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October 2023 Weather Recap: Warm Beginning & End

 Autumn in new york

October 2023 was was 2.6 degrees warmer than average.  It was the fourth mildest October in the years since 2000 and the 20th mildest since records began in 1869.  The first week of the month was seven degrees above average; Oct. 27-30 was 14 degrees above average.  These 11 days were 10 degrees above average; the rest of the month was one degree below average. 


Three days had highs in the 80s: 10/3, 10/4, and 10/28.  The warmest reading of 83° on 10/4 was the warmest reading in October since 2019.  And the high of 80° on 10/28 was Central Park's latest reading in the 80s since 1993 when it occurred on 11/15.  (Average date of the last high of 80+ is 9/28.)


After 14.25" fell in September (the fourth rainiest month on record), October dried out and had about ten inches less.  Although the 3.90" that was measured was slightly below average this was the driest October since 2018.  Much of of the month's rain came from three storms between 10/14 and 10/30: 0.81" on 10/14;  1.51" on 10/20-21; and 1.06" on 10/29-30.


In addition to October 2023, October 1936 also had 3.90" of rain.  And five other Octobers had very similar amounts.  In 1987, October had 3.89"; October 2015 had 3.91"; October 1973 had 3.92"; October 1979 had 3.87"; and October 1980 had 3.86".  


Chilliest day of the month was on 10/31, with a high/low of 51°/45°.  Only October 2021 had a milder "chilliest" reading in October (47°).



Here are recaps of previous Octobers:










October 2022 Weather Recap - Month's Overall Story Largely Determined In First 9 Days


Autumn 2022

Although it was just one degree chillier than average, October 2022 was the chilliest October since 2009.  This below average outcome was driven largely by the first nine days of the month, which were five degrees below average; the rest of the month was one degree above average.  Although the month was 1.0 degree below the 30-year average for October, it was 2.4 degrees cooler than Octobers since 2010 (and five degrees chillier than last October).


The month's rainfall of 5.08" made it the wettest month of the year (a low amount for this distinction since a year's wettest month  typically sees between seven and eight inches).  The last month with more precipitation was last October (5.26").  3.28" of the rain fell in the month's first five days (from the remnants of Hurricane Ian); then the rest of the month was drier than average.  The 1.85" of rain that fell on 10/4 tied 7/18 as the rainiest day of the year.


Despite the chill, the chilliest reading was just 42°; typically the chilliest reading is in the upper 30s.  Days with highs in the 70s occurred in three pairs: 10/6 & 10/7; 10/11 & 10/12; and 10/25 & 10/26.  10/6 had the warmest reading of the month, 76°.


Last fall, October had a record streak in the first half of the month, when 13 days in a row had lows in the 60s.  This October had only two lows this warm, and they didn't happen until 10/25 and 10/26.   


Finally, at the beginning of the month there were back-to-back days that were ten or more degrees chillier than average, and then there were two days in the closing week of the month that were ten or more degrees warmer than average.

  • Oct. 3:   53°/47°: 13 degrees below average
  • Oct. 4:   55°/46°: 11 degrees below average
  • Oct. 25: 70°/61°  11 degrees above average
  • Oct. 26: 72°/60°  12 degrees above average


Previous October recaps:












Hurricanes & Tropical Storms That Affected New York Before 1970


Hurricane swirling clouds


Similar to tropical systems that have lashed NYC since 1970, the average frequency in the years before 1970 is once every two years.  What follows is a year-by-year listing of more than 50 pre-1970 hurricanes (as well as remnants of downgraded storms).  1954 stands out for having four tropical systems that affected the metro area.  At the other end of the spectrum, the 20 years between 1894 and 1914 saw just three tropical systems in total.  Please note that the first named storm to affect New York, Barbara, was in 1953.



October 2-3 - Four inches of rain was produced by a hurricane that struck Cape Cod (1.84" fell on the 2nd, 2.16" on the 3rd).


October 26 - The center of circulation from a dissipating hurricane got very close to Manhattan as it moved northeastward, dropping 1.56" of rain.


September 29 – What was once the season's sixth hurricane moved over New York as a tropical storm, dropping 0.64" of rain on Central Park.  This was considerably less than the seven inches of rain that flooded the City from Sept. 16-18 from a non-tropical system.


