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Downward slope of temperatures expected this month, according to National Weather Service

CARIBOU, Maine — Marah Hanning of Presque Isle said Monday that ever since childhood, she has loved the month of October. 

“There is just something magical about watching the leaves change,” she said. “Plus, when I was a child, we always got out of school for harvest and we spent it picking potatoes, so it has so many memories for me. The leaves, the potato dust, the harvesters in the field and the workers sorting the crop. It is fantastic.”

It is also a month when the weather in the state really changes, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service in Caribou.

October is the month with the most rapid downward slope of daily maximum temperatures, with the average high falling from 59 degrees on Oct. 1 to 45 degrees by months end. The average low temperature falls from 39 degrees on Oct. 1 to 30 degrees by months end.

While it has snowed in October many years in the past, snow is rare during the first half of the month. It does become much more likely during mid- to late-October. The snowiest October was in 1963 when a total of 12.1 inches of white stuff fell during the last 3 days of the month. The deepest snow on the ground also was recorded in 1963 with a depth of 9 inches on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Since 1940, a trace of snow has been observed in Caribou in all but 8 years. Measurable snowfall of one tenth of an inch or greater has been observed 62 percent of the time. The day when the most snow fell in October was on Oct. 29, 1963, when  9.4 inches fell, according to the weather service.

The coldest temperature ever observed in Caribou in October was 14 degrees on Oct. 22, 1940, and again on Oct. 19, 1972, according to statistics provided by the NWS.

The warmest temperature ever observed in Caribou during the month of October was 82 degrees on Oct. 9, 2011.

October normally sees an average of 3.53 inches of precipitation, but the wettest on record was in 1990 with 8.73 inches. The most rainfall registered in a single calendar day was on Oct. 3, 1970, when 4.05 inches fell.

The driest month was in October 1955, when only 0.63 inches of rain fell..

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