Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What has happened to October? And look at the Arctic!

Less than a week to go and we will say goodbye to October. This has just been a very interesting month from a temperature standpoint. Our cool spells this month have been brief and there haven't been many stormy days since the beginning of the month when we tracked a few tornadoes across central and eastern Kansas. Take a look at the numbers:

  • 5 days below normal
  • 19 days above normal
  • 2 days with record highs
  • Latest 100 degree temperature ever recorded for Kansas
  • Average high temperature so far: 77 (normal high goes from 76 to 64 during the month)
It's very possible that every day from here on through Halloween will be above normal, and we might see more record highs later this week. What is going on?

Take a look at the weather pattern. I would expect this in the middle of July or August, but not October. And it's not just Kansas either. Several areas are expected to have above normal temperatures throughout the central and southern Plains. A huge storm just off the west coast will continue to keep things active west of the Rockies, but most of the active weather will stay west and north of us.

We are working on our winter forecast that will come out on November 7th. I wish we had more time to put it together and analyze the data, but we will put together our thoughts and predictions so that you can be planning ahead. If October weather is any indication, we won't have a winter at all. But we know these 80s won't last too much longer and big changes are coming.

The graph above shows the sea ice melt taking place in the Arctic. We reach a minimum level of sea ice usually in September, then it turns the corner as colder weather starts returning. The amount of sea ice is below where it was in 2012 (which was a record warm year). It will be interesting to see where it goes for the rest of the year. Data collected shows that most of the substantial warming is happening in the wintertime.

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