Second Warmest October in Last 75 Years

By Russell Russ

Here are the weather highlights from October as recorded at Norfolk’s National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Observer Station, Norfolk 2SW, by the Great Mountain Forest Corporation.

The month’s high temperature of 80 degrees was observed on both October 5 and 6. A high temperature of 77 degrees on October 4 was a record high for that date, beating the old record of 75 degrees set in 1983. The high of 80 degrees on October 6 was also a record high for that date, surpassing the old record of 76 set in 1990. The low temperature of 27 degrees was observed on October 29. The average temperature this month was 54.3 degrees which was 6.8 degrees above normal. This was the second warmest October in the last 75 years, falling behind only October 2001 which recorded an average temperature of 55.3 degrees. Had it not been for the cool temperatures during the last three days of the month this October would have been the warmest.

The first frost of the season was finally observed at the weather station on October 29, with another coming on October 30. In addition to these dates there were scattered light frosts in some low lying valleys on October 13, 26 and 31.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 5.23 inches. This was 1.24 inches above normal. There were thunderstorms observed on October 9 and 11. The total precipitation for 2007 through October is now 38.20 inches. Comparing this to the last 75 years we are now 4.88 inches below an average year. The month of October on average receives a little less than one inch of snow, but this year we saw none. This year marked the twentieth anniversary of the big October snowstorm that dumped 9.5 inches on Norfolk. The snow that fell October 4, 1987 was the largest snowfall recorded for an October in our 75 year history.

By the end of the month there were still many trees loaded with leaves. The season seemed to be at least two weeks later than usual this year. This year October seemed more like a September. We had another warm, dry Halloween that made for great treat-or-treating conditions for the kids. We just missed our fifth consecutive Halloween with temperatures of 60 degrees or higher. All we could manage at the station was 58 degrees, but I’m sure there were places in town that did hit the 60 degree mark.