October Climate Summary

October Climate Summary - Northeast Florida & Southeast Georgia

October continued the streak of three consecutive months without any daily temperature or precipitation records set at any of the four climate sites, but the weather has been anything but boring this fall across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. The month started out with continued summer-like conditions as very warm and humid conditions spilling over from the month of September, and this led to the second straight month with slightly above normal temperatures. Rainfall amounts were generally below normal for the month, but any significant amounts that did occur were limited to the first week of the month when the moist and humid airmass was in place. The first significant cool airmass of the season arrived during the second week of October and temperatures remained near seasonable levels for the next 2 weeks. The big weather story at the end of the month was Hurricane Sandy as it moved north about 200 to 300 miles east of the Atlantic coastline. The storm was close enough to bring windy conditons along the I-95 corridor and high surf with breakers of 8 to 12 feet at the local beaches, but the main rain bands from Sandy remained offshore. This kept the trend of very little measurable rainfall at all the climate stations through the latter half of the month. The windy conditions continued in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as much colder air filtered into the region with some inland locations experiencing their first autumn temperature readings in the 30s the last 3 days of the month. The average wind speed was at least 10 mph or more the final 7 days of the month at most of the climate stations, and an amazing average daily wind speed of 15 mph at St Simons Island on the 26th. The peak wind gusts from Sandy averaged 30 to 35 mph over inland areas, around 40 mph along the I-95 Corridor near the coast, and up to 50 mph at immediate beach locations with the strongest winds felt along the St Johns and Flagler County coastlines, where some significant beach erosion and minor coastal flooding was reported.

The local climate stations used for this summary: include Jacksonville, FL (JAX - history dates back to 1871), Gainesville, FL (GNV - history dates back to 1890), and across southeast Georgia, Alma (AMG) and St Simons Island (SSI) whose climate history dates back to 1948.


October Climate Summary Average Temp (Departure) Monthly High (F) Monthly Low (F) Precipitation (Departure) Highest Daily Pcpn Total
Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 70.7 F ( + 0.3 F ) 90 on 1st 41 on 30th 3.01" ( - 0.92" ) 1.35" on 3rd
Gainesville, FL (GNV) 72.0 F ( + 1.1 F ) 90 on 7th 41 on 30th 0.89" ( - 1.99" ) 0.51" on 1st
Alma, GA (AMG) 68.9 F ( + 0.5 F ) 90 on 1st 40 on 31st 0.37" ( - 2.66" ) 0.13" on 3rd
St. Simons Island, GA (SSI) 71.1 F ( + 0.9 F ) 87 on 7th 45 on 30th 2.98" ( - 1.48" ) 1.64" on 8th

The forecast for the next 3 months (November, December and January) from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is calling for equal chances of above, below or near normal temperatures while the precipitation forecast is calling for greater chances of above normal precipitation values. This precipitation forecast is due in part to the weak El Nino event ongoing in the Pacific Ocean which generally increases the chances of heavy rainfall events across the southeast U.S. and the Florida Peninsula through the late fall and winter months. The weak El Nino forecast is uncertain and it could end up being a "neutral" winter without an El Nino or La Nina event and this could further complicate the long-range seasonal forecast of both temperatures and precipitation. The winter forecast could be dominated more by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which is not predictable more than 2 weeks in advance. Click here for the latest CPC forecast.

Jason Hess - NWS JAX Climate Focal Point



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