September 17 - Heavy rain from a minimal hurricane that raced inland through North Carolina and Virginia dumped 3.37" of rain in Central Park (a record for the date that still stands).


October 4 - A dissipating tropical storm dumped 4.05" of rain in Central Park (a record for the date that still stands).


Heavy rain clip art2



October 23 - The center of a dissipated hurricane and tropical storm, referred to as the "Gale of 1878", moved west of Manhattan.  Shortly after daybreak winds gusted over 50 mph, and 0.73" of rain was measured in Central Park.


August 18 - 3.95" of rain flooded the City from a hurricane that struck North Carolina this morning and raced up the coast during the day.  This amount was a record for the date (a record that still stands).


September 9-10 - Rain from a hurricane moving north from South Carolina started late on the 9th (0.67" of rain fell) and continued into the morning of the 10th (adding 0.54"). 


September 11 - Rain from a tropical storm amounted to 3.23", with much of it (2.57") falling today.

September 23 - Less than two weeks after a tropical storm soaked the City, another tropical system brought more flooding rains to the Mid-Atlantic states, and drenched New York with its greatest rainfall for any calendar date - 8.28".  And in the preceding two days 3.52" of rain fell.  With a total of 16.85" of rain for the entirety of September (most of which fell between the 11th and 23rd), this was NYC's wettest month on record until Aug. 2011 when 18.95" was measured.


Heavy rain


October 13 - A tropical storm moved northward through central Pennsylvania and dropped 1.50" of rain in Central Park. 


June 23 - An early tropical storm passing to the south of New York dropped 1.20" of rain.  Cloud cover and rain kept the temperature in the 60s all day (the high/low was 66°/62°).


August 21 - As it traveled just north of the City on its way to New England, the remnants of a category 3 hurricane that struck south Florida and later Louisianar soaked the City with 4.12" of rain (a record for the date that still stands).


September 10-13 - A dissipating hurricane stalled off the Delmarva Peninsula and brought bands of rain over the course of four days, amounting to 4.46", with much of it (3.34") falling on the 12th and 13th.  Except for one hour during the afternoon of the 13th, the temperature was stuck in the 60s.  These four days were the start of a streak of nine days in a row with rain (and ten out of eleven); total rainfall during this period was around six inches.


August 19-20 – A hurricane approached New York during the evening.  A peak gust of 85 mph was clocked and 3.81" of rain fell (1.34" today, and 2.34" on the 20th).

August 23 – Just four days after a hurricane lashed the City, a tropical storm passed to the west and dumped 3.61" of rain.

October 23 - A shield of heavy rain from a tropical storm that passed over the Delmarva Peninsula soaked the City with 2.46".


September 16 - A category 1 hurricane made landfall on the Jersey shore in the morning, delivering a brief period of heavy rain to New York between 11 AM-2 PM; 1.63" was measured.

October 8-9, 1903 - A stalled hurricane (that weakened to tropical storm status), and a low-pressure system that formed along an approaching cold front, combined to create a tremendous rainstorm that produced 11.63" over 26 hours.  The deluge started late in the morning of the 8th (4.30" was measured) and continued thru mid-afternoon on the 9th (when 7.33" fell).  Rain fell at a rate of an inch every two hours for a large portion of the storm; at its most intense, 2.54" fell from 9-11 AM on the 9th.  At the time the rainfall on the storm's second day was New York's second greatest daily amount (behind 8.28” that fell 21 years earlier on Sept. 23); it's now ranked fourth.


September 14-15 - After three weeks in which just 0.01" of rain fell, 3.84" poured down from a hurricane that crossed the eastern end of Long Island,and tore 19 barges from their moorings in New York Harbor.  The rain was split pretty evenly between the evening of 9/14 and the following morning.


August 4 – What was the season’s first hurricane, which developed near Florida, brought 3.25” of rain (mostly between 6-10 AM) as it passed by New York City as a tropical storm.  A gust of 53 mph was clocked at Central Park.  Today’s amount of rain was a record for the date (which still stands).


May 16-17 - The remnants of the year's first (and very early) tropical system produced a record amount of rain for the date (2.66"), with almost all of it falling after 4 PM.  And an additional 0.30" fell in the pre-dawn hours of the 17th. 


