|Tri-Cities ;& Ord Details
& Monthly Extremes
|Graphs, Tables, Maps, Severe
|Drought Monitor Graphics|
|October 6:||Record-Cold Max Temperatures Set In Grand Island, Hastings|
|October 15:||Final Fall 2012 Frost/Freeze Recap|
|October 17-18:||Intense Northwest Winds October 17-18th|
|October 31:||Halloween Climatology For Grand Island|
* 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.
...Temps Below Normal All Areas...But The 6th-Consecutive Month of Below Normal Rainfall In Most Areas Keeps Serious Drought In Place...
The following narrative focuses on climate and weather highlights for the month of October 2012 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. All climate averages and "normals" presented here are based on the official NCDC 1981-2010 normals.
- TEMPERATURES....(According to 30-year averages, "normal" October high temperatures in South Central Nebraska gradually decrease from the lower-mid 70s early in the month to the upper 50s-lower 60s by the end of the month, while highs in North Central Kansas gradually decrease from the mid-70s to the lower-60s. "Normal" October low temperatures across most of the 30-county area gradually decrease from the lower-mid 40s early in the month to the lower-mid 30s late...)
Although portions of the 30-county area notched slightly below normal monthly temperatures in August and/or September, October featured a more widespread below normal trend with readings generally 1.5° - 3.5° below normal across the entire area, thus marking the coolest month versus normal since Sep. 2011. As a result, places such as Grand Island finally broke a streak of TWELVE consecutive months of above normal temperatures. In most areas, the greatest contributing factor to the below normal monthly average was daily low temperatures, which averaged farther below normal than daily highs did. For some places, the October average temperature was among the Top-10 coolest on record, with Hastings checking in 9th-coolest out of the 85 years that have a complete temperature record, and Beloit KS 8th-coolest out of 72 years on record.
Breaking down the month into temperature trends, there were two fairly distinct periods of very cool readings, one focused between the 4th-7th and the other between the 25th-27th. During the first of these stretches, places such as Grand Island and Hastings established record-coolest daily maximum temperatures on the 6th with readings only topping out in the mid-40s. In fact, at Hastings, the high of 43° on the 6th was the coolest maximum temperature ever recorded during the first six days of October. Early October also featured the first hard freeze of the fall across the entire 30-county area: Oct. 2 brought a hard freeze to far northern counties such as Valley and Greeley, but for the vast majority of South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas the first legitimate, widespread hard freeze arrived on the mornings of Oct. 6th or 7th, with the ENTIRE area plunging well into the 15-28° range on the morning of the 7th. During the late-month cold snap, Ord only reached 36° on both the 25th and 26th, marking the coldest back-to-back October days since 2009. On the warmer side of things, most of the area experienced its overall warmest stretch of the month between the 13th-21st, during which Grand Island exceeded 70° on seven out of nine days. The single hottest day of the month across the entire coverage area occurred early in the month on the 3rd, with widespread readings in the mid-upper 80s, and even a few 90s including 92° at Cambridge. For most of the area, the coldest low temperatures of the month occurred on the 7th, 27th or 28th, highlighted by readings on the 7th as low as 15° at Greeley and 16° at Ord airport and near Genoa.
