First Snow Flurries of the Season

By Russell Russ

As predicted at the end of September, the early October rains did help put us back on the plus side for yearly precipitation levels. October was a wet and cooler than we’ve come accustomed to month. It was above average by far for rain and actually a little above normal for temperature.

The month’s low temperature of 32 degrees was observed on October 19 and our high temperature of 72 degrees was observed on October 26. The high of 72 degrees on October 26 was a record high for that date, beating the old record of 71 degrees set in 1963. The average mean temperature this month was 48.8 degrees, 1.2 degrees above normal. There were nine days with frost observed at the station. The first official frost of the season at the weather station occurred on October 10. Other areas around town may have reported earlier or additional days with frost, mostly low lying areas, but due to the station’s elevation it can sometimes have warmer temperatures on cool, calm fall mornings.

The official total precipitation recorded for the month was 9.50 inches, or 5.30 inches above normal. Determining final totals for October again could seem a bit confusing because heavy rains that fell during the last day of September actually get added to October’s total. Taking into account the 1.55 inches of rain that fell on September 30 between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight, the total for October could be considered by some to be just 7.95 inches, still an impressive figure that would have ranked it as tied with 1989 as the sixth wettest October. As it stands officially, with 9.50 inches, this October was the fifth wettest October in the last 79 years. The October 1955 record of 17.28 inches still stands as the wettest October on record.

We saw our first snow flurries of the season on October 22. It only lasted about three hours and didn’t accumulate, but it was snow. The average monthly snowfall for October is 0.6 inches. As of the end of October, the yearly precipitation total stands at 46.65 inches which is now 3.43 inches above normal. Now that we are in the season for snow we can once again look at the yearly snowfall total for 2010. As of the end of October we are at 53.2 inches for the year which is 13.7 inches below normal through October. Through October we are now 38.0 inches below our normal yearly average of 91.2 inches.