August 25-26 - A dissipating hurricane southeast of Long Island, moving in the direction of Cape Cod, brought tropical storm-force winds and 3.03" of rain to New York.  Rain began the evening of the 25th and continued thru late morning on the 26th, with 2.29" measured (1.13" fell between midnight and 2 AM).


December 1-5 – A large, meandering, extra-tropical system brought squalls and gusty winds over the course of five days.  2.76” of rain fell during this period, with the wettest day being 12/3, when 1.63” was measured (but none of the rain was torrential; the greatest two-hour totals were 0.41” from midnight-2 AM, and 0.36” between 8-10 PM.  Winds gusting to 35 mph were common on the 3rd and 4th.


September 19-20 - Remnants of the Great Okeechobee Hurricane (which killed 2,500+ in central Florida on 9/17) dampened the City with 1.70" of rain; 1.29" fell on the 19th (showers fell throughout the day, with 0.58" falling between 10 AM-noon), and 0.41" fell in the wee hours of the 20th (with 0.29" falling between midnight-1 AM).


Lake okeechobee hurricane of 1928



October 1-2 - The remnants of the season's second hurricane moved through eastern Pennsylvania, producing 2.55" of rain.  2.16" of it fell on 10/2, with most of it falling between 5 AM-3 PM.  This amount was a record for the date (which still stands). 


September 13-14 - A hurricane off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, pushed rain squalls into the area after 10 PM on the 13th that continued through the wee hours of the 14th.  The 0.75" that fell (0.56" of it on the 14th) comprised half of the rainfall of a dry September (at the time, the tenth driest September; now ranked 21st).  This was the smallest amount of rain from a tropical system since 0.73" fell on Oct. 23, 1878.


September 16 - A weakening tropical storm to the southeast of Long Island brought showers.  And although it was just 0.68”, similar to the hurricane of Sept. 1930, it accounted for more than half of the month’s paltry rainfall (8th driest September; now ranked 15th).   This was the third September in a row with less than two inches of rain (then Sept. 1933 and 1934 would each have more than ten inches).

October 17-18 - Tropical moisture from a tropical storm that dissipated over West Virginia, produced 3.24” of rain, much of which fell between 9 PM on the 17th to daybreak on the 18th (2.58”).  The rain was also accompanied by tropical storm-force winds.  This was the most rain to fall from a tropical system since 3.25" fell on Aug. 4, 1915.


August 23 - The remnants of a hurricane that made landfall on the North Carolina/Virginia border moved north through central PA and upstate NY, dumping 2.23” of rain in Central Park, with much of it falling between 4-10 PM.  (0.14” was added in the wee hours of 8/24).  This came on the heels of a coastal storm on 8/21-22, which produced 3.28” of rain.    


June 19 - 1.91” of rain fell, mostly before 9 AM, as the remnants of a category 2 hurricane that made landfall in Louisiana three days earlier moved just to the southeast of the metro area.  This was a record amount of rain for the date (a record that still stands).

September 8 - The strongest hurricane of the season brought heavy rain to the City when it crossed over the eastern end of Long Island.  There were two periods of heavy rain, the first between 6-10 AM, when 1.23" fell, and then much heavier rain fell from 5-11 PM, when 3.26" poured down.  (An additional 0.37" fell at other times during the day, bringing the day's total rainfall to 4.86".)  During the early evening, winds gusted between 45-50 mph.  This hurricane came four days after remnants of a tropical system brought 0.68” on 9/3-4.


September 6 - The remnants of what was the Great Labor Day hurricane in the Florida Keys (nearly 500 were killed) brought heavy rain this morning, with 1.60” measured between 2-10 AM (most of it fell between 4-8 AM).


September 18 - After receiving just 0.08" of rain in the first two-and-a-half weeks of the month, a weakening hurricane to the southeast dumped nearly four inches, with most of it falling between 2 PM and midnight.  It was also a chilly day, with temperatures falling into the upper 50s during the afternoon. 


September 21 - New York was spared the ravages of the history-making hurricane known as the Long Island Express, which made landfall mid-afternoon, 65 miles to the east.  Still, the City had to contend with near hurricane-force winds and four inches of rain, half of which fell between 1-4 PM.  Besides the wind and rain, it was also chilly, with the temperature dropping slowly all day, from the low-60s to low-50s.  Today's deluge followed two days of steady rain that amounted to 3.45".


