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October Chill, The First Below Avg Month in a Year

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Its been a warm 2012.  No surprise there, but what might be a surprise is that high temperatures have been well above average every month for the last year.  But finally, October came in with highs below average.  When you combine those cool highs with slightly below average lows and your combined average temperatures were below average.  This is just the third month of the last 12 that this has occurred in parts of our area.  Unfortunately though, these cool temperatures did nothing for our precipitation with less then half of the normal amount falling in many areas across the south and west.  Typically, when you get a below average month, your precipitation amounts are atleast near normal.  But no such luck for October as cold and very dry air surged southward from Canada on several occasions leading to cold days and nights, but just no relief for the drought.  Below is a look at the average temperatures for the month of October in cities across the area.

Most areas were 1 to 4 degrees below average in the month of October.  This may not sound like a lot, but over the course of 30 days, a few degrees in either direction is a big deal.  Typically if areas are within a degree and a half of normal during the month, then its considered a "normal" month.  Outside of that, its either above or below average.  Combining all of these numbers, the area was a solid 2 to 3 degrees below average making it officially "below average."

Another area we were below average was rainfall, of course.  We managed to get a couple of good sized storms, but just could not squeeze enough moisture out of the atmosphere to get to a typical total for October.  Below is a look at rainfall totals for the area along with how much above or below average those totals were.

Parts of the northeast and the southeast were pretty close to average with Brookings actually coming in above average, but much of the I-90 corridor and the Missouri River Valley were well below average for the 6th straight month leading to rainfall deficits of more then 10 inches on the year in some areas.  This has lead to continued drought conditions across the area.  Check out the latest drought monitor.

Not much of a change from last week with the northeast still fairing the best with mostly moderate drought conditions.  The rest of us still stuck with extreme and excessive drought, especially south of I-90.  Rain is desperately needed before the ground freezes or we are going to find ourselves in the same dreadful position when the ground finally thaws in the spring.

Now that we are getting into November, I'd say its safe to say that 90's and triple digits are out of the forecast until next year.  Here is a recap of just how many days select cities saw temperatures rise at or above 90 and at or above 100 compared to normal.  If you didn't live through the heat this summer and were wondering how warm it was, this would be a very quick way to find out.

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