Warm temperatures in Texas dominated the month of October, so much so that the month will go down as the fourth warmest October in the state’s history, according to figures from the State Climatologist at Texas A&M University.
John Nielsen-Gammon, Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M who also serves as State Climatologist, says the month also tied for the sixth driest since official record keeping began in 1895.
“So far, we know that 215 records were set all across the state, from Alpine to Amarillo to Brownsville and Beaumont,” Nielsen-Gammon says.
“About 70 percent of those records were set during the period Oct. 16-20. Every single station reported above-normal temperatures for the month. The warmest areas relative to normal were the northern Panhandle, the Midland-Odessa area and the area northeast of Dallas.”
Numerous national records have also been set in much of the Southwest, Midwest and Northeast, with many stations recording October temperatures 20 degrees above normal. Also, many northern cities have yet to record their first freeze, and areas such as Denver had no measureable snowfall in October.
Does it mean another warm winter is in store?
“October’s weather doesn’t mean much going forward, but the combination of a long-term warming trend and a likely La Niña (cooler than normal waters in the Central Pacific Ocean that tend to influence weather patterns) event does mean that winter is likely to be warm across Texas,” he added.
“We’re seeing drought spreading across much of the state, with core drought areas in East Texas and South Texas. At this point, November is looking quite a bit wetter than October, but the overall outlook for the winter favors drier than normal conditions.”