October 2011 Weather and Climate Review Including Narrative

 Monthly Narrative

Tri-Cities and Ord Details, and Monthly Extremes Graphs, Tables, Maps Drought Monitor Graphics

2011 Precipitation Totals and Archive of These Monthly Reviews

(Click on the tabs above to quickly jump to information located farther down the page)

October 2011 Weather Stories 
(Click HERE for archive to all web stories)

October:

 October Tornado History For South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas

October:

 Fall 2011 Frost and Freeze Recap

Oct. 7-9:

 Severe Weather In South Central Nebraska on the 7th, and Heavy Rain 7th-9th

Oct. 7th,10th:

 Two 24-Hour Rainfall Records Broken At Kearney

(*Please Note: All climate data presented here are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at: WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV).

* Effective Aug. 1, 2011, the new set of 30-year climate averages, or "normals", from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) for 1981-2010 superseded the previous 30-year set of 1971-2000 normals on all NWS climate-related products.


OCTOBER 2011 CLIMATE REVIEW FOR SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA 
AND PORTIONS OF NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS

...Wet In The West, Dry In The East...But Above-Normal Temperatures Area-Wide...

The following narrative focuses on climate and weather highlights for the month of October 2011 across the NWS Hastings coverage area, encompassing 24 counties in south central and central Nebraska, and 6 counties in north central Kansas. Click HERE for a map of this coverage area. The temperature and precipitation data presented here are largely based on the NWS Cooperative Observer network, along with data from a handful of automated airport sites. Climate averages and "normals" for October 2011 presented here are based on the recently-released 1981-2010 normals.

TEMPERATURES
...In contrast to a very cool September, average daily temperatures in October checked in 2-3 degrees above normal across the majority of Nebraska counties in the NWS Hastings coverage area, and around 1 degree above normal in North Central Kansas. When breaking down the overall monthly average into average daytime highs and overnight lows, the biggest contributing factor to the above normal temperatures was the daytime highs, which averaged 3-4 degrees above normal in most areas. 

Focusing on temperature trends, the first week of the month was clearly the hottest one, highlighted by the 4th, which featured widespread upper 80s to lower 90s most areas, and even some mid-90s in North Central Kansas. A few stretches of cooler weather occurred during the latter two-thirds of the month, with highs on the 26th only reaching the mid-to-upper 40s across the majority of the area. The final day of the month, Halloween Day, rebounded back to above-normal readings with highs in the 70s.

In the Nebraska Tri-Cities, the hottest reading of the month belonged to Grand Island and Kearney with 90 degrees on the 4th, while all three cities tied for the coldest low temperature of 22 degrees on the morning of the 20th. The morning of the 20th was also the first widespread hard freeze of Fall 2011 (see story above). Based on NWS Cooperative Observer and automated airport observations, a few temperature extremes across the NWS Hastings coverage area during the month included 94 degrees at Phillipsburg and Alton, KS, on the 4th, and 19 degrees at both Greeley and the Hastings NWS Office on the 20th. (Please look farther down the page for more information on October 2011 temperatures and extremes, including a detailed breakdown for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord)

PRECIPITATION...Based on dozens of NWS Cooperative Observer reports and a handful of automated sites, roughly 60% of the 30-county area received above-normal to well-above normal rainfall during October 2011, while the other 40% of the area ended up below-normal to well-below normal. For the entire 30-county area, the majority of rain fell during the first part of the month, as the latter half of October ended on a largely dry note. According to 30-year averages, "normal" October rainfall ranges from around 1.8 inches in far western portions of the area such as Gothenburg, to around 2.2 inches in far eastern locations such as Hebron. 

