Although blustery and cold weather has settled in to round out the month, it is only a drop in the bucket compared to the warm month that preceded this chilly spell.
The high temperature on this last day in October at Reagan National Airport was 55 degrees following a morning low of 42 degrees. This is 9 degrees cooler than the average high and 4 degrees cooler than the average low for Halloween! The last time the high temperature was above average was Saturday.
When you put all the eggs in one basket though (factor in all the high and low temperatures for October) and do the math, the average high for October was about 1.46 degrees above the monthly average of 59.5 degrees. The warmer early to mid-October outweighed the colder end with Sandy and the cold front providing much below-average temperatures.
Checking back through the records, the last month that was cooler than average in Washington was just a year ago in October 2011. Therefore, we’ve had 12 consecutive months (November 2011-October 2012) with above average monthly temperatures. Prior to October, the last month with below-average temperatures was March 2011.
There have been NO other periods in recorded data for Reagan National Airport where the average monthly temperature was exceeded for 12 consecutive months prior to this current stretch.
However, there were 11 consecutive months of above average temperatures in Washington from October 1990 to August 1991. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that climate averages or normal are updated every 10 years, so the average daily and monthly temperatures DO change as these new climate normals are released by the weather service office.
We still need rain though. Despite Sandy’s 4.84 inches of rain in Washington, the yearly deficit stands at 4.70 inches. Therefore, prior to Sandy, the yearly deficit was about double its current status, about 9 inches below average before Sandy’s revenge on the Mid-Atlantic.
The Climate Prediction predicts equal changes of warmer and cooler than average temperatures in November with improvement noted in the Mid-Atlantic drought through early next year.