Tuesday, November 12, 2013

October 2013 Statewide Temperature and Precipitation Rankings

October 2013 Statewide Temperature and Precipitation Rankings
Nebraska had its 24th coldest October on record (see the map below) out of 119 years of data.  Iowa to Colorado and up north into SD, ND, MT, ID and WA all had a "much warmer than Normal" September 2013.  From Oklahoma north to North Dakota and all the way west to the West Coast, temperatures averaged below normal in October 2013.The only states with above normal temperatures in October 2013 were from Virginia through New England and Florida.  The average temperature for the lower 48 states was the 37th coldest October on record.

In contrast, and not shown on the map, Alaska had it warmest October on record this year.

Nebraska experienced much above normal precipitation during September 2013.  It was Nebraska's 112th driest (or 8th wettest) October on record. The scale goes from driest to wettest so the 119th driest is in fact the 1st wettest, the 118th driest is in fact the 2nd wettest, etc.Wyoming had their 117th driest (or 3rd wettest) October on record. North Dakota and South Dakota were also much above normal for their average precipitation.  The ID, OR, WA, CA, AZ and NM had below normal to much below normal precipitation.  The southeastern U.S. and New England were also drier than normal in October 2013.

The U.S. Highlights from the National Climatic Data Center are located below the two maps.

Climate Highlights — October
  • The average temperature for the contiguous United States during October was 53.6°F, 0.6°F below the 20thcentury average, making it the 37th coolest October on record.
  • Below-average temperatures dominated west of the Mississippi River. Oregon had its 11th coolest October, with a monthly temperature of 46.3°F, 3.0°F below average. No state had October temperatures that ranked among the ten coolest.
  • Above-average temperatures were observed across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Delaware tied its tenth warmest October with a monthly temperature 3.5°F above average. Near-average temperatures were reported across much of the Midwest and the Southeast.
  • The Alaska statewide average temperature during October was 8.8°F above the 1971-2000 average marking its warmest October on record in the 95-year period of record. The previous record warm October occurred in 1925, when the temperature was 7.7°F above average. Locally, the Fairbanks average October temperature of 36.1°F was 11.9°F above normal. In addition to the above-average temperatures, many low elevation locations received much-below-average snowfall.
  • The October national precipitation total was 2.23 inches, 0.12 inch above the 20th century average.
  • The near-average October precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. masked both wet and dry extremes. The East and West Coasts were drier than average during October. California and Oregon both had their 11th driest October. Rhode Island and Massachusetts had their fourth driest and ninth driest Octobers on record, respectively.
  • Much of the central U.S. was wetter than average, stretching from the Southern Plains, into the Northern Plains and Midwest. Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming each had a top ten wet October.
  • The Alaska statewide average precipitation during October was 74.5 percent above the 1971-2000 average and marked the third wettest October in the 95-year period of record for the state. The weather pattern that brought the above-average temperatures to the state also brought an abundance of precipitation, mainly in the form of rain, causing minor flooding. Valdez received 17.83 inches of rain during October, 8.69 inches above average, and the wettest October on record for the location.
  • An early-season blizzard hit northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota on October 3rd–5th, dropping up to three feet of snow with winds in excess of 70 mph. Rapid City, South Dakota received 23.1 inches of snow, breaking several October snowfall records for the city. An estimated 20,000 head of cattle died during the event in South Dakota, approximately 15 to 20 percent of the state's entire cattle population. The storm was rated a Category 3 (Major) on the Regional Snowfall Index.
  • According to analysis by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the October snow cover extent across the contiguous U.S. was the fifth largest in the 46-year period of record at 132,000 square miles, more than 60,000 square miles above average. Conversely, the Alaska snow cover extent was 53,000 square miles below average, and the ninth smallest October snow cover extent on record.
  • According to the October 29th U.S. Drought Monitor report, 34.7 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down 6.5 percent compared to the beginning of the month and down 26.4 percent since the beginning of the year. Drought improved for parts of the Central Rockies and Great Plains, while drought conditions developed across parts of the Northeast.
  • On a local basis during October, there were slightly more (1.2 times as many) record cold daily highs (698) and lows (407) as record warm daily highs (242) and lows (689).
  • Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI) , the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during October was eight percent below average and the 58th lowest in the 1895-2013 period of record.

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