National Climate Report - October 2014
Major climate events NOAA is closely monitoring:
- Persisting drought in parts of the West: The drought across the West, Southwest and Southern Plains showed little improvement in October. The next few months are critical for Western snowpack, a vital component of Western water resources. More information is available from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
- Chances of El Niño occurring this year continue to decrease:According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there is about a 3-in-5 chance of at least a weak El Niño developing during winter and lasting into spring 2015. El Niño conditions could impact temperature and precipitation patterns across the U.S. More information is available from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
Supplemental October 2014 Information
- Year-to-date temperature evolution for select U.S. cities
- Year-to-date precipitation evolution for select U.S. cities
- January-October records and near records
- October temperature extremes
- Climate Highlights — October
- The October national temperature was 57.1°F, 3.0°F above average. This ranked as the fourth warmest October in the 120-year period of record. The average maximum (daytime) October temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 69.6°F, 2.8°F above the 20th century average, ranking as the eighth highest on record for October. The average minimum (nighttime) October temperature was 44.6°F, 3.2°F above the 20th century average, the fifth warmest on record.
- Locations from the Rockies westward and large parts of the Northeast were much warmer than average during October. Record warmth was observed at several locations along the Pacific coast, including Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Monterey, California;. Sixteen states, in both the West and Northeast, including every state west of the Rockies, had one of their 10 warmest Octobers on record. This was the first month since July 2013 with no state observing a statewide temperature in the below-average category (bottom third of the historical record).
- Much of the Great Plains and South were also warmer than average. Near-normal temperatures prevailed in the Midwest. The relatively dry and warm conditions across the Corn Belt were beneficial in allowing late developing crops to mature and not cause problems with harvesting.
- The October precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.33 inches, 0.17 inch above average — ranking near the median value in the 120-year period of record.
- The near-average October precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. masked some regional extremes. Nevada and Utah each had their fifth driest October on record, within a larger area of below-average precipitation in much of the Northern Plains and Northern Rockies. The remnants of Hurricane Simon brought rainfall to parts of the Southwest early in the month, bumping up monthly precipitation totals in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Most of the Mississippi River Valley saw above-average precipitation; Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee each observed one of their 10 wettest Octobers on record.
- According to the October 28 U.S. Drought Monitor, 29.6 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down one percentage point since the end of September. Drought conditions improved modestly in parts of eastern Kansas and Oklahoma. Abnormally dry conditions improved somewhat in the Mid-Atlantic. The entire state of California remained in drought, as did the vast majority of adjacent states Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. More than half of California remains in Exceptional Drought, the most severe category.
- Alaska was warmer and much drier than average during October. The state had its fifth driest October on record with a precipitation value 35.1 percent below the 1971-2000 average. The North Slope was warmer than average, continuing a recent pattern of warm Octobers coincident with an era of below-average sea ice extent near the region. According to the National Weather Service Alaska Region, October 2014 marked the 13th consecutive October with an average monthly temperature warmer than 20°F at Barrow, Alaska. Before 2002, about one in five Octobers was warmer than this mark.
- In Hawaii, rainfall was substantially above normal, erasing drought for all but 2.7 percent of the state. On October 17-18, Hurricane Ana passed about 150 miles southwest of the Hawaiian Islands, bringing 5.40 inches of rain to the U.S. Climate Reference Network station on Mauna Loa.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during October was 49 percent below average and the 13th lowest in the 1895-2014 period of record.
- During October, there were 712 record cold daily high (506) and low (206) temperature records but five times as many (3,562) record warm daily high (1,484) and low (2,078) temperature records.
- Climate Highlights — year-to-date (January — October)
- The year-to-date national temperature was 55.4°F, 0.5°F above average. The average maximum (daytime) January-October temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 67.7°F, 0.4°F above the 20th century average. The average minimum (nighttime) January-October temperature was 43.2°F, 0.5°F above the 20th century average.
- The West continued to be much warmer than average, where eight states had a top 10 warm year-to-date. California was record warm for January-October, with a temperature 4.2°F above its 20th century average. It is virtually certain that 2014 will be California's warmest year on record. States in the Mississippi River Valley continued to be much below average. No state was record cold.