(Please look farther down the page for more information on October 2012 temperatures and extremes, including detailed breakdowns for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord)
- PRECIPITATION/SNOWFALL...(According to 30-year averages, "normal" October precipitation across the NWS Hastings coverage area is fairly uniform, with most places generally expected to receive between 1.80 - 2.10 inches. Normal October snowfall across most of the area is only between 0.5 - 1 inch)
Although most areas were not quite as dry as they were in September, for the sixth consecutive month the majority of the NWS Hastings coverage area measured below normal precipitation, keeping most of the area mired in a long-lasting extreme to exceptional drought situation...one of the worst, most widespread droughts in many decades. Based on reports from around 70 NWS Cooperative Observers and a few automated airport gauges, and also incorporating radar-derived estimation, roughly 85% of the 30-county area measured below normal precipitation in October. More significantly, roughly 40% of the area observed less than half of normal October precipitation, and roughly 15% of the area measured LESS THAN ONE-FOURTH of normal October precipitation. In some ways, precipitation during Oct. 2012 mirrored trends from the past several months, featuring a notable difference in amounts from northwest to southeast...with most northwestern counties remaining extremely dry while a few southeastern counties actually observed above normal rainfall. Focusing first on the driest areas that received less than one-fourth of normal monthly precipitation, these were concentrated across several northwestern counties in South Central Nebraska such as Valley, Greeley, Sherman, Howard and Dawson. Within this area, some of the paltriest monthly totals included 0.17" at Greeley, 0.19" at Arcadia, 0.22" south of Elwood and 0.29" at Miller. On the opposite end of the spectrum, and also on the opposite corner of the coverage area, the limited areas that observed slightly above normal precipitation were focused across Nebraska counties such as Thayer and eastern Fillmore, and Kansas counties such as Jewell and Mitchell. Within this wetter zone, some of the highest monthly totals included 3.16" at Burr Oak KS, 3.00" at Hebron, 2.91" at Lebanon KS and 2.73" at Lovewell Dam KS. In between these aforementioned extremes, the majority of the NWS Hastings coverage area tallied somewhere between 0.50" and 1.75" of precipitation, including places such as Kearney airport, Grand Island airport, Hastings airport, Holdrege, York, Smith Center and Phillipsburg. For most of the 30-county area, the majority of monthly precipitation fell during thunderstorms on the 13th and/or 14th. For example, Beloit KS measured 1.76" during these two days, accounting for 78% of the monthly total.
As for snowfall, the majority of the 30-county area saw no more than a few non-measurable flurries during the month, if even that. However, the early morning hours of Oct. 25th featured a heavier-than-expected slushy snowfall ranging from a light dusting up to the 2.5" - 3.5" range across mainly far northwestern counties such as Valley, Greeley, Sherman and western Dawson. In Valley County, the NWS cooperative observer in Ord reported 2.5" while a Nebraska Rainfall Assessment and Information Network observer six miles west of Elyria reported 3.5".
Accounting for longer-term precipitation deficits since May, totals over the past 6 months continue to average only 25-60% of normal across the majority of the 30-county area, with the largest longer-term deficits clearly focused across northwestern counties such as Valley, Sherman and Greeley.
(Please look farther down the page for more information on October 2012 precipitation and extremes, including rankings of wettest and driest locations, 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 this page contains an archive of monthly precipitation amounts for around 70 locations.)
- DROUGHT STATUS...Compared to the issuance on Oct. 2nd, the U.S. Drought Monitor as of Oct. 30, 2012 (images at bottom of page) reflected little change in the ongoing, significant drought situation, as the summer and fall of 2012 continues to mark its place in history as one of the worst droughts in many decades. A little over half of the 30-county area remained in Category D4 Exceptional Drought through the month, the worst-possible category, while several counties mainly within the southeast quadrant of the NWS Hastings coverage area remained in Category D3 Extreme Drought. On a minor positive note, there was a small increase in the coverage of the somewhat "less significant" Category D2 Severe Drought in far southeast portions of the area thanks to near normal to slightly above normal rainfall, with Category D2 now including southern portions of Nuckolls and Thayer Counties in Nebraska and portions of Jewell and Mitchell Counties in Kansas. Looking beyond the borders of the 30-county NWS Hastings coverage area, nearly 95% of Nebraska and 78% of Kansas was in Extreme to Exceptional Drought at the end of October.
(For MUCH MORE detail about the drought situation, please refer to the latest Drought Information Statement from NWS Hastings, and also the U.S. Drought Monitor graphics toward the bottom of this page)
- SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS/HIGH WINDS...Only 4 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued by NWS Hastings during the month, all of them during the late evening hours of the 13th and affecting southeastern counties such as Nuckolls in Nebraska and Jewell and Mitchell in Kansas. From these storms, there were only two reports that met severe-criteria, consisting of quarter size hail at both Burr Oak and Beloit KS. Earlier in the month, sub-severe hail up to nickel size was reported at Lebanon KS in Smith County during the pre-dawn hours of the 4th (for a graphical depiction of severe weather reports please see the interactive storm reports map at the far bottom of this page).
