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Northeast Overview - October 2013

Monthly Summary

PLEASE NOTE: Data is preliminary and subject to change.

Warmer-than-normal temperatures returned to the Northeast in October. With an average temperature of 51.9 degrees F (11.1 degrees C), it was 2.6 degrees F (1.4 degrees C) above normal. The region's twelve states were all warmer than normal with Vermont and Maine having the greatest departure, +3.2 degrees F (+1.8 degrees C). With a departure of +3.1 degrees F (+1.7 degrees C), Delaware had its 10th warmest October on record. Departures for the rest of the states ranged from +3.0 degrees F (+1.7 degrees C) in Pennsylvania to +1.3 degrees F (+0.7 degrees C) in West Virginia. The low in Portland, Maine, did not fall to 32 degrees F (0.0 degrees C) or below until October 25, which tied the site's latest date for freezing temperatures.

October was another drier-than-normal month in the Northeast. The region's 2.72 inches (69.09 mm) of precipitation was 71 percent of normal. Nine states were drier than normal, one was normal, and two were wetter than normal. Of the nine dry states, five ranked this October among their top fifteen driest: Rhode Island, 4th driest; Massachusetts, 9th driest; Connecticut, 12th driest; and Maine and New Hampshire, 15th driest. Departures for the dry states ranged from 20 percent of normal in Rhode Island to 81 percent of normal in New York. Pennsylvania ended the month at normal while Delaware received 107 percent of normal precipitation and Maryland received 148 percent of normal, their 20th wettest October on record. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, had its wettest October on record with 11.04 inches (280.42 mm) of precipitation (see below for more information) while Bridgeport, Connecticut, had its driest October on record with 0.32 inches (8.13 mm) of precipitation.

At the start of the month 19.99 percent of the Northeast was experiencing abnormal dryness, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor released on October 3. Heavy rain during the first half of the month eased dryness in southern parts of the region, but in northern parts, moderate drought was introduced in southeastern New York and some areas of southern New England by the end of the month. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released on October 31, 21.44 percent of the Northeast was abnormally dry while 3.27 percent was experiencing moderate drought conditions.

A powerful cold front moved across the Northeast on October 7. The system packed wind gusts up to 60 mph (27 m/s), which resulted in over 100 wind damage reports, mainly downed trees and power lines. The system also produced an EF-1 tornado in Paramus, New Jersey, that snapped and uprooted trees. The remnants of Tropical Storm Karen stalled off the Mid-Atlantic coast from the 9th through 13th, bringing up to thirteen inches (330.20 mm) of rain to southern parts of the Northeast. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, set back-to-back daily rainfall records on the 10th (4.02 inches, 102.11 mm) and 11th (5.72 inches, 145.29 mm), which contributed to the site's record-wet October. The system's heavy rain caused flooding inland while high tide combined with pounding waves caused coastal flooding and beach erosion. On the 20th and again on the 24th, several waterspouts were spotted over Lake Ontario.