Thanks to several rounds of heavy rainfall centered mainly between the 7th-9th (see story link above), October 2011 featured a fairly striking east to west variation in rainfall totals across the area. In general, locations west of a line running from near Genoa to Hastings to Red Cloud, Nebraska, through Osborne, Kansas, were on the above-normal side of things, with locations east of this line falling short. Within the above-average rainfall zone, one narrow corridor really stood out, receiving 200 to over 300% of normal amounts. Within this corridor, centered roughly 10 miles either side of a line running from northwest Phillips County, Kansas, up through the Beaver City, Holdrege, Ravenna and Loup City areas, several places measured between 4-6 inches of rain for the month, with isolated 7+ inch amounts. A few of the highest reported totals included 7.29 inches at Loomis in Phelps County (from NeRAIN network) and 7.13 inches northwest of Oxford in Furnas County, of which 5.94 inches fell in only a few hours during the afternoon and evening of the 7th. At Kearney, it was the 5th-wettest October on record out of 117 years. On the Kansas side, Long Island in northwest Phillips County stood out with 5.81 inches for the month.  

On the opposite side of the spectrum, southeast portions of the area missed out on the heavy rain early in the month, and as a result, ended up with monthly totals ranging from hardly a drop, up to around 1.5 inches. The following counties really stood out on the below-normal side of things: Fillmore, Thayer, Nuckolls, Clay, Hamilton, York, Jewell and Mitchell. Highlighting the dry side of things included Fillmore County totals of only a Trace south of Shickley and 0.34-inch at Geneva. In north central Kansas, Mankato in Jewell County reported one of the lowest totals with 0.80-inch.

For those areas that tallied above-normal rainfall, it was a welcome change from the very dry conditions experienced area-wide in September. At places such as Ord in Valley County, it was the first month with above-normal rainfall since June. On the drier side of things, southeastern counties endured the second month in a row with well-below normal rainfall, resulting in a "Moderate Drought" designation from the U.S. Drought Monitor (see Drought section below).

No snow fell within the NWS Hastings coverage area during October 2011.

(Please look farther down the page for more information on October 2011 precipitation and extremes, including percent-of-normal plots, and a detailed breakdown for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord. In addition, the link on the far upper right of the page contains an archive of monthly precipitation amounts for dozens of locations.)

DROUGHT STATUS
...Compared to one month ago, the U.S. Drought Monitor as of November 1st (images at bottom of page) reflected improved conditions across western portions of South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas, but degraded conditions across several eastern counties. As covered in the precipitation discussion above, this was a direct result of sharp contrasts in rainfall across the area, with most western areas receiving above normal rain, while several eastern counties received well-below normal precipitation. In general, 50% of the NWS Hastings 30-county coverage area was free of drought or abnormally dry conditions as of Nov. 1st, but approximately 25% of the area had degraded to category D1 (moderate) drought. Counties centered in the D1 area included: Fillmore, Thayer, Nuckolls, Clay, York, Polk, along with portions of Hamilton, Jewell and Mitchell. Despite the building dryness across these eastern counties, category D2 (severe) or worse drought categories remained south of Interstate 70 across central and southern Kansas. Within the first 10 days of November, a couple of well-timed low pressure systems brought cumulative rainfall totals of 0.50 to over 1.50 inches to many of these dry eastern counties (see upcoming November 2011 narrative for more details). 

(Please refer to the Drought Monitor graphics toward the bottom of the page for further details)

SEVERE WEATHER...All severe thunderstorm warnings issued by NWS Hastings during October 2011 occurred between 3 PM on Friday the 7th and 1230 AM on the 8th. During this multiple-hour time frame, a number of storms resulted in reports of damaging winds, hail and torrential rainfall within a narrow corridor across western portions of South Central Nebraska. A few days later, the evening of the 11th featured several reports of sub-severe hail under 1-inch in diameter. **Please refer to the individual severe weather story links at the top of the page for further details**

Number of Severe Thunderstorm Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in October 2011: 14
Number of Tornado Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in October 2011: 1

Back To Top Of Page


October 2011 Climate Details For Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord...Along With Temperature and Rainfall Extremes For NWS Cooperative Observer and Automated Airport Sites

Click on the links below for the October 2011 climate summaries for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord.