- The year-to-date national precipitation total was 26.04 inches, 0.68 inch above the 20th century average. Above-average precipitation dominated most of the northern tier of states, where Wisconsin and Michigan each had one of their top 10 wet year-to-date periods. Below-average precipitation was observed in parts of the West and Southern Plains.
- The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for the January-October period was the sixth highest in the 105-year period of record at roughly one-and-a-half times the long-term average. The elevated year-to-date USCEI value was partially due to extremes in both warm daily maximum and minimum temperatures. The component that examines extremes in one-day precipitation totals was the fourth highest for the year-to-date period. The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (falling in the upper or lower 10 percent of the record) in temperature, precipitation, drought and land-falling tropical cyclones across the contiguous United States.
- Based on REDTI, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January-October was 18 percent above average and the 35th highest in the 1895-2014 period of record.
**A comparison of the national temperature departure from average as calculated by NCDC's operational dataset (nClimDiv), the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), and the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) is available on our National Temperature Index page.**
Alaska Temperature and Precipitation:
- Alaska had its 42nd warmest October since records began in 1918, with a temperature 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 14th warmest August-October since records began in 1918, with a temperature 2.10°F (1.17°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 3rd warmest January-October since records began in 1918, with a temperature 3.31°F (1.84°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 5th driest October since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was -35.07% below the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 24th driest August-October since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was -8.16% below the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 44th driest January-October since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 5.11% above the 1971-2000 average.
For additional details about recent temperatures and precipitation across the U.S., see the Regional Highlights section below and visit the Climate Summary page. For information on local temperature and precipitation records during the month, please visit NCDC's Records page.
These regional summaries were provided by the six Regional Climate Centers and reflect conditions in their respective regions. These six regions differ spatially from the nine climatic regions of the National Climatic Data Center.
- Northeast Region: (Information provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center)
- October was a warm month in the Northeast. The region's average temperature of 52.5 degrees F (11.4 degrees C) was 3.1 degrees F (1.7 degrees C) above normal, making it the 12th warmest October since 1895. All twelve states saw above-normal temperatures, with ten states ranking this October among their top 20 warmest. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont were all 4.3 degrees F (2.4 degrees C) warmer than normal. Maine had its 6th warmest October on record, while New Hampshire had its 8th warmest and Vermont had its 9th warmest. New York had its 11th warmest October on record at 3.5 degrees F (1.9 degrees C) above normal, while Massachusetts had its 13th warmest at 3.3 degrees F (1.8 degrees C) above normal. With departures of 3.2 degrees F (1.8 degrees C) above normal, Rhode Island and Connecticut had their 11th and 13th warmest Octobers on record, respectively. Delaware wrapped up the month at 3.1 degrees F (1.7 degrees C) above normal, making it the state's 10th warmest October on record, while New Jersey's departure of 2.8 degrees F (1.6 degrees C) above normal made it the 16th warmest. Pennsylvania was 2.6 degrees F (1.4 degrees C) warmer than normal, followed by Maryland at 2.5 degrees F (1.4 degrees C) above normal, making it the state's 16th warmest October on record. West Virginia came in 0.8 degrees F (0.4 degrees C) warmer than normal for the month.
- Seeing 4.53 inches (115.06 mm) of precipitation, 117 percent of normal, the Northeast ended October on the wet side of normal. Seven of the twelve states were wetter than normal, with four states ranking the month among their top 20 wettest. Rankings were: West Virginia, 13th wettest; Maine, 14th wettest; Massachusetts, 15th wettest; and New Hampshire, 18th wettest. Departures for the wet states ranged from 164 percent of normal in West Virginia to 101 percent of normal in Rhode Island. Maryland saw 100 percent of normal precipitation, while departures for the dry states ranged from 98 percent of normal in New York and Connecticut to 68 percent of normal in Delaware.
- Every Northeast state but Delaware had areas of abnormal dryness or moderate drought at the start of October, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. As of October 2, abnormal dryness covered 31 percent of the Northeast, while 4 percent of the region was under moderate drought conditions. By mid-month, 37 percent of the region was abnormally dry, with 4 percent still experiencing moderate drought. Mid- to late month rain helped ease some of the dryness so that by month's end 14 percent of the region was abnormally dry and 2 percent was under moderate drought conditions.