1938 new england hurricane



August 19 - The biggest rainfall of the year was produced by the remnants of the season's second hurricane, which made two landfalls in Florida, on the east coast and along the state's Panhandle.  The 2.31" that was measured fell between noon and midnight.  It fell heaviest after 8 PM, when more than half of the rain fell.  


September 14 - "The Great Atlantic Hurricane" raced up the Mid-Atlantic coast and veered to the east of NYC (making landfall near East Hampton on Long Island), dumping 3.82" of rain between 4-11 PM, and lashing the City with gale force winds that gusted between 40 and 50 mph (and 70-80 mph at LaGuardia Airport).  Today's rainfall came on top of 3.94" that fell yesterday and 1.64" the day before for a three-day total of 9.40".  The New York metro area was the bullseye for the heaviest rainfall.


Great atlantic hurricane of 1944

October 20-21 - The remnants of the season’s 13th hurricane, that made landfall in North Carolina, produced 1.29” of rain between 7 PM-4 AM.


August 19-20 - The season’s first hurricane brought two periods of heavy rain as it moved from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod.  The first, from 11 AM-4 PM on the 19th saw 1.43”, with 1.04” of it falling between 1-2 PM.  Then, on the 20th, 1.46” was measured between 7 AM-3 PM, with 0.63” falling in the initial hour.  (However, this storm wouldn’t be as severe as Thanksgiving weekend's nor’easter three months later, which blasted the City with winds that gusted to 70 mph.)


February 3-4 – The earliest tropical system on record brought 0.64” of rain late on 2/3 through the morning of 2/4.

September 1 – Remnants of the season’s first hurricane (which made landfall in South Carolina the day before) moved to the west of NYC and brought 1.17” of rain, with most of it falling between 10A-1PM.  This was a little more than half of the month’s total rainfall.


August 14 - Twelve hours of rain from hurricane Barbara between 10 AM-10 PM measured 0.92”, which was almost half of the month’s total rainfall.



June 13 - 0.52” of rain fell between 3-7 AM (most of it between 4-5:00) from a tropical storm out in the Atlantic.  After skies cleared, the mercury rose into the upper 80s.

August 30-31 - Hurricane Carol made landfall on eastern Long Island (as a category 3) and brushed the City with gale force winds and 1.71" of rain, which began last night and continued today through late morning. 

September 11 - Less than two weeks after Hurricane Carol, Hurricane Edna made itself known (as it headed to Cape Cod), dumping 3.30" of rain (nearly twice as much as from Carol), with most of it falling in the twelve hours between midnight and noon.  This was the biggest rainfall of the year.


Torrential rain

October 15 - Powerful hurricane Hazel (category 4 when it made landfall in North Carolina) moved through Pennsylvania on its way to Ontario, Canada.  It brought minimal rain to the City (0.39” was measured, almost all of which fell between 6-7 PM), but winds gusted to 40 mph in Central Park, and 66 mph at La Guardia. 


August 11-13 - Hurricane Connie flooded New York with 7.11" of rain over the course of 39 hours, with the first band of heavy rain moving through late on 8/11.  Although the most rain fell on the 11th (3.62"), the heaviest sustained period of rain would be on the 12th from 3-9 AM, when 2.50" poured down.  Rain was more of an issue than the wind, which gusted between 35-45 mph, well below hurricane force.  This was New York's biggest rainstorm since the Great Hurricane of Sept. 1944.  And while this ranks as one of Central Park's biggest rain totals, LaGuardia Airport picked up five inches more.

August 18-19 - One week after the flooding rains from hurricane Connie, another tropical system, Diane, affected the region, but compared to Connie, Diane moved relatively quickly.  The first band of heavy rain moved in late on the 18th, and by 9 AM on the 19th the rain was over; less than two inches fell, but significant flooding resulted since the ground was over-saturated from the large amounts of rain from Connie.  Sustained winds got no higher than 30 mph (but winds gusted to 54 mph at LaGuardia Airport).


September 27 - Tropical storm Flossy, which was a few hundred miles to the southeast, brought tropical storm-force winds and a small amount of rain (0.21”) from 9 PM-midnight.


