October 2009 Weather in Review: Temperature

As was the case with September, it’s time to look back on the Climate Prediction Center’s October Weather Outlook and see how well it matched what happened.  Considering how much time it takes to compile these stats, I’m going to break up the review into two posts: one dedicated to temperature and the other to precipitation.  We’ll revisit the temperature outlook for October 2009 in this post.

October 2009 Temps

Forecast temperature departure from normal for October 2009

There weren’t too many areas predicted to have above or below normal temperatures.  Warmer temperatures were predicted for Alaska and the extreme Northeast.  Cooler temperatures were predicted in the intermountain West.  Let’s begin by reviewing the locations predicted to experience above normal temperatures.


City Average October Temp (F) Departure from Normal (F)
Juneau 42.6 0.3
Yakutat 48.3 0.1
Anchorage 40.4 6.3
Valdez 41.4 3.2
Kodiak 43.8 3.5
Bethel 33.6 3.6
St. Paul 38.0 -0.3
Barrow 24.9 10.3
Kotzebue 29.2 6.0
Fairbanks 30.7 7.2


Overall, a pretty accurate prediction.  The southeast portion of the state was probably within a standard deviation of normal and St. Paul somehow ended up below normal sitting out in the water.  Still, the overall prediction was very accurate considering how difficult it is to make a monthly forecast.

Extreme Northeast U.S. (All observations from Maine)

City Average October Temp (F) Departure from Normal (F)
Bangor 43.6 -4.2
Caribou 39.1 -3.7
Houlton 39.5 -3.5
Millinocket 42.0 -2.4


Since the World Series is currently being played, allow me to phrase this result in the grammatical stylings of Tim McCarver: As good as the CPCs’ forecast for Alaska was for October, that’s as bad as their forecast was for the Northeast U.S.  Now, on to the intermountain West where below normal temperatures were predicted for October.

City Average October Temp (F) Departure from Normal (F)
Burns, OR 41.1 -3.3
Boise, ID 48.5 -4.3
Elko, NV 43.6 -3.1
Ely, NV 40.2 -5.2
Salt Lake City, UT 49.4 -3.1
Grand Junction, CO 49.4 -3.3
Denver, CO 42.9 -8.1
Alamosa, CO 42.4 -2.4
Pueblo, CO 46.1 -6.3
Colorado Springs, CO 42.7 -6.2
Rock Springs, WY 37.6 -5.9
Casper, WY 37.0 -8.7
Riverton, WY 36.9 -7.9
Bozeman, MT 40.2 -3.1
Pocatello, ID 43.0 -4.9


Again, an accurate prediction by the CPC.  So, what about the rest of the country?  The CPC predicted equal chances for above or below normal temperatures everywhere else.  We know it was colder than normal in the intermountain West as well as the extreme Northeast, so what about the locations in between?  Here are some temperatures from the major cities in the Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes and New England:

City Average October Temp (F) Departure from Normal (F)
Cheyenne, WY 37.0 -8.4
Omaha, NE 46.8 -6.4
Kansas City, MO 50.6 -6.2
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 43.2 -5.5
Des Moines, IA 47.7 -5.1
St. Louis, MO 53.7 -4.6
Chicago, IL 48.9 -3.2
Indianapolis, IN 51.6 -3.0
Detroit, MI 50.0 -1.9
Columbus, OH 51.6 -3.1
Pittsburgh, PA 50.6 -1.9
Buffalo, NY 48.6 -2.1
Albany, NY 48.0 -1.3
New York City, NY (Central Park) 55.0 -1.6
Boston, MA 51.9 -2.2


The magnitude of below normal temperatures weakens somewhat as you move east toward the coast, but below normal temperatures were recorded at all of the locations listed above.  In fact, you can expand this area and find more below normal temperatures (Oklahoma City, Dallas, Atlanta… to name a few).  If you’re looking for a hot spot, try Florida.  Much of the retirement state was above normal in October when several daily warm temperatures were set.

NOAA should release their official review either later this week or next week.  When they do, this post will be updated with their associated temperature map.  I’m guessing we’ll see a fair amount of blue across the country.

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