NATIONAL WEATHER SUMMARY
1-7: In northern Montana, early-week snowfall was followed by a period of cold weather. Elsewhere, cool but dry weather prevailed from California into the Desert Southwest. Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10°F above normal in the central and eastern Corn Belt, but ranged from 5 to 10F below normal across the northern High Plains, northern Rockies, and northern Intermountain West. Widespread freezes occurred across the northern High Plains, Rockies, and Intermountain West.
In Oregon, daily-record lows included 21F (on October 3) in Klamath Falls and 32F (on October 5) in Eugene. On October 4, record-setting lows in California dipped to 36F in Lancaster and 41F in Redding. In northern Montana, where heavy snow fell, post-storm lows on October 4 plunged to 6°F in Havre and 11F in Cut Bank. Meanwhile, a brief surge of cool air into the Northeast led to a daily-record low (24F on October 3) in Houlton, ME. Farther south, steamy weather in the Gulf Coast region led to overnight lows of 83F—tying October records—in locations such as Galveston, TX (on October 3), and Miami, FL (on October 7). Sudden warmth in the Northeast resulted on record-setting highs for October 4 in locations such as Montpelier, VT (80°F), and Caribou, ME (79F). After mid-week, very warm weather returned to parts of the West. In Arizona, Douglas collected consecutive daily-record highs (94 and 93F, respectively) on October 5-6. Elsewhere on October 6, Ramona, CA, notched a daily-record high of 98F.
8-14: Sudden wildfires in northern California were fanned by a high-wind event on October 8-9, resulting in catastrophic loss of life and widespread property destruction. Early reports indicated that there were at least 41 fatalities and well over 5,500 structures lost to the nearly two dozen fires, which also torched almost one-quarter million acres of vegetation. A broader area of dry, occasionally breezy weather encompassed the nation’s southwestern quadrant, while generally light precipitation stretched from the Pacific Northwest to the northern and central Rockies. On October 8, peak northerly to north-northeasterly wind gusts in California were officially clocked to 51 mph in Red Bluff; 46 mph in Redding; and 45 mph in Napa. Vacaville, CA, reported a northerly gust to 48 mph on October 9. Warmth across the South, East, and lower Midwest led to numerous daily-record highs. On October 8, daily-record highs rose to 80F in Albany, NY, and Burlington, VT. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX, noted 7 days with 90-degree heat during the first 14 days of the month, including a daily-record high of 96F on October 9. Elsewhere in Texas, record-setting highs for October 9 soared to 97F in San Angelo and 94F in Houston and Waco. On October 10, daily-record highs of 94F were observed in Jonesboro, AR, and Tampa, FL. From October 6-12, Augusta, GA, notched seven consecutive readings of 90F or greater, including daily-record highs of 92 and 94F, respectively, on the last 2 days of the heat wave. Macon, GA, registered a trio of daily-record highs (93, 94, and 93F) from October 10-12. In Missouri, Springfield closed the week with consecutive daily-record highs (88 and 89F, respectively) on October 13-14. Other Midwestern daily-record highs for October 14 included 90F in Cape Girardeau, MO, and 88°F in Springfield, IL. In contrast, cold air settled across areas from the Pacific Coast into the north-central U.S. Laramie, WY, registered consecutive daily-record lows (2 and -2F) on October 9-10. Record-setting lows in Colorado for October 10 included 15F in Alamosa and 27F in Grand Junction. In Oregon, Burns (10F) and Klamath Falls (16F) collected daily-record lows for October 12. Daily-record lows in California dipped to 14F (on October 12) in Alturas and 41F (on October 13) in Sacramento. The week ended with a daily-record low (7F on October 14) in Stanley, ID.
15-21: Dry weather dominated much of the country, with isolated showers mainly restricted to parts of the South and East. In the Plains, and other areas, the extended period of mild, dry weather prevailed. In fact, near- to above normal temperatures covered the nation, except in parts of the West. Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 5 to 10F above normal across the nation’s northern tier from the northern Plains into New England. Similarly, readings averaged at least 5F above normal in coastal southern California and parts of the Desert Southwest. Much of the Plains, excluding the far upper Midwest, experienced some frost but not a widespread freeze, further extending the growing season. Early in the week, chilly conditions lingered across the West. Grand Junction, CO, opened the week on October 15-16 with consecutive daily-record lows (28 and 27F, respectively). Other record-setting lows included 11F (on October 15) in Ely, NV, and 14F (on October 16) at Bryce Canyon Airport, UT. Meanwhile, hot weather arrived in southern California, where El Cajon posted a daily-record high of 101F on October 16. The following day, Santa Barbara, CA, collected a record-setting high (94F) for October 17. Early-week warmth also covered the South, where daily-record highs for October 15 reached 92F in Houston, TX, and Lafayette, LA. On October 16, Jacksonville, FL, registered a daily-record high of 92F. Later, warmth expanded across the nation’s northern tier. Turner, MT, logged a record-setting high (78F) for October 19. And, on the 20th, daily-record highs rose to 79F in locations such as Grand Forks, ND, and Traverse City, MI.
22-28: For much of the week, dry weather from the Pacific Coast to the Plains. Weekly temperatures were at least 10F above normal in much of New England and parts of coastal California, but averaged more than 5°F below normal from the central and southern Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley. In particular, a late-week cold surge resulted in widespread temperatures below 20F and isolated readings below 10F across the northern and central Plains, possibly burning back recently emerged winter wheat. During the first half of the week, triple-digit heat affected southern California. In Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles, high temperatures reached or exceeded 100F each day from October 23-25. Previously, the year’s latest such streak in both locations had occurred from October 15-17, 1958. At the height of California’s heat wave, highs on October 24 soared to 108°F in San Luis Obispo; 105F in Long Beach; and 104F in downtown Los Angeles. Camarillo, CA, posted a high of 106°F on October 23, the second-highest reading on record in that location behind 108F on October 9, 2015. From October 23-25, Camarillo achieved three consecutive triple-digit readings (106, 104, and 103F) for the first time on record. Elsewhere in southern California, Oxnard set an October record with a high of 104°F on the 23rd. Previously, Oxnard’s highest October reading of 103F had occurred on October 15, 1961. From October 23-25, Los Angeles’ LAX Airport registered a trio of triple-digit readings (101, 104, and 100F), representing the first October occurrence of 100-degree heat in that location since October 4, 1987. LAX Airport had never achieved three consecutive highs of 100F or greater later than October 3-5—a record that was established in 1953. Farther east, Phoenix, AZ, collected a daily-record high of 99F on October 24. Warmth briefly expanded across the Plains at mid-week, when record-setting highs for October 25 reached 85F in Scottsbluff, NE; 84F in Denver, CO; and 79F in Billings, MT. Also on the 25th, however, high winds associated with a cold front swept across northern sections of the Rockies and High Plains, resulting in gusts of 60 to 90 mph or higher. In northern Montana, a wind gust to 81 mph was clocked near Fort Benton, while an automated observation site in Glacier County, near Browning, reported a gust to 94 mph. Warmth lingered through week’s end in the Far West, but markedly colder air trailed the cold front into the central U.S. In Nebraska, low temperatures on October 27 plunged to 7F in Alliance and 9F—a record for the date—in Sidney. A day later in Kansas, record setting lows for October 28 dipped to 1°F in Russell; 16F in Garden City; and 18F in Medicine Lodge. Gage, OK, also collected a daily record low (17F) on October 28. In contrast, Stockton, CA, ended the week with four consecutive daily-record highs (90, 89, 90, and 87F) from October 25-28.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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