June 2 - Remnants of Tropical Storm Arlene produced 1.09” of rain that fell from noon today until 2AM on the 3rd (0.90” fell from 4-11 PM).

July 10 – Remnants of Hurricane Cindy produced 0.50” of rain between 6 PM on 7/10 and 3AM on the following day.


July 30 – Heavy rain produced by tropical storm Brenda, which moved over NYC, amounted to 3.56” during a 12-hour period between 1 AM and 1 PM.  This was the biggest rainstorm in five years (since Hurricane Connie).  At the time this was the second greatest daily rainfall amount in the month of July (it's now third).

September 12 - Rain and high winds from hurricane Donna, which moved just to the east of Manhattan, lashed the area during the morning through the first half of the afternoon.  2.36" of rain fell (heaviest between 11 AM and 2 PM) and winds gusted between 40-50 mph; at LaGuardia Airport winds gusted to 90 mph, and 3.63" of rain fell.


Umbrella blown inside out 



September 15 – The downgraded hurricane Debbie moved just to the east of NYC, and produced rain for just a three-hour period between 7-10 AM (and only 0.32” was measured).  

Septmber 20-21 – Moving in during the evening of 9/20, what was once Hurricane Esther brought 1.28” of rain, 1.05” of it on the 21st.  Rain fell hardest between 2-4 AM and 10 AM-noon.  (Before it made landfall in North Carolina a few days earlier, Esther was briefly a category 5 storm.)  Tropical storm-force winds lashed the City at around daybreak.  The rain produced by the storm accounted for 75% of the month’s rain (1.70”).


August 28-29, 1962Hurricane Alma brought rain that fell in three stages: in the pre-dawn hours of the morning of the 28th, when 1.35” fell (0.81” of it in a two-hour period), then lighter amounts after 7 PM through 8AM  on the 29th,  and then a mid-afternoon downpour (0.12”).  In total, 1.95” of rain was measured.

October 2021 Weather Recap: 6th Mildest October Ends With Soaking Rains

 Oct 23 abingdon square park


After unprecedented rainfall in July, August, and September (each month had more than ten inches), it appeared a respite was in store during October as the first half of the month was the driest since Oct. 2000, with just 0.15" of rain measured.  However, these dry conditions came to an abrupt end in the last week of the month, as 4.71" was measured - the wettest last week of October on record (and eight of the last nine days had measurable rainfall).  Much of the week's rain was produced by a nor'easter on the 25th-26th that dumped 3.69" of rain. 

 Chart - rainiest last week of october


The month's other storyline was its mild nighttime temperatures.  There was a record streak of lows in the 60s (13 days), which was also the month's total number of days with lows in the 60s, tying Oct. 1879 for the most on record (the average number of lows of 60+ in October is 4).  Lows during the first 12 days of the streak were in the narrow 60°-62° range; Day 13's low was 63°.  Of the eight longest streaks of lows in the 60s/70s in October, this year's record streak was the coolest.


Chart - streaks of 60_deg lows in october


Overall, the month was 4.1 degrees above average, and became the sixth mildest October on record (it ranked fourth for average low, and tied for 19th for average high).  17 days were five degrees or more above average; seven days had below average mean temperatures.  The most above average day was 10/15, which was thirteen degrees warmer than average (high/low of 79°/63°); the most below average day was 10/1, which was five degrees below average (67°/51°).


Temperatures during October ranged from 47° (on 10/19, 10/24, and 10/29) to 79° (on 10/15).  Only three other Octobers have had a smaller temperature range: 1977 (30 degrees); 2004 (31 degrees); and 1894 (31).    This mirrored September, which had a 31-degree variation, and was tied for third smallest variation.


In an oddity, there were six days with temperatures stuck in the 60s - the most on record for any month.  They occurred in three pairs, and were concentrated in the nine-day period between Oct. 3-11.  This narrow temperature range was largely due to persistent overcast skies.


The season's first low chillier than 50° was reported on 10/18, which was the second latest day for this occurrence (latest is 10/20).  Additionally, the month's chilliest reading of 47° (reported on three days), was the mildest chilliest reading on record for October (on average, the coldest reading in October is in the upper thirties). 


