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October weather didn’t hold many surprises

(Radio Iowa) – Outside of the tornado outbreak that hit northwest Iowa back on October 4th, the state climatologist says the month wrapped up being relatively unremarkable for weather. Harry Hillaker says the primary measurement factors most people follow, temperature and rainfall, were right at the average. “Precipitation statewide averaging just a teeny bit above normal, the first time we’ve done that since June,” Hillaker says. “On the temperature end of things, I’m still crunching the numbers to see exactly which way of normal we’re going to fall. It might just be a tenth or two below normal.”

Iowa saw its first snowfall of the season on October 22nd, with parts of eastern Iowa reporting around three inches. Most of the precipitation that fell during the month was liquid, he says, and rainfall amounts varied widely from county-to-county.

Hillaker says, “Generally, quite wet across far western Iowa and extreme northern Iowa and still a few fairly dry places roughly from west-central across over towards northeastern Iowa where precipitation in some areas is about half the usual amount.” October was also a transitional month from summer-like weather in the 80s to wintery lows some nights in the upper 20s.

Overall though, Hillaker says temperatures weren’t that far from the norm.  “The first half of the month was unusually warm, the second half of the month was unusually cold and the two just kind of canceled each other out as far as the overall monthly averages go,” according to Hillaker.

So what’s ahead? Hillaker says the November weather pattern for the state is hard to determine. “The long-range outlooks have just been rather wishy-washy for quite some time,” Hillaker says. “Just not really very strong indicators one way or the other as far as what to be expecting very far into the future.”

In the short term, he says the first few weeks of November may be somewhat warmer and wetter than average.