Saturday, 1 November 2014

3rd Driest October Since 1872

     The main story of October 2014 was the very dry conditions with only a measly 4.9 mm of precipitation at Winnipeg airport, 3rd driest October since 1872. Generally, there were no major systems to speak of in the Red River Valley. Much of the precipitation fell as rain, with only a few days receiving trace amounts of snow early and late month.

Table: Top 10 driest Octobers since 1872 in Winnipeg

Year (s)
2.5 mm
2.8 mm
4.9 mm
5.3 mm
1906, 1920, 1974
5.8 mm
6.9 mm
8.1 mm
8.4 mm

     Although no thunderstorms were recorded at the airport, two thunderstorm events did occur in Winnipeg. Thunder was reported in southern parts of the city on October 12 and 22.

     Despite unseasonably mild conditions mid month, significant cool downs early and late month ensured that October would only tie as 42nd warmest since 1872. The warmth mid month cannot be ignored though. We exceeded 20°C on Oct 15 and 24. In fact, the 20.6°C high on Oct 24 was the warmest temperature for so late in the year since 1990. The heart of the warm weather during the month was in the western Prairies where October finished top 10 warmest in some areas. Calgary averaged 8.3°C, 9th warmest October since 1884.

     The growing season officially came to an end on October 4, tying 12th latest end to the growing season since 1872. The 1981-2010 normal first frost is September 24 at the airport. Amazingly, downtown did not freeze until October 30!

     The monthly minimum was -11.9°C on Halloween, the coldest low in October since 2002.


  1. JJ, are models still hinting at a potential wintery blast later next week?

    thanks, Anon

    1. Precipitation type is a question mark this far out. It does appear we may be cold enough for some snow. Significant cool down looks possible behind the low with sub-zero highs possible. Too early to tell how long that cold will last.

  2. Note that the 1981-2010 normal first accumulative snowfall (0.2 cm+) is October 18, so our first accumulative snowfall is being postponed later than normal this year. Not THAT unusual; as recently as 2011, our first accumulation was November 6.

  3. Enjoy today while it lasts... Could reach 10°C today under lots of sun. Cloudier tomorrow and still mild in the high single digits. Cool down mid week with flurries possible on Tuesday and highs in the mid single digits.

    Still too uncertain about precipitation type with the late week system. Nonetheless, looks like a big cool down is likely behind the system with highs staying below zero as I already mentioned.

  4. Will provide a more detailed update and forecast tomorrow; been very busy the last few days. However, what I can say right now is very cold looks likely for early next week. Looks like highs will stay well below zero for a number of days. How cold we get will somewhat depend on if we get any accumulative snowfall Friday through Monday. Too early to say when we'll see some warming back up above zero, but in the far distant future models do hint at warming up in 2 weeks... but that's so far away, can't put a huge amount of faith on that yet.

  5. Well, according to latest model runs from today, it looks like we could very well receive our first major snowfall of the year on Friday..yikes.