October Climate Summary for Huntsville and Muscle Shoals

Temperatures...

Average temperatures were below normal for the month of October, continuing a trend that was begun in August. This is the first time since January-February-March of 2010 that temperatures have been below normal for three consecutive months. Temperatures were particularly cool at the beginning of the second week, with morning lows on the 9th falling into the 30s at many locations for the first time since April. Although close, freezing temperatures did not occur at any of the cooperative observer locations in the Huntsville NWS forecast area with this first relatively cold air outbreak. Temperatures gradually rebounded during the second week, and then wavered from slightly below to above normal values into the latter part of the 4th week. Daytime highs reached the low 80s at many locations from the 22nd through the 26th. Then, a quick and significant cooldown ensued as a modified polar airmass moved into the region. High temperatures slipped some 25 to 30 degrees from the 26th to the 27th. Cool, dry air and ideal raditional cooling conditions allowed temperatures to fall to or below freezing at most locations on the 31st (although, Muscle Shoals was an exception). This was near the climatological average for most locations for the first freeze of the cold season (late for some, early for others). At Huntsville, the morning low temperature of 32 degrees was the first freezing temperature since February 26th. This stretch of 247 days without freezing temperatures was the 3rd longest in Huntsville's history, tying a similar period in 2004. Incidentally, the longest stretch of above freezing temperatures at Huntsville was 251 days, which occurred between March 29th and December 4th, 1978.  Anyway, by the end of the month, temperatures averaged 2.3 degrees below normal at Huntsville, and 1.4 degrees below normal at Muscle Shoals.

Despite this recent seasonal cool trend, temperatures are still averaging well above normal so far for the year. In fact, to date, it is still the warmest year on record at Muscle Shoals, while the ranking is 2nd at Huntsville. Below are the top 5 warmest January - October periods for both locations:


Huntsville

Muscle Shoals

Rank

Avg Temperature

Year

Rank

Avg Temperature

Year

1

67.3

1925

1

67.3

2012

2

67.0

2012

2

66.7

1998

3

66.4

2007

3

66.4

2007

4

66.3

1927

4

66.3

1925

5

66.2

1922

5

66.1

1938

Daily Temperature Graphs for the month of October for each location (click on the images for a larger version).

Huntsville - Oct 2012 Temperature Graph

Muscle Shoals - Oct 2012 Temperature Graph

Daily Temperatures for Huntsville October 2012 - click on the image for a larger version. Daily Temperatures for Muscle Shoals October 2012 - click on the image for a larger version.

Temperature Statistics for the Month of October at Huntsville and Muscle Shoals. All temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit.

October Statistic

Huntsville

Muscle Shoals

Average Monthly Temperature 60.5 60.7
Normal Temperature* 62.8 62.1
Deviation From Normal 2.3 Below Normal 1.4 Below Normal
Monthly Ranking** 31st Coolest 42nd Coolest
Warmest October 69.4 (1919) 69.1 (1941)
Coolest October 53.7 (1952) 52.1 (1917)
Max Temperature 83 (Oct 4th) 84 (Oct 5th)
Min Temperature 32 (Oct 31st) 37 (Oct 29th/31st)
All-Time Max Temperature

96 (Oct 8, 1911)

99 (Oct 5, 1925)
     (Oct 1, 1925)
     (Oct 4, 1908)
All-Time Min Temperature

23 (Oct 30, 1952)
(Oct 29, 1910)

23 (Oct 31, 1917)

Record Highs

None

None

Record Lows None None

  

Precipitation...

In general, precipitation across the Huntsville forecast area for the month of October could be characterized as slightly above normal in the north, to below normal in the south.  At Huntsville, the precipitation total of 3.91 inches was slightly above normal, while the 2.40 inch total at Muscle Shoals was just over an inch short of the normal total.  Nearly all of the rainfall for the month occurred during the first 18 days, with little to no precipitation during the remainder of the month.  A rather impressive one-day total of 1.55 inches was recorded at Huntsville as thunderstorms moved across the area on the 14th, just 0.15 inches shy of the record set for the date in 1909.  Otherwise, daily precipitation totals were below one inch for most locations during the month.  The largest calendar day total at Muscle Shoals occurred on the 1st, when showers and storms brought 0.75 inches to the airport location. 

Radar Precipitation Estimates and Departures from Normal for October for the Huntsville Forecast Area (amounts are in units of inches).

Radar Precipitation Estimates

Radar Precipitation Departures from Normal

Radar precipitation estimates - click on the image for a larger version Radar estimated precipitation anomalies - click on the image for a larger version

October Precipitation Statistics for Huntsville and Muscle Shoals (amounts are in units of inches).

October Statistic

Huntsville

Muscle Shoals

Monthly Precipitation 3.91 2.40
Normal Precipitation 3.59 3.43
Departure from Normal 0.32 Above Normal 1.03 Below Normal
Monthly Ranking 38th Wettest over 50th
Wettest October 12.06 (1975) 11.05 (1918)
Driest October 0.00 (1924) 0.00 (2000, 1963, 1924)
Wettest Calendar Day 1.55 (Oct 14th) 0.75 (Oct 1st)
Record Wettest Day 5.43 (Oct 17, 1928) 4.16 (Oct 20, 1918)


The Monthly Outlook for November from the Climate Prediction Center...
The one month temperature outlook indicates equal chances for above, near or below normal temperatures for the central Tennessee Valley climatic zones, based on the 3-tiered categories. The probabilities are as follows...

Above Normal....33%
Near Normal......34%
Below Normal......33%

The one month precipitation outlook indicates equal chances for above, near or below normal precipitation for the central Tennessee Valley climatic zones, based on the 3-tiered categories. The probabilities are as follows...

Above Normal....33%
Near Normal......34%
Below Normal....33%

What is normal for November? ...Huntsville daily normals and records / Muscle Shoals daily normals and records


* Normal temperatures and precipitation are based on the 1981-2010 climatological period. All temperature data are expressed in degrees Fahrenheit.
** Temperature data for Huntsville go back to 1907, while precipitation data are available since 1894. Any months that contain missing daily temperature or precipitation data are not counted in the rankings.

*** Temperature and precipitation data for Muscle Shoals go back to 1893, however sporadic outages of data occur especially in the 1910s and again from September 1995 through May 1997. Any months that contain missing daily temperature or precipitation data are not counted in the rankings.

Note...all data above are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified data can be accessed at the NCDC at the following location... http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov

One month and seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks may be obtained from the Climate Prediction Center at the following location...http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

KDW


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