- There were multiple days with severe weather in early and mid-October. On October 7, two tornadoes, an EF-2 and an EF-1, downed numerous trees and caused structural damage in southern West Virginia. The tornado in Mercer County was only the second tornado to touch down in that county since recordkeeping began in 1950. Hail up to 2.50 inches (6.35 cm) in diameter was also reported in the state. On the 8th, straight-line winds of up to 100 mph (45 m/s) uprooted and snapped a large number of trees in western Massachusetts. On the 15th, a short-lived EF-0 tornado touched down in central Maryland, and significant urban flooding was reported in parts of upstate New York and northeastern Pennsylvania. Later in the month, from October 21 to 22, a slow-moving coastal low brought wind gusts up to 60 mph (27 m/s) and up to 6 inches (152 mm) of rain mainly to coastal areas. The strong winds knocked down trees and power lines, causing power outages. A waterspout was reported off the coast of New Jersey, and in eastern Massachusetts, roads were closed due to flooding.
- For more information, please go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Midwest Region: (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
- October temperatures averaged to within 2 degrees F (1 C) of normal across the Midwest. Early in the month temperatures were below normal and late in the month temperatures were above normal. Statewide temperatures ranged from 1.7 degrees F (0.9 C) above normal in Missouri to 0.3 degrees F (0.2 C) below normal in Wisconsin, the only state in the region to fall below normal in October. Year-to-date temperatures in the Midwest continued to rank among the coolest on record, and the coolest in the past 30 years. For the 120 year period from 1895 to 2014, the region as a whole ranked 6th while the individual states ranked between 6th and 14th. Missouri last recorded a cooler January to October period in 1982 while Michigan last recorded a cooler period back in 1926. The remaining Midwest states all recorded cooler year-to-date periods most recently in 1979.
- October precipitation was above normal for most of the Midwest in October. The exception was Minnesota where only the southeast corner of the state topped normal for the month while much of the state received less than half of normal, with an area in west central Minnesota below 25 percent of normal. Minnesota was the only Midwest state to record below normal statewide precipitation with just 47 percent of normal. Much of October's rain fell in the first half of the month. Precipitation totals in just the first 14 days of the month topped 10 inches (254 mm) at nine Missouri stations. Year-to-date precipitation totals statewide ranged from 117 percent of normal in Iowa to 96 percent of normal in Missouri, the only Midwest state below normal for the period. Measurable snow fell in the upper Midwest in both the first and last weeks of October. Flurries were reported at numerous other locations in the northern half of the region in October.
- The last remaining drought areas in the Midwest, in southwest Missouri, were removed in the October 14 issue of the US Drought Monitor thanks to the plentiful precipitation totals received early in the month. The region remained drought free throughout the rest of the month. It was the first time the Midwest was completely drought free since June of 2011, though the region was nearly free of drought in July of 2013 as well. Despite the lack of drought, abnormally dry conditions expanded in Minnesota to cover nearly a quarter of the state by the end of October.
- Severe weather was reported on eight days in the first half of the month in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Tornadoes were reported in each of those states except Ohio. In the latter half of the month the only severe weather reported was on the 27th near the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan border where hail covered the ground according to multiple reports.
- First fall freezes were limited to the northern areas, from northern Iowa to northern Michigan, entering October and few areas had experienced a hard freeze. By the end of the month, most of the region had experienced a freeze. Areas from Missouri to Ohio and further south were about evenly split between areas that had and had not yet experienced a freeze. Much of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan had their first hard freeze in October while few areas in the other Midwest states had yet to have a hard freeze as the month came to a close.
- For details on the weather and climate events of the Midwest, see the weekly summaries in the Midwest Climate Watch page.
