October 2009 Weather in Review: Precipitation

We reviewed temperature yesterday, now it’s time to take a look at precipitation around the nation during the month of October.  Let’s review the original outlook:

October 2009 precip

Forecast precipitation departure from normal for October 2009

Below normal precipitation was predicted for the Pacific Northwest.  Above normal precipitation was predicted for southern Alaska, as well as a larger area of the central U.S.  From the Gulf Coast to the Northern Plains, and west through Colorado and Utah, the CPC looked for above normal precipitation.  Let’s begin with the Pacific Northwest:

City Total October Precip (in) Departure from Normal (in)
Seattle-Tacoma, WA 5.54 2.35
Olympia, WA 5.32 1.13
Spokane, WA 2.31 1.25
Lewiston, ID 0.76 -0.20
Pendleton, OR 1.50 0.51
Redmond, OR 1.22 0.66
Portland, OR 3.05 0.17
Salem, OR 2.61 -0.42


There are a couple of stations that experienced slightly below normal precipitation for the month, but they’re actually on the outskirts of the area predicted to be drier.  Those cities at the center, such as Seattle, experienced above normal precipitation for the month.  In the spirit of internet blogging, I rule FAIL on this prediction.

Now let’s take a look at the areas expecting above normal precipitation, beginning with southern Alaska.

City Total October Precip (in) Departure from Normal (in)
Yakutat 10.77 -13.23
Anchorage 2.20 0.11
Valdez 4.15 -4.43
Cold Bay 3.90 -0.64
Kodiak 16.22 7.86
Bethel 2.85 1.42
McGrath 1.95 0.49


Well, it was a good prediction for some spots, and terrible for others.  It seems the precipitation was very much hit-and-miss.  Kodiak and Bethel were well above normal while Yakutat and Valdez were well below normal.  I suppose it’s a push in terms of the prediction.  Let’s move on to the mid-section of the U.S.  This is a rather large area, so the distance between reporting sites might widen a little bit in an effort to finish this post by December.

City Total October Precip (in) Departure from Normal (in)
San Angelo, TX 2.92 0.35
San Antonio, TX 11.90 8.04
Houston, TX 13.16 8.66
Baton Rouge, LA 12.82 9.01
Mobile, AL 4.91 1.66
Greenwood, MS 11.33 7.77
Little Rock, AR 16.65* 12.31
Dallas, TX 8.05 3.94
Tulsa, OK 6.14 2.09
Kansas City, MO 3.66 0.33
St. Louis, MO 12.38 9.62
Des Moines, IA 6.53 3.91
Minneapolis, MN 5.57 3.46
Bismarck, ND 2.21 0.93
Sioux Falls, SD 5.52 3.59
North Platte, NE 4.29 3.05
Denver, CO 1.36 0.37
Grand Junction, CO 0.62 -0.38

*Record for the month

Overall, a very accurate prediction.  Precipitation was well above normal in the South as well as the Northern Plains where several systems moved through the area during the month.  The above normal precipitation was not confined to the central part of the country.  From Atlanta, GA to Boston, MA, the east coast also received above normal precipitation for the month.

A cool and wet October for most of the country had people wondering about an early and harsh Winter.  However, November looks as if will start out quite mild and dry for much of the nation.  The 5-day total for precipitation around the country is relatively unimpressive.  Outside of the coasts, not too much rain or snow is expected.  Enjoy the relatively quiet weather.  Something (like history and common sense) tells me it won’t last too long.

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