October in the 122-year period of record and the warmest since 1963. The last three Octobers are among the six warmest in the 122-year record. The year-to-date (January-October) contiguous U.S. average temperature was 57.8°F, 2.8°F above average, making it the second warmest on record, behind only 2012.

The October precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.33 inches, 0.17 inch above the 20th century average, and ranked near the middle of the 122-year period of record. Wet conditions dominated the Pacific Northwest and the coastal Southeast. Dry conditions prevailed in the South and the interior Southeast, where drought intensified significantly during October. The year-to-date (January-October) contiguous U.S. precipitation total was 27.16 inches, 1.80 inch above average, and the 21st wettest year to date on record.

This monthly summary from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, business, academia, and the public to support informed decision making.

For extended analysis of regional temperature and precipitation patterns, as well as extreme events, please see our full report that will be released on November 14, 2016.