Grand Island     Hastings     Kearney           Ord

...OCTOBER 2011 TEMPERATURE/PRECIPITATION EXTREMES FROM NWS HASTINGS COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS OR AUTOMATED ASOS/AWOS SITES...

...A FEW OF THE HOTTEST HIGH TEMPERATURES DURING OCT. 2011

94 Degrees...Phillipsburg KS on the 4th (automated AWOS)
94 Degrees...Alton KS (2 miles SW) on the 4th (Cooperative Observer)
93 Degrees...Plainville KS (4 miles WNW) on the 4th (Cooperative Observer)
93 Degrees...Beaver City on the 4th (Cooperative Observer)
92 Degrees...Smith Center KS on the 4th (Cooperative Observer)
92 Degrees...Superior (4 miles E) on the 4th (Cooperative Observer)
92 Degrees...Oxford (6 miles NNW) on the 4th (Cooperative Observer)
92 Degrees...York (3 miles N) on the 4th (Cooperative Observer)


...A FEW OF THE COLDEST LOW TEMPERATURES DURING OCT. 2011

19 Degrees...Greeley on the 20th (Cooperative Observer)
19 Degrees...Hastings NWS Office on the 20th
20 Degrees...Ord airport on the 20th (automated ASOS)
20 Degrees...Beaver City on the 20th (Cooperative Observer)
20 Degrees...Superior (4 miles E) on the 20th (Cooperative Observer)
20 Degrees...Fairmont on the 20th (Cooperative Observer)


...A FEW OF THE HIGHEST MONTHLY RAINFALL TOTALS DURING OCT. 2011
(May also include observations from NeRAIN network)

7.29 Inches...Loomis in Phelps County (NeRAIN observer)
7.13 Inches...Oxford (6 miles NNW) in Furnas County (Cooperative Observer)
6.41 Inches...Orleans in Harlan County (Cooperative Observer)
6.14 Inches...Ravenna in Buffalo County (Cooperative Observer)
5.99 Inches...Beaver City in Furnas County (Cooperative Observer)
5.81 Inches...Long Island (1 mile N) in Phillips County KS (Cooperative Observer)
5.17 Inches...Holdrege in Phelps County (Cooperative Observer)

...A FEW OF THE LOWEST MONTHLY RAINFALL TOTALS DURING OCT. 2011 

TRACE Inches...Shickley (4 miles S) in Fillmore County (Cooperative Observer)
0.34 Inches...Geneva in Fillmore County (Cooperative Observer)
0.40 Inches...Hubbell in Thayer County (Cooperative Observer)
0.42 Inches...Superior (4 miles E) in Nuckolls County (Cooperative Observer)
0.44 Inches...Clay Center (6 miles ESE) in Clay County (Cooperative Observer)
0.51 Inches...Fairmont in Fillmore County (Cooperative Observer)
0.62 Inches...Nelson in Nuckolls County (Cooperative Observer)
0.62 Inches...Bradshaw in York County (Cooperative Observer)

Back To Top Of Page


Various graphs and tables depicting October 2011 climate data for 
South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas:

(Please Note: THESE DATA ARE PRELIMINARY AND HAVE NOT UNDERGONE FINAL QUALITY CONTROL BY THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER /NCDC/. THEREFORE...THESE DATA ARE SUBJECT TO REVISION. FINAL AND CERTIFIED CLIMATE DATA CAN BE ACCESSED AT WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV)

Click Each Graph To Go To Monthly Temp/Precip Summary Pages

Grand Island Temperature Summary: Observed daily maximum and minimum temperatures are connected by blue bars. Area between normal maximum and minimum temperatures is shaded green. Red bars connect record high temperatures. Blue bars connect record low temperatures.

Hastings Temperature Summary: Observed daily maximum and minimum temperatures are connected by blue bars. Area between normal maximum and minimum temperatures is shaded green. Red bars connect record high temperatures. Blue bars connect record low temperatures.

 
Click Images To Enlarge

Grand Island Precipitation Summary Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for October 2011. Red line indicates "normal" October precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010.