Here are previous recaps of October's weather:






October review

October 2020 Weather Recap: 'Mother Nature' Dresses Up as 'Jack Frost' for Halloween


New york in fall 2020


October 2020 was slightly milder and wetter than average in New York.  The month's first week-and-a-half was uneventful, with just 0.06" of rain.  Then three significant rain events soaked the City, each bringing more than an inch of rain: 1.30" fell on 10/12-13; 1.36" on 10/17 and 2.17" on 10/29-30.  The first and third rainmakers were from remnants of hurricanes Delta and Zeta.  The month ended up with 5.05" of rain, 0.65" above average.  Overall, the month was one degree above average, making it the 11th October in a row that was milder than average.  The low was nearly two degrees above average while the high was just about average (+0.1 degree). 


Until the end of the month the chilliest reading had been 44°, which would have been one of the mildest readings for this distinction in October (October 1946's and 1971's coolest reading was 45°; October 2007's was 44°; last October's was 43°).  But then a shot of Arctic air followed the rainstorm of 10/29-30 and Halloween morning dawned with a low of 32°, the coldest reading in October since 1988.  This was three weeks earlier than the average date of the first freezing or colder reading in Central Park.




The month's mildest reading was 74° (on 10/7), which was the coolest warmest reading in October since 2009, which also had a mildest reading of 74° (October 2009 was the last time the month was chillier than average).  The last time the warmest reading was cooler than this was in 1987, when it was 72°.  (By contrast, last October's warmest reading was a sizzling 93°.)  There were just six days with highs in the 70s (the October average is nine), none of which occurred back-to-back.  This was just the third time this has happened in October in the past 100 years.  And this October was the only one of the three that was above average temperature-wise.


Chart - back to back 70s in Oct

Although the month was one degree milder than average, both the warmest and chilliest readings of October were six degrees cooler than what the average warmest and chilliest readings are in October.


Finally, there were just eight days with mean temperatures five degrees or more above average, and four days that were five degrees or more below average.  The lengthiest streak of days that were five degrees or more above average was five (10/20-24); this streak was nine degrees above average (high/low of 69°/58°).  There were no extended periods of significantly chillier than average temperatures, but the last two days of the month were twelve degrees below average (high/low of 47°/34°).


Geese on the pier


Here are previous recaps of October's weather:









A Reading in the 90s Makes October 2019 Memorable in New York


Oct 26 - mums abingdon sq park


Although above average rainfall characterized October 2019, a day of sizzling heat at the beginning of the month is likely what many New Yorkers will remember.  After having no days in the 90s in September, the high on 10/2 was a torrid 93°, 24 degrees above average - and the first 90-degree reading in October since 1941.  (The high the next day, however, was thirty degrees chillier.)  As for the rain, 6.15" was measured, the most in October since 2006, and the second rainiest month of the year (May had 6.77").  A little more than half of the month's rain fell on two days: on 10/16, when 1.83" fell, and 10/27 (1.38").


The month was three degrees warmer than average and was the 24th mildest October on record (but it ranked 12th for average low).  And although it had just a few days with highs of 70° or warmer or lows in the 60s, the month also had very few days with highs in the 50s or lows in the 40s (the chilliest reading was 43° on the 19th).  Similar to September, October ended with 11 days in a row with above average readings (averaging six degrees above average).  Temperatures between 10/3-20 were average while the other 13 days of the month were seven degrees above average.


In the years since 1900 three out of four Octobers have had their chilliest readings in the 30s or 20s.  October 2019 joined only five other Octobers whose chilliest lows were 43° or milder.  (The mildest reading to be the chilliest October low is 45°, which happened in 1945 and again in 1971.)  The typical chilliest October temperature is around 38° (fourteen Octobers since 1900 had chilliest readings of 32° or colder; the last time it occurred was in 1988).


Chilly willy


The low on Halloween was 60°, 15 degrees above average.  It joined 10/1 and 10/2 as the only days in October with lows in the 60s.  The high of 71° on 10/31 was the warmest reading on the holiday in ten years, when the high was also 71°.  It was also the mildest reading since 10/14.  (And although 10/31's high of 71° was 22 degrees cooler than 10/2's, its low was just three degrees lower.)