- Southeast Region: (Information provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center)
- Mean temperatures in October were near average across much of the Southeast region. Mean daily maximum temperatures were 3 to 5 degrees F (1.7 to 2.8 degrees C) above average across the central portions of Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Indeed, the monthly average maximum temperature for Charleston, SC (1938-2014) and Savannah, GA (1874-2014) was the second and fourth warmest on record for October, respectively. Mean daily minimum temperatures were 3 to 5 degrees F below average extending from central Florida to southeastern Georgia but were 3 to 5 degrees F above average across much of Virginia. Mean temperatures were above average across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with San Juan, PR (1898-2014) observing its third warmest October on record. The warmest weather occurred on the 13th and 14th of the month, as a cold front associated with an unusually strong mid-latitude cyclone approached the region from the west. Daily mean temperatures soared 10 to 15 degrees F (5.6 to 8.3 degrees C) above average over much of the region, with the exception of Florida. Several locations recorded their warmest daily mean temperature on record for the 13th of October, including Columbus, GA (1948-2014), Augusta, GA (1871-2014), and Charleston, SC. In contrast, the coolest weather occurred from the 4th through the 6th, with the arrival of a continental polar air mass behind a strong cold front. Daily mean temperatures were 8 to 15 degrees F (4.4 to 8.3 degrees C) below average across nearly the entire region, and multiple locations observed their coldest daily mean temperature on record for the 5th of October, including Jacksonville, FL (1871-2014), Augusta, GA, and Charlotte, NC (1939-2014).
- Precipitation was highly variable across the Southeast region during October, with unusually wet conditions confined to the Appalachian Mountains and markedly dry conditions along the Atlantic coastal plain. The driest locations were found across much of the Florida Peninsula excluding the Panhandle region, where monthly precipitation departures exceeded 2 inches (50.8 mm) below normal. Many locations in this area recorded measurable precipitation on five or fewer days during the month. Daytona Beach, FL (1923-2014) observed its fourth driest October on record with only 0.58 inches (14.7 mm) of precipitation, which is approximately 14 percent of normal. In addition, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were much drier-than-normal during October, as the monthly precipitation total for Juncos, PR (1931-2014) was only 1.21 inches (30.7 mm), or about 15 percent of normal. The wettest locations were found across northern Alabama and portions of western North Carolina and Virginia, where monthly precipitation departures exceeded 5 inches (127 mm) above normal in some places. For example, Guntersville, AL (1904-2014) observed its third wettest October on record with 8.78 inches (223 mm) of precipitation, which is more than 250 percent of normal. Heavy rain and flash flooding affected isolated locations across the Southeast throughout the month. On the 15th, Mt. Mitchell in western North Carolina recorded its eighth highest one-day precipitation total of 6.43 inches (163 mm) in a record extending back to 1980, and it is only the second day within the top 10 daily precipitation totals that is not associated with a tropical cyclone. On the 21st, portions of West Palm Beach, FL received up to 9.13 inches (232 mm) of precipitation in a span of 6 hours, resulting in numerous impassable roads due to flash flooding. This 6-hour total corresponds to an average recurrence interval of just over 50 years.
- There were 193 reports of severe weather across the Southeast in October, and all of these reports occurred during the first half of the month. Nearly 80 percent of these reports were for damaging thunderstorm winds. The most significant of these events occurred on the 3rd, when severe thunderstorms produced damaging straight-line winds approaching 100 mph in Franklin County, AL. Twenty tornadoes were confirmed across the Southeast in October, including 15 EF-0s and 5 EF-1s. Most of the tornado activity occurred in the western portion of the region during a severe weather outbreak on October 13th, with 17 of the 20 tornadoes reported in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Five tornadoes were confirmed across the Atlanta metropolitan area during this outbreak, including an EF-1 tornado that caused extensive roof damage to homes near Alpharetta, GA. In addition, an EF-1 tornado touched down in Colbert County, AL and caused one injury to a resident of a historic home damaged by a fallen pecan tree in the town of Tuscumbia.
- Little change in drought conditions was noted for the Southeast region during October. Approximately 93.5 percent of the region remained drought-free (less than D1), and drought conditions improved slightly across portions of central Alabama and southwestern Georgia. In Alabama, areas of moderate drought (D1) decreased significantly from about 26 percent on September 30th to around 16 percent on October 28th. While the coverage of moderate drought conditions in Georgia remained constant at 11 percent, the area of severe drought (D2) in southwestern Georgia decreased slightly from 5 percent on September 30th to 2 percent on October 28th. Generally dry conditions during October aided in the final harvest of peanuts, cotton, and hay in Georgia and northern Florida, but the quality of these crops was negatively affected by locally persistent drought conditions across this region.
