From the ABC 7 Weather team

October Climate: Just How Many Records Were Set

November 8, 2012 - 11:00 PM
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It was a wild October.  The average U.S. temperature dropped below average, ending a 16 month of streak.  And you can't forget a historic hurricane & superstorm.

The streak is over!  After 16 months of above average temperatures for the lower 48, October ended below average.  The monthly average for October was 53.9°, which is 0.3°below the long term average.   Locally, October ended a bit above average (see meteorologist Chad Merrill's blog on the D.C. October round-up).   19 states, not including Maryland, D.C, or Virginia, had below average monthly temperatures.  Those are the states in blue. 

Average precipitation was slightly above with 2.19" observed.  This is somewhat interesting since there were two extremes featured across the country during October.  The Southern Rockies, Central and Southern Plains were drier than average.  In fact, as of October 30th, about 60% of the U.S. (mainly in the Great Plains) was experiencing drought conditions. The Northwest featured above average precipitation, as well as the Great Lakes, Northeast, and parts of the Mid Atlantic.  

Now a lot of the above average precipitation in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic can be linked to the heavy rain associated with hurricane Sandy and the superstorm that it became.  Take a look at the preliminary rainfall totals from Sandy.  Many areas had between two and six inches, with locally higher amounts.

Heavy rain, battering winds, strong storm surge, millions of power outages, and even blizzard conditions accompanied the superstorm.  Sandy broke numerous records along the coast, but here are a few highlighted in the climate report:

- Sandy had a central pressure of 946mb when it made landfall.  This is a preliminary pressure reading, but will likely go down as a record low reading for the Northeast coast.

946mb Landfall

- The Battery in NYC recorded an all time record surge of 13.88 ft, which is more than 3ft higher than the previous record from 1960.

- The Delaware River in Philadelphia had record high water of 10.6 ft., which is just above the April 2011 record of 10.5 ft.

Sandy, the superstorm, was an incredible storm not only bringing heavy rain, high winds, and strong storm surge to parts of the East coast, but also blizzard conditions with feet of snow in the high elevations.

Snow in Cumberland, MD

The 2012 climate, so far, from January through October, has been the warmest 1st 10 month period of any year on record.  The temperature is 58.4°, which is 3.4° warmer than average.  This 10 month stretch is also the 16th driest period on record with 1.9" of precipitation.  Average is 24.78". 

After a cold start, locally, to November, hopefully temperatures will start to climb, especially after an early month nor'easter.

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