October 2017: Very Warm and Rather Uneventful

Posted: November 10, 2017, 11:48 am by chewitt

October was…quiet. Well, except for the rainstorm at the end of the month but it really was rather uneventful. It felt warm, it was dry until the very end of the month, and even with several frontal passages, there was not much to really make note of. 

High pressure was already in place to start off the month and pretty much sat over the Northeast for the first four days. Temperatures were initially seasonable in the 60s but worked into the 70s with time. A stationary front followed shortly after, setting up shop around Pennsylvania and New Jersey, bringing some rain on the 7th and 8th. Even then, many locations were still well into the 70s and even 80s, which was abnormally high for this time of the year at 10 – 15 degrees above normal.

At Harvard University on October 30th.


A cold front then swept in on the 8th and 9th, but the remnants of Hurricane Nate (which had previously moved north through Louisiana and Mississippi) got wrapped up in it. This brought a modest rainfall to the region, with up to 0.50” in interior areas. Low amounts of rain would be the story again with another front on the 11th and 12th. This would contribute to a growing drought in the Northeast, with moderate drought conditions in many parts of southern New England and along the coast of Maine.

Temperatures dropped after this for a time, moderating back into the 60s and 70s. A cold front on the 16th had largely washed out before crossing the region, and otherwise, high pressure then lasted for quite a while throughout the following week. Return flow allowed highs to reach back into the 70s, which were generally 5 – 10 degrees higher than normal. A rather strong front worked across the Ohio Valley with a squall line ahead of it, leading to severe weather in parts of southeastern Virginia on the 23rd. This otherwise largely washed out over most of the area, eventually stalling for some time over eastern New England.

Mother Nature saved the best for last as a significant rain storm then developed on the 29th and 30th. A slow moving cold front crept across the Northeast before a system off the Carolinas curved into it. As a result, areas of moderate to heavy rain flourished, nourishing the region with much-needed precipitation. Several locations were well into the 1-3” range, with locally higher amounts up to 4-6” in spots in Connecticut and the Hudson Valley! This virtually vanquished any drought across almost the entire Northeast. Cities such as Hartford, CT received almost 4 inches above their normal rainfall thanks to this system.


Flooding problems near Bethany Beach, DE


In the end, temperatures ended up being a whopping 6 – 8 degrees above average. For all of New England and far eastern New York, this was a record breaker of a month for October. Rainfall was generally near or above normal too, which was largely thanks to the rainmaker at the end of the month. Additionally, this saved us from any risk of a prolonged drought! 

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