@NOAA: State of the Climate October 2015


Click here to go to the NOAA website. Here’s an excerpt:

U.S. climate highlights: October


  • Fourteen states from the Great Plains to West Coast, including Alaska, had an October temperature that was much above average, with numerous locations within those states being record warm. Washington had its warmest October on record with a temperature of 52.8°F, 5.6°F above average, besting the previous record of 52.3°F set in 1988.
  • Near-average October temperatures were observed across the Ohio Valley, Southeast, and Northeast, with below-average temperatures in parts of New England.
  • Precipitation

  • Above-average precipitation was observed across the southern half of the contiguous U.S. from the Southwest, through the Southern Plains, and into the Southeast. Seven states had October precipitation totals that were much above average. South Carolina had its second wettest October with 10.36 inches of precipitation, 7.37 inches above average.
  • Only October 1990 was wetter for the state when 11.56 inches of precipitation was recorded.
  • Below-average October precipitation was recorded in parts of the Northwest, Ohio Valley, and Florida.
  • According to the November 3rd U.S. Drought Monitor report, 26.2 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down about 5.2 percent compared to September 29th. Drought conditions dramatically improved across parts of the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi River Valley where heavy precipitation flooded the region in late October. Drought also improved across the Southeast and in parts of the Northwest. Drought conditions worsened across parts of the Central Plains and Midwest. Precipitation was spotty across the West with long-term drought conditions continuing to plague the region.
  • Significant Events

  • In early October, a strong low pressure system moved into the Southeast as Hurricane Joaquin moved off the East Coast. The two systems interacted, streaming deep tropical moisture into the Carolinas over a five-day period. Historic rainfall totals of 15-20 inches were widespread with localized totals greater than 25 inches around Charleston, South Carolina. The heavy rainfall caused significant flooding across the region, including coastal flooding that was exacerbated by strong onshore flow and astronomical high tides. The flooding resulted in over 400 roads, including Interstate Highways, being closed and at least 16 fatalities.
  • In late October, several storm systems impacted the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi River Valley, including the remnants of Hurricane Patricia. Heavy rainfall caused significant flooding across the region. On October 30th, Austin, Texas’s Bergstrom Airport was forced to close when 5.76 inches of rainfall was observed in one hour, adding to the calendar-day total of 14.99 inches. This was the second wettest day on record for the city. Texas as a whole had its fifth wettest October with 5.84 inches of precipitation, 3.31 inches above the 20th century average.
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