Hastings Precipitation Summary Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for October 2011. Red line indicates "normal" October precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010.

Grand Island (Regional Airport) - Oct. 2010 - Oct. 2011

  Oct. 2010 November December January February March April May June July August Sep. October

Average High (F)

70.9

50.1

36.2

28.5

39.0

48.6

61.5

71.5

83.7

89.0

86.0

74.8

68.7

Average Low (F)

40.3

25.8

14.9

8.7

15.8

27.5

38.1

48.1

59.9

69.8

63.5

47.3

41.1

Average Temperature (F)

55.6

37.9

25.6

18.6

27.4

38.1

49.8

59.8

71.8

79.4

74.7

61.0

54.9

Departure from Normal (F)

+3.4

+1.5

0.0

-3.8

-0.8

-0.2

-0.1

-0.8

+0.7

+3.6

+0.7

-4.1

+2.7

 

Precipitation (inches)

0.30

0.44

0.24

1.49

0.28

1.02

2.93

8.70

1.72

4.37

2.30

0.83

2.20

Departure from Normal

-1.56

-0.97

-0.42

+0.95

-0.40

-1.02

+0.32

+4.63

-2.00

+1.23

-0.82

-1.40

+0.34

 

Snowfall (inches)

0.0

T

3.0

18.7

2.2

8.7

0.2

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

-1.0

-4.7

-3.6

+12.5

-3.7

+1.9

-1.3

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.1

-1.0

Hastings (Municipal Airport) - Oct. 2010 - Oct. 2011

  Oct. 2010 November December January February March April

May

June

July

August

Sep.

October

Average High (F)

70.5

50.5

36.2

28.6

38.2

49.2

61.9

71.1

83.1

89.8

84.3

74.0

68.4

Average Low (F)

41.5

26.9

16.0

10.2

16.0

28.4

38.6

48.3

60.8

69.9

64.6

48.2

41.5

Average Temperature (F)

56.0

38.7

26.1

19.4

27.1

38.8

50.3

59.7

71.9

79.9

74.4

61.1

54.9

Departure from Normal (F)

+3.4

+1.5

-0.6

-4.2

-2.5

-0.3

-0.3

-1.8

+0.2

+3.8

+0.1

-4.5

+2.3

 

Precipitation (inches)

0.16

0.80

0.28

1.00

0.30

0.49

4.34

5.03

2.65

4.96

4.90

0.70

1.36

Departure from Normal

-1.83

-0.66

-0.45

+0.45

-0.37

-1.59

+1.47

+0.44

-0.94

+1.15

+1.60

-1.86

 -0.63

 

Snowfall NWS Office (inches)

0.0

0.1

3.3

20.0

5.2

4.4

1.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

-1.0

-3.4

-2.7

+15.1

-0.2

-1.3

-0.3

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-1.0

Kearney (Cooperative Observer at Airport) - Oct. 2010 - Oct. 2011
(*Temperature Data may include "mix"of automated obs and Cooperative Observer obs to better reflect true "calendar day" averages)

 

Oct. 2010

November

December

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

Sep.

October

Average High (F)*

71.3

50.6

36.4

29.7

38.2

48.2

60.9

70.5

82.7

88.1

84.9

74.1

67.7

Average Low (F)*

38.4

24.3

13.5

8.5

13.6

25.7

37.0

45.8

59.2

68.4

63.9

47.3

40.0

Average Temperature (F)*

54.9

37.5

25.0

19.1

25.9

37.0

49.0

58.2

71.0

78.2

74.4

60.7

53.8

Departure from Normal (F)*

+4.0

+1.7

-0.9

-3.3

-1.7

0.0

+0.8

-1.0

+1.2

+3.5

+1.8

-2.8

+2.9

 

Precipitation (inches)

