October ends as one of Iowa’s driest Octobers, and it was warmer, too

News, Weather

November 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Humidifiers have been running almost non-stop for weeks as one of Iowa’s driest Octobers in more than 20 years is now over. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says the month that just ended saw very little rainfall, though it wasn’t a record-breaker. “The driest one is in a class all by itself, way back in October of 1952,” Hillaker says. “Most of the state had no rain what-so-ever and the statewide average was just 2/100ths of an inch for the month. That’s our driest calendar month of any month for the year, not just for October.”

Here in Atlantic, we received just .21” of rain during the month. The normal average is 2.54-inches. While official State numbers are still being tabulated, this October saw a statewide average between three-quarters of an inch and eight-tenths of an inch of rain, which will rank it around the 10th driest Iowa October on record. It was the driest October since 1988 when we only averaged two-thirds of an inch of rain statewide. Hillaker say the just-ended month was also warmer than usual.

“The month is going to average out about three-degrees warmer than normal,” he says. “We actually got off to a rather cold start. We had an unusually cold September and the first couple of days in October were well below normal as well. A little bit of cold weather was mixed in, especially the last week or two, but most days were above normal.” As for the month ahead, November may follow suit, at least as far as warmth.

“November, historically when we’re in a La Nina weather pattern as we are right now, has quite strong odds of being warmer than normal and just a teeny tendency to be on the dry side of normal as well,” Hillaker says. Based on the forecast though, he says Iowa may see rain showers as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday) with an even-larger storm front possibly moving over the state this weekend.

The average high for October in Atlantic, was 68.5-degrees, which was slightly warmer than the normal average of 65.7. The average low was 35.9, which was slightly cooler than the normal average of 38.1.