Winters After Warmest Octobers

Does the warmth of October tell us anything about the upcoming winter? It is hard to say for sure, but many times the pattern that develops in autumn will at least carry over into the first half or so of winter. With October 2007 going into the record books tied for 5th warmest on record, it will be bad news for snow fans if the warm and dry pattern holds into the winter of 2007-2008. Looking at statistics for the winters following the warmest Octobers of years past shows a definite trend toward less snow and warmer temperatures. For the 10 warmest Octobers on record, two (1879 and 1881) occurred before reliable snowfall records were kept and one (this year) didn’t have a winter to look at. So, here’s a breakdown of the average temperature and snow in the winters following the warmest Octobers on record that have snowfall or temperature records available:

Average Snow: 13.1″…which is 5.1″ below normal…or 72% of normal.
Average Temperature: 38.9…which is 4.9 warmer than normal.

Not exactly the kind of information that snow lovers want to hear about, but encouraging to those who are already dreading winter. Keep in mind, however, that this is not a forecast, just a look at the numbers for a few winters. We shall see what actually unfolds…stay tuned!

Tom Tasselmyer

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