2016-10-17 14:32:50.000 – Taylor Regan, Summit Intern
October! With leaves changing color, and temperatures typically fast in their descent, October is perhaps the epitome of fall in New England. So how has this October stacked up to those of years past? Overall, there are several things worth remarking on. Firstly, for those who made the trip up this past weekend to participate in our 84th Founding Day celebration, consider this a lucky year! Quite often, by this time in October, the building is either intermittently or seasonally closed to the public, and the summit securely in the grip of late fall’s cold weather and wintery conditions, and yet, we were fortunate to see temperatures approaching 50 degrees and visibility of 110 miles through most of the day! Though the month isn’t over just yet, it looks as though we’re on track to see one of the warmest October’s in our 84 year history. So, let’s see how things could pan out.
The average temperature through the first half of October 2016 is 40.1 °F. If this value were to stand over the remainder of the month, it would be the warmest October on record for the summit; beating out the year 1971 which saw an average of 39.7 °F. When the average daily temps for the current forecast period are included, the projected monthly average temperature drops to 39.3 °F, still leaving 7 days at the end of the month unaccounted for. However, by looking at the warmest Octobers on record, it can be seen that this year stands a good chance of ranking somewhere among the top ten.
Not only have the summits seen seasonally above average temperatures through the month thus far, but we at the summit have also been treated to a brilliant foliage display lasting though much of the month to date. The picture below, taken today, on October 17th, shows not only an ice-less observation deck, but also the picturesque oranges and reds of fall foliage in the valleys below.
In addition to the a relatively warm average temperature for the month to date, on October 7th, the summit saw a daily record high of 57 °F, breaking the previous record set in 1963 and tied in 1990 of 56 °F. While October has been a warm month, it has also been a relatively dry month thus far, with a total of 1.07 inches of rain, ice, and snow falling on the summit to-date. The month of October typically sees 17.6 inches of snowfall alone!
Given the nice weather we’ve been fortunate to see this month, it’s easy to forget that winter is rapidly approaching. Regardless of whether October 2016 ranks among the warmest months, it won’t be long before the higher summits are encased in rime ice and extreme conditions prevail. If you plan on heading up to the summit by any means, check out our higher summits forecast to see what conditions are expected over the next 48 hours, keeping in mind that the weather can and does change rapidly.
Taylor Regan, Summit Intern