- For more information, please go to the Southeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- High Plains Region: (Information provided by the High Plains Regional Climate Center)
- For the first time in just over a year, the entire High Plains Region was warmer than normal. Generally, October average temperatures ranged from 2.0-4.0 degrees F (1.1-2.2 degrees C) above normal. However, some areas ranged from 4.0-6.0 degrees F (2.2-3.3 degrees C) above normal, with some isolated locations slightly higher. The end of the month was particularly warm with average temperatures between the 19th and 25th of 9.0-12.0 degrees F (5.0-6.7 degrees C) above normal. Many daily records were broken during this time period. One particularly warm day in Colorado and Wyoming was the 24th. Alamosa, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Pueblo in Colorado and Cheyenne and Lander in Wyoming all set new records that day. One example of these records was Cheyenne, Wyoming which had a high temperature of 77 degrees F (25.0 degrees C). This beat the old record for that day by 3 degrees F (1.7 degrees C) (period of record 1872-2014). Many locations in Wyoming ranked in the top 10 warmest Octobers on record, including Cheyenne (9th), Lander (8th), Laramie (5th), and Rawlins (5th). Impressively, Lander's average temperature of 51.0 degrees F (10.6 degrees C) was 5.4 degrees F (3.0 degrees C) above normal (period of record 1891-2014). Lander's warmest October on record occurred back in 1963 with an average temperature of 53.6 degrees F (12.0 degrees C).
- October 2014 was fairly dry, with most of the High Plains Region receiving at most 1.00 inch (mm) of precipitation. This translated into a widespread area receiving less than 50 percent of normal precipitation including large areas of the Dakotas, much of Wyoming, and a swath stretching from northeastern Colorado into northern Kansas and southern and central Nebraska. The dry conditions did allow producers to make significant harvest progress and aided in crop drydown. Areas receiving over 150 percent of normal precipitation were isolated to eastern Nebraska, central and eastern Kansas, and southeastern Colorado. Much of that precipitation occurred during the first half of the month. Colorado Springs, Colorado was one of the few wet locations this month. With 2.96 inches (75 mm), Colorado Springs had its 3rd wettest October on record (period of record 1894-2014). All of this precipitation fell over a two day period, the 9th and 10th. 2.83 inches (72 mm) fell on the 9th, which smashed the old 1967 daily record of 0.59 inches (15 mm). Although just outside the Region, it is worth noting that Kansas City, Missouri had its 2nd wettest October on record with a whopping 9.29 inches (236 mm). This amount was 6.13 inches (156 mm) above normal, or 294 percent of normal (period of record 1888-2014). On the dry side of things, Sheridan, Wyoming had its 4th driest October on record with only 0.16 inches (4 mm). With records dating back to 1907, the driest occurred in 1965 with 0.02 inches (1 mm).
- There were only slight changes to drought conditions in the High Plains Region according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The total area in drought (D1-D4) dropped slightly from 12 percent to 11 percent. At the beginning of the month, only Colorado and Kansas had drought conditions, however by the end of the month moderate drought (D1) had developed in northeastern South Dakota where dry conditions have prevailed over the past few months. A new area of abnormally dry conditions (D0) also developed in northeastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota. Conditions in Kansas improved, mainly in the eastern part of the state. Statewide, drought conditions went from 46 percent to 38 percent over the past month. Meanwhile, the last remaining extreme drought (D3) area in Colorado was eliminated and now severe drought conditions (D2) remain. According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released October 16th, all drought conditions in the Region should improve or be removed over the next few months.
- For more information, please go to the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Southern Region: (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
- October mean temperatures were consistently warmer than normal across much of the Southern Region. In Louisiana and Tennessee, temperatures averaged between 0 and 2 degrees F (0 and 1.11 degrees C) warmer than average. Across much of Oklahoma, Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and Texas, temperatures were slightly warmer, averaging between 2 and 4 degrees F (1.11 and 2.22 degrees C) above normal. The statewide temperature averages are as follows: Arkansas averaged 63.90 degrees F (17.72 degrees C), Louisiana averaged 69.20 degrees F (20.66 degrees C), Mississippi averaged 66.70 degrees F (19.28 degrees C), Oklahoma averaged 65.00 degrees F (18.33 degrees C), Tennessee averaged 60.30 degrees F (15.72 degrees C), and Texas averaged 69.80 degrees F (21.00 degrees C). For Texas, it was the fifth warmest October on record (1895-2014), while Oklahoma experienced its twelfth warmest October (1895-2014). Both Mississippi and Arkansas reported their twenty-sixth warmest October on record (1895-2014), and for Louisiana, it was the twenty-ninth warmest October on record (1895-2014).
