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Robert Longley

October Wettest, Third Coolest on Record in US

By November 20, 2009

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October 2009 was the wettest and third coolest October on record in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The average of 4.15 inches of precipitation over the contiguous United States during October was 2.04 inches above the 1901-2000 average and resulted in the wettest October ever recorded by NOAA. The average October temperature of 50.8 degrees F was 4.0 degrees below the 20th Century average.

All regions of the U.S. reported below normal temperatures for October except for parts of the Southeast, where near normal temperatures were recorded. Oklahoma recorded its coldest October on record while the month ranked in the top five coolest for Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Drought Buster? The rains of October went a long way toward easing the nation's drought problems as the area of the U.S. afflicted by moderate-to-exceptional drought shrank to 12 percent, the smallest area of the decade. The long-standing, serious drought conditions in California and South Texas improved significantly, according to NOAA.

You Wanted Some Snow? The 30.3 inches of snow that fell on North Platte, Nebraska and Cheyenne, Wyoming's 28 inches resulted in the snowiest October in the history of the two cities.

Also See:
US Releases Sweeping Climate Change Report
Climate Study Predicts Dire Events
Abrupt Climate Change Likely this Century: USGS

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