Spider web


Finally, October's plentiful rainfall followed a very dry September, in which just 0.95" was measured.  And while this was a decided contrast, it wasn't nearly as extreme as Sept/Oct 2005 when  October saw 16.73" after a paltry 0.48" in September; April/May 2007, when April had 13.05" and May had just 1.88"; and Aug/Sept 1882, when September had 16.85" and August only 1.14".


Here are links to other October recaps:







October 2018 Weather Recap: Started Out Like September, Ended Like It Was November




Although October wasn't far from average in terms of its overall temperature, few would think of it as merely average as temperatures in the first eleven days of the month, comparable to the start of September, were followed by nearly three weeks of temperature more like early November.  Through the 11th temperatures were ten degrees above average (high/low of 75°/65°), then the rest of the month was nearly twenty degrees colder (57°/45°), and four degrees below average.  Another contrast was between the departure from normal of the month's average high, which was a titch below average (-0.3 degrees), and the average low, which was nearly two degrees milder than average (+1.9 degrees).  And despite it being 0.8 degrees above average, this was the chilliest October in seven years.

Additional points of interest:

  • Similar to August and September, the difference between October's average high and low (i.e., diurnal variation) was one of the smallest on record for October - 11.6 degrees (the average is 15.4 degrees).  In the past 100 years only October 2012 had a smaller variation.
  • Just a year after the latest date for a low in the 70s occurred (on 10/9) a new mark was set this year when a low of 71° (five degrees warmer than the average high for the date) was reported on the 10th.
  • The month was well above average in terms of days with lows of 60° or milder (eleven).  Only October 1879 (thirteen), 2012 (warmest October on record) and 2007 had more lows of 60+.  And this October's eleven days were consecutive (Oct. 1-11), which set a new October record and included five days in a row with mean temperatures that were ten or more degrees above average.  However, despite these balmy conditions just one day, 10/10, had a high in the 80s (80°).
  • During the chilly portion of the month there were a dozen days with highs in the 50s, the most since 2009 (the typical number is eight).  And the number of lows in the 30s was three, the most since 2011 (the chilliest reading was 38°).
  • The high of 64° on Halloween (five degrees above average) was the month's mildest reading since 10/15 and the first Halloween to have temperatures in the 60s in five years.
  • Finally, much of October's 3.59" of rain (the smallest amount in five years) came from the remnants of catastrophic hurricane Michael on 10/11-12, which brought 1.27", and a nor'easter on 10/27 that produced 1.29".  On 10/20 the year's total precipitation passed 50 inches, and by the end of the month 51.42" had been measured, which is close to two inches more than what falls in a typical year.  This ranks as the the ninth greatest amount of precipitation (since 1869) through the end of October.

Here are recaps of previous Octobers:



Lacking Autumn Feel, October 2017 Becomes Warmest on Record


October mums


The unseasonably mild fall weather that began in the middle of September persisted throughout October, resulting in a month that was 7.2 degrees warmer than average.  With an average high/low of 71°/57° this was the warmest October on record, finishing ahead of 2007 and 1947 by 0.5 degrees.  14 days were 10+ degrees above average; 19 had highs of 70° or warmer - second only to October 1947's 22; and just three had chillier than average readings. 


Until the end of the month it appeared October would also be characterized by a lack of rain as less than an inch fell in the first four weeks.  However, that storyline ended on 10/29-30 when a nor'easter drenched the City with 3.28" of rain - more rain than the previous 60 days.  This was New York's biggest rainstorm in three-and-a-half years (since 4/30/14 when 4.97" fell).  Other highlights: 