- October precipitation totals in the Southern Region varied significantly from west to east. Conditions were very dry in western and southern Texas, with most stations reporting under 50 percent of normal precipitation. Conditions were also quite dry in southern Louisiana, and in particular, south eastern Louisiana. Conversely, conditions were quite wet in the eastern two thirds of Tennessee with most stations reporting between 150 to 300 percent of normal precipitation. Conditions were equally wet in northern Mississippi and along the northern border of Arkansas and Oklahoma. The statewide averaged precipitation totals are as follows: Arkansas reported 5.19 inches (131.83 mm), Louisiana reported 3.16 inches (80.26 mm), Mississippi reported 4.23 inches (107.44 mm), Oklahoma reported 3.32 inches (82.04 mm), Tennessee reported 6.81 inches (172.97 mm), and Texas reported 1.63 inches (41.40 mm). For Tennessee it was the fourth wettest October on record (1895-2014), and Arkansas reported its twentieth wettest October (1895-2014), and Mississippi, its thirtieth wettest (1895-2014). All other state rankings fell within the two middles quartiles.
- Drought conditions in the Southern Region did not change significantly from the previous month. Northern Texas and southern Oklahoma are still experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions and the areal extent of that drought has been consistent throughout the month of October. Uncharacteristically dry conditions in southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi has led to the addition of some abnormally dry (D0 drought) and a small area of moderate drought along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
- On October 2, 2014, two tornadoes were reported in northeastern Arkansas. There were no reports of injuries or damage to structures. Ten days later, on October 10, 2014, a twister touched down in Little River County, Arkansas, killing one person and injuring four others. The Tornado was rated as EF2 and occurred just south of the Arden Community near Highway 32. Several more tornadoes were reported on October 13, 2014. Three were reported in northern Louisiana and two in central Arkansas. No injuries or fatalities were mentioned in the reports and damage appears to be mostly restricted to trees and power lines.
- In Texas, despite the lack of rainfall in many regions of the state, agricultural conditions largely remained as they were as the end of September. Most regions saw a gradual slide to worsened topsoil and subsurface soil moisture conditions, but crops themselves were rated the same, with only small variations in each crop's average condition with no change overall in crop condition index. Harvesting of peanuts in the northeast and deep south Texas is behind its 5 year average by 21% and soybeans are behind their by 26%, hindered slightly by intermittent rainfall across the state during the month. The winter wheat crop is still ahead of its 5-year average in terms of maturation, but reports indicate that continued dry conditions could threaten the crop's further development (Information provided by the Texas Office of State Climatology).
- On October 2, the tail end of a front passed through east Texas, causing moderate wind and hail damage to the Metroplex and other north central Texas cities; around 250,000 people were without power across the area due to 90 mph (144.84 kmh) winds (Information provided by the Texas Office of State Climatology).
- For more information, please go to the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Western Region: (Information provided by the Western Region Climate Center)
- Strong high pressure was present over the West for much of the month, contributing to the above normal temperatures observed across the region. Several warm and moist storms moved into the Pacific Northwest, resulting in significantly above normal precipitation for that area. Further south, October was generally drier than normal. Light precipitation was observed in central and southern California, the Sierra Nevada, and the Great Basin. A low-pressure system interacting with hurricane remnants brought above normal precipitation to areas of southern Arizona, western New Mexico, and southern Colorado.
