October no help in Valley’s dry year

For the year, the Valley precipitation was 63 percent of normal on Oct. 31.

October's weather, by the numbers

October's weather, by the numbers NOAA/National Weather Service

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WALLA WALLA — Autumn’s first full month brought falling leaves and frost on the pumpkins, but little rain.

Despite a prediction for near-normal precipitation, October finished well behind the curve with only .33 inches of rain, a mark 1.35 inches below normal. There were 23 days with zero or trace precipitation and only eight days with measurable amounts of .01 or more.

Almost half the month’s total fell on Oct. 8 when a storm dropped .16 inches as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport. The month’s rainfall brought the year’s total to 9.81 inches, which is 5.70 inches below normal, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures began to drop in earnest last month with the warmest day being Oct. 5 with a high of 73 degrees. (Remember September, when the high hit 98 degrees?) After that, the norm was cool days in the 50s and 60s while nights became downright nippy. As Halloween approached, a cold front ushered in the first freeze of the season when the mercury dropped to 31 degrees on the nights of Oct. 29-30.

Overall, average temperatures were exactly two degrees colder than normal during the month, according to the National Weather Service. Daytime highs averaged about 61 degrees, or about two degrees below normal and nighttime lows averaged 41.5 degrees, which was 1.6 degrees below normal.

The highest wind gust was 31 mph on Oct. 7, although there were plenty of other breezy days and nights as well to chase the leaves off the trees.

The outlook for this month calls for near to below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.

Normal highs for Walla Walla fall from 56 degrees at the start of the month to 42 degrees by Thanksgiving. Normal lows fall from 39 degrees to 31 degrees. Precipitation, based on a 30-year average, is 2.87 inches.

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