Some communities saw cooler than average October temps

6 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — After a warmer than normal summer, cooler temperatures last month impacted some Aroostook County communities more than others, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou.

Mark Bloomer, meteorologist for the NWS, said that above average temperatures that began in June clung through September. That trend ended last month, however, with some communities experiencing their coolest October in several years.

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. There were only six days last month in which Caribou and Bangor saw above average temperatures.

The eighth coolest October since weather records began being kept in 1929, and the coolest since 2009, occurred in Caribou. The third coolest October overall was observed in Houlton. A temperature of 10 degrees was recorded on the morning of Oct. 27 in that community, which smashed the previous low of 16 degrees set in 1936. That temperature also was the lowest observed since Oct. 1978.

In Caribou, the temperature of 16 degrees on Oct. 27 broke the previous record for that date of 17 degrees set in 1976. It was just two degrees above the record low of 14 degrees for the entire month set in October 1940 and 1972.

Also on the morning of Oct. 27, Estcourt Station registered a low of 5 degrees, which was the lowest temperature observed anywhere in the contiguous United States.

The highest temperature of the month was 71 degrees, which was recorded in Caribou on Oct. 9. It was 11 degrees below the record high of 82 degrees, observed in October 2011.

A total of 8.90 inches of rain was recorded at Caribou from June 1 through the end of August, according to Greg Cornwell, NWS meteorologist. That was eight tenths of an inch below average, making this past summer the driest since 2009. Rainfall in September also was below average, but precipitation last month ameliorated the situation. Near to slightly above average amounts of rainfall occurred in October, and ranged from 100 to 130 percent of normal. A total of 4.08 inches fell last month, which was 4.65 inches below the record established in 1990.

The first snow flurries of the season occurred on Oct. 18 at Caribou and on Oct. 23 in Bangor. Caribou saw 3.5 inches of snow, the most since 2009. This was well below the record of 12.1 inches set in 1963, however.  More snow fell from Oct. 27-Oct. 28, bringing between one to three inches of snow and sleet from Caribou north to the St. John Valley.

According to the NWS Climate Prediction Center, there is an increased likelihood of above average temperatures and precipitation this month. Average snowfall for the month ranges from approximately 12 inches across the far north to about 1 to 2 inches Down East.