- Several locations in the West experienced their warmest October on record this month. The month began with very high temperatures along the coast of California. On the 3rd, Monterey hit 94 F (34.4 C), the highest October temperature since records began in 1968. This was also the warmest October on record at Monterey with an average 63.3 F (17.4 C), 4.7 F (2.6 C) above normal. Elsewhere in the Bay Area, Downtown San Francisco observed a high of 92 F (33.3 C) on the 3rd, a rare occurrence but not unheard of; temperatures 92 F (33.3 C) and above have been observed in 26 other times in October in this station's history. San Francisco recorded an average 65.4 F (18.6 C) for the month, the third warmest October in a 140-year record. In southern California, Santa Ana recorded an average 73.6 F (23.1 C) for the month, 4.9 F (2.7 C) above normal and the warmest October since records began in 1916. In the Pacific Northwest, both Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, saw their warmest Octobers on record at 58.0 F (14.4 C) and 60.1 F (15.6 C), respectively. Records for Seattle began in 1948 and Portland in 1938. In eastern Washington, Walla Walla also recorded its warmest October on record at 59.9 F (15.5 C), 6.6 F (3.7 C) above normal. Records at Walla Walla began in 1949. Minimum temperatures 6-8 F (3-4 C) above normal were observed in much of Washington, parts of Oregon, and scattered areas of Montana. These above normal minimum temperatures (warm overnight lows) made a strong contribution to the record monthly temperatures seen in the Northwest. Further south, Reno, Nevada, ended its longest streak of above-freezing temperatures this month. Airport temperatures remained above freezing from April 6 through October 26, 204 days. The previous record was 193 days from April 4 through November 2, set in 1992. Records for Reno began in 1937.
- The Pacific Northwest saw steady precipitation throughout October as well as an atmospheric river event mid-month that brought copious precipitation to western Oregon, western Washington, and northwestern California. Seattle, Washington, reported 6.75 in (171 mm) of rainfall for the month, 210% of normal and the 4th wettest October on record. In south-central Oregon near the California border, the drought-stricken Klamath River Basin received above normal precipitation this month. Klamath Falls, Oregon, recorded 2.21 in (56 mm), 210% of normal and the 4th wettest October in a 67-year record. In northern California, Arcata logged 5.74 in (146 mm) this month, 200% of normal and the wettest October on record. Records for Arcata began in 1945. This month's precipitation in northern California and Oregon, though beneficial, was not sufficient to break the persistent drought affecting these regions and they remain categorized as extreme to exceptional drought. Elsewhere in the West, remnants of Hurricane Simon interacted with a cold front to bring precipitation to southern Arizona, western New Mexico, and southern Colorado on the 9th and 10th. Colorado Springs received 2.96 in (75 mm) precipitation for the month over these two days, 2.14 in (54 mm) above normal and the second wettest October in a 66-year record.
- Along Alaska's North Slope, Barrow reported an average temperature of 21.3 F (-5.9 C) this month. This is 4.1 F (2.3 C) above normal and the 13th consecutive October that Barrow has observed October temperatures significantly above the long-term average. The persistence of open water through the end of October due to reduced sea ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas is the main factor keeping October North Slope temperatures above normal. Elsewhere in the state, temperatures were generally slightly warmer than normal in the Southeast and slightly cooler than normal in the Interior, Southcentral, and Southwest regions. Precipitation totals in the state, excepting the Southeast region, were generally under 2.5 inches (64 mm) and highly variable in percentages of normal. In the Southeast, Annette, received 14.39 in (366 mm) of rainfall, 103% of normal. Along the North Slope, Barrow received 1.12 in (28 mm) of precipitation, which was 273% of normal. Further south, much of Hawaii observed above normal precipitation this month due to Hurricane Ana passing to the southwest of the island chain. The highest precipitation totals associated with Ana were generally in the range of 4-7 in (101-178 mm) on Big Island and Oahu, with stations on each of these islands reporting 10+ in (254+ mm). Honolulu, Oahu, recorded 5.51 in (140 mm) for the month, 300% of normal and the 4th wettest October since records began in 1949. Most of this rain fell over the 18th-19th in association with Ana.
- October 25: Wind storm in Pacific Northwest: Strong winds ahead of a frontal system downed trees and left tens of thousands without power in western Oregon and Washington. Sea-Tac reported a maximum gust of 49 mph (78 kph); Portland International Airport reported a maximum gust of 41 mph (66 kph). Gusts of 70+ mph (112 kph) were reported along the coast. Strong winds like these are typical ahead of a winter-like storm, though tend to be more damaging in autumn when trees still have relatively full foliage.
- For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.