Looking back at October

2010-11-01 22:17:22.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist


Well, October is officially in the books, both figuratively and literally. Well, almost literally.Ryan is in the process of finishing up monthly check, which is a process that our meteorological observers go through after each month has passed to check forms for errors and compile various averages and other data from the previous month. As I’m sure you can imagine, there are a lot statistics I could throw at you right now, but instead I’d like to just highlight the two that I find most interesting and significant.

First up: temperature. The average temperature for the month was 27.7 degrees, which is 2.5 degrees below average. This caught my eye because this calendar year has seemed to be rather warm compared to average. Sure enough, after looking back at our records, this was the first month that saw an average temperature below normal since December of last year. Coincidentally, it is the coolest month compared to average since October of last year, when the average was 2.7 degrees below normal.

Second: snowfall. The months ended with a total of 20.1 inches of snow measured in our precipitation can. The first significant snowfall (more than one inch) didn’t come until mid-month, October 15 to be exact. This was actually the first October that I have been on the mountain (four total) that we have finished out the month above average for snowfall; in this case, almost 7 inches above average.

Is this an indicator of how the winter is going to turn out? Not necessarily. Just because one month is relatively cold and snowy doesn’t mean the next will, or the one after that for that matter. Take, for example, October of 2006. That month saw one of the snowiest Octobers on record with almost 42 inches recorded. November of 2006 on the other hand had an average temperature of a whopping 9.2 degrees above normal with a meager 7.4 inches of snow.

Although a rather wintry October this year doesn’t necessarily predicate a snowy winter, we can still hold on to hope that it does!


Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

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