  • The record for the latest date with a low in the 70s was established and then re-established on consecutive days (10/8 and 10/9).  Interestingly, despite these tropical readings, neither day had a high in the 80s.
  • The month's chilliest mean temperature occurred on 10/17, with a high/low of 58°/42° (six degrees below average).  The chilliest high, 57°, occurred on Halloween.  Only two other days had lows below 60°.  The month had a dozen days with lows of 60° or warmer, tying Oct. 2007 for the most in the years since 1900.
  • The three days with below average mean temperatures were widely separated - on 10/1 (three degrees below average), 10/17 (-6 degrees) and 10/31 (-2 degrees).
  • The warmest stretch of the month was a seven-day period, 10/5-11, which was 14 degrees warmer than average.  Each day had a high of 77° or warmer and all seven days were 10+ degrees above average.  The average high/low of this week was 80°/67°, comparable to late August.
  • Although it reigns as the mildest October on record, eleven other Octobers had more days with highs of 80°+ (this year's had four).  The warm days of these eleven months were balanced by cold periods that this October didn't experience.  Speaking of which, this October tied October 1984 and 1949 for the fewest days with lows below 50° - just five.
  • For the first time since 1990 October was milder than May.  Typically, May is five degrees warmer but this year it was three degrees cooler.
  • Finally, October joined four other months that, since the beginning of 2015, became the warmest on record: Feb. 2017, Dec. 2015, Nov. 2015 and Sept. 2015.  And five other months became the second or third warmest.  (An outlier was Feb. 2015, which was the third coldest on record.)


October 2017 calendar




















October 2016 - 16th Month In A Row With Above Average Temperatures


The highline in fall


The first half of October 2016 was uneventful, with average temperatures and little rainfall (0.78" thru 10/16).  Then an out-of-the blue, three-day warm spell occurred Oct.17-19, with each day's high topping 80° (by contrast, the first half of the month had just three days in the 70s, none higher than 75°).  This was only the third time in the past 100 years that October had three or more days in the 80s after Oct. 15 (the other two Octobers were in 1963 and 1947).  The warmest of these days, Oct. 19, had a record high of 85°.  (One week later the temperature dropped to 38°.) 


Following this touch of summer, two rainstorms in a six-day period brought 1.40" (10/21-22) and 1.41" on (10/27) - the rainiest stretch since three rainstorms delivered 3.42" during the last week of July.  Finally, on 10/30 the temperature climbed to 76° one day after a low of 39° (but Halloween's high would be twenty-two degrees chillier). 


All in all, the month was 1.9 degrees milder than average, making this the sixteenth month in a row with above average temperatures, building on the record streak set in September when the fifteenth month in a row occurred (breaking the previous record of 14 months set in 2011-2012).  This was also the seventh October in a row that was milder than average.


Monthly Streaks of Above Average Temperatures    













October's First Autumn Chill




I don't know about you, but I find adjusting to the season's first chilly temperatures in the fall a more challenging than adjusting to warm weather in the springtime.  In the fall of 2015 the temperature fell to 35° on the morning of Oct. 19, which was the earliest it was this chilly since 1976, when the low on the same date was 34°.  Mornings in the 30s in October occur infrequently in New York City, with a typical October seeing just two such days.  The average date for the first low in the 30s is Oct. 23.  It's happened as early as Sept. 30 (in 1912) and as late as Nov. 15 (1938).  On average, October's coldest reading is 38°, with the coldest being 28° in 1936.  The mildest chilly reading, 45°, occurred in 1971 and 1946 (more recently, October 2004's chilliest reading was 44°). 


The greatest number of lows in the 30s has been nine, in 1925.  One in eight Octobers have had lows of 32° or colder; however, the last time it happened was in 1988 (the coldest temperature in recent years was 33° in 2011).  At the other end of the temperature spectrum, one in four Octobers have had no readings in the 30s (most recently in 2017, 2014 and 2013).  Here are some other observations:


  • Two periods have had considerably more 30-degree days than other years.  The years between 1922-1940 averaged 3.9 30-degree days in October.  This followed the years 1910-1921, which averaged only 1.4 such days.  Then there were the years between 1964-1988, which averaged 3.2 chilly lows; since then the average has been half that, 1.6.
  • October 1974 and 1925 were noteworthy for having three days in a row with lows of 32°  or colder.  And October 1940 and 2011 distinguished themselves by having five days in a row with lows in the 30s. 
  • The most consecutive years with Octobers that had no readings below 40° is three: 1994-1995-1996.




  • The second latest date for the first reading in the 30s, Nov. 13, 1946, was sandwiched between two years with the earliest dates for this occurrence - Oct. 1, 1947 and Oct. 4, 1945.
  • After having the earliest temperature in the 30s on record, Sept. 30 in 1912, October had none.
  • Finally, there have been two high temperatures in the 30s in October: on Oct. 26, 1962 (39°) and on Oct. 30, 1925 (38°).