0.34

0.93

0.14

0.86

0.12

0.90

3.45

7.53

4.51

4.07

3.72

0.65

4.92

Departure from Normal

-1.70

-0.29

-0.47

+0.32

-0.49

-1.15

+1.02

+3.41

+0.58

+0.79

+0.64

-1.42

+2.88

 

Snowfall (inches)

0.0

T

1.8

15.6

4.7

11.7

T

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

-0.7

-4.8

-4.8

+10.3

-0.4

+6.1

-2.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-0.7

Ord (Evelyn Sharp Field Airport) - Oct. 2010 - Oct. 2011
(*Winter precipitiation data may include coop observer obs due to automated airport equipment under-representing snowfall liquid equivalent)

  Oct. 2010 November December January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

Sep.

October

Average High (F)

-

-

-

-

-

-

59.1

68.7

80.4

88.9

86.1

74.5

66.6

Average Low (F)

-

-

-

-

-

-

35.2

44.9

57.0

67.6

61.4

43.9

36.6

Average Temperature (F)

-

-

-

-

-

-

47.2

56.8

68.7

78.2

73.8

59.2

51.6

Departure from Normal (F)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-1.6

-2.5

-0.5

+3.8

+0.8

-4.4

+2.0

 

Precipitation (inches)*

-

-

-

-

-

-

2.51

4.90

4.16

2.23

2.46

0.77

2.83

Departure from Normal

-

-

-

-

-

-

-0.08

+1.09

+0.04

-0.74

-0.70

-1.67

+0.90

 

Snowfall (Coop Observer)

-

-

-

-

-

-

3.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

-

-

-

-

-

-

+0.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-1.1

Smith Center KS (Cooperative Observer) - Oct. 2010 - Oct. 2011
(*All data from coop observer with daily 24-hour obs taken around 7 AM. As a result, data may vary slightly from true "calendar day" averages)

 

Oct. 2010

November

December

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

Sep.

October

Average High (F)*

74.6

54.0

39.9

34.6

40.6

52.8

66.2

73.8

86.9

95.8

89.5

78.0

71.0

Average Low (F)*

42.8

27.7

17.6

10.8

13.5

27.6

38.1

47.1

60.4

69.2

65.6

49.8

41.0

Average Temperature (F)*

58.7

40.9

28.8

22.7

27.1

40.2

52.1

60.5

73.7

82.5

77.6

63.9

56.0

Departure from Normal (F)*

+3.9

+0.5

0.0

-5.0

-4.9

-1.4

-0.4

-3.3

-0.3

+2.8

+0.4

-4.3

+1.2

 

Precipitation (inches)

0.12

1.20

0.25

0.75

0.86

0.54

2.30

9.45

4.82

5.25

5.03

0.39

2.32

Departure from Normal

-1.76

-0.02

-0.41

+0.26

+0.28

-1.33

+0.03

+5.53

+1.21

+1.38

+1.73

-1.65

+0.44

 

Snowfall (inches)

0.0

T

2.2

10.2

11.2

3.4

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

-0.4

-1.8

-1.0

+6.5

+7.1

+0.8

-0.6

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-0.4


The following images depicting October Precipitation and Temperatures are courtesy of the High Plains Regional Climate Center:

Please note: These maps are a "best-approximation" of actual measured values, and data reflected on these maps may not exactly match actual values due to the effects of interpolation and "smoothing" used to create the maps.

Click Images To Enlarge
Nebraska: October 2011 Precipitation (Inches) Kansas: October 2011 
Precipitation (Inches)
Nebraska: Oct. 2011 Percent of Normal Precipitation (%) Kansas: Oct. Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
   
Nebraska: Oct. 2011 Temperature Departure from Normal (F) Kansas: Oct. 2011 Temperature Departure from Normal (F)


The following drought status images, current as of Nov. 1, 2011, are courtesy of 
the U.S. Drought Monitor:

Click Images To Enlarge

Nebraska - U.S. Drought Monitor as of Nov. 1, 2011

Kansas - U.S. Drought Monitor as of Nov. 1, 2011

For more climate related information, check out the following websites:

This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.
 

 



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