Although severe thunderstorms were not a major issue during the month, the 17th-18th featured one of the most significant two-day high wind events the area had seen in many years. On both of these days, northwest winds gusted to at least 50 MPH across most of the area in response to a strong low pressure system centered over Minnesota. Of these two days, the 18th was the windiest, with many automated sites reporting potentially damaging gusts into the 59-70 MPH range, including peak gusts of 70 MPH at Ord and 63 MPH at Grand Island. On the 17th, strong winds helped drive a large wildfire in western Fillmore County that burned around 3,000 acres and engulfed several outbuildings. For more details on this high wind event, please refer to this web story.
- Number of Severe Thunderstorm Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in October 2012: 4 (10 less than last year)
- Number of Tornado Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in October 2012: ZERO (1 less than last year)
- Number of confirmed tornadoes within the NWS Hastings coverage area in October 2012: ZERO
Click on the links below for October 2012 climate summaries specifically for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord
...A FEW OF THE HOTTEST HIGH TEMPERATURES DURING OCTOBER 2012
...A FEW OF THE COOLEST LOW TEMPERATURES DURING OCTOBER 2012
...A FEW OF THE HIGHEST RAINFALL TOTALS DURING OCTOBER 2012
...A FEW OF THE LOWEST RAINFALL TOTALS DURING OCTOBER 2012
...A FEW OF THE HIGHEST SNOWFALL TOTALS DURING OCTOBER 2012
* 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
|Grand Island Temperature Summary: Observed daily
maximum and minimum temperatures are connected by blue
bars. Area between normal maximum and minimum temperatures
isshaded 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.
|Grand Island Precipitation Summary: Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for October 2012. 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 2012. Red line indicates "normal" October precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010.|
|Grand Island (Regional Airport) - Oct. 2011 - Oct. 2012|
|Average High (F)||68.7||52.7||39.6||45.1||40.9||69.2||69.1||80.9||88.7||96.0||88.7||83.1||63.4|
|Average Low (F)||41.1||26.4||19.5||19.4||19.3||39.0||43.0||52.5||62.6||68.9||61.0||50.0||37.2|
|Average Temperature (F)||54.9||39.6||29.5||32.2||30.1||54.1||56.2||66.7||75.7||82.4||74.8||66.5||50.3|
|Departure from Normal (F)||+2.7||+1.5||+2.8||+7.1||+1.0||+14.7||+5.6||+5.5||+4.4||+6.2||+0.8||+1.4||-1.9|
|Departure from Normal||+0.34||-0.96||+0.48||-0.37||+0.37||-0.97||-1.12||-2.12||-3.03||-3.24||-2.18||-1.76||-1.08|
|Departure from Normal||-1.0||-3.1||+3.1||-5.0||+4.1||-5.6||-1.3||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||-0.1||-1.0|
|Hastings (Municipal Airport) - Oct. 2011 - Oct. 2012|
|Average High (F)||68.4||52.7||39.2||44.4||40.7||68.2||67.6||78.9||86.7||94.1||86.0||80.5||62.1|
|Average Low (F)||41.5||27.2||18.9||19.0||20.0||38.5||43.5||53.4||62.4||68.4||60.3||49.7||36.9|
|Average Temperature (F)||54.9||40.0||29.0||31.7||30.3||53.3||55.5||66.1||74.6||81.3||73.1||65.1||49.5|
|Departure from Normal (F)||+2.3||+1.3||+1.4||+5.7||+0.4||+13.4||+4.8||+4.8||+2.8||+4.2||-1.2||-0.5||-3.1|
|Departure from Normal||-0.63||-0.91||+0.39||-0.27||+1.18||-0.93||+0.39||-0.50||-1.45||-2.10||-0.91||-1.97||-0.53|
|Snowfall NWS Office (inches)||0.0||Trace||9.4||1.7||11.4||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||Trace|
|Departure from Normal||-1.0||-2.6||+3.3||-4.8||+4.9||-5.2||-1.2||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||-0.2||-1.0|
|Kearney (Cooperative Observer at Airport) - Oct. 2011 - Oct. 2012
(*Temperature data is from unofficial automated AWOS sensor while precipitation data is from official NWS Cooperative Observer)
|Average High (F)*||67.7||52.2||39.2||44.7||40.7||68.0||67.3||78.4||87.1||94.8||87.0||81.6||62.8|
|Average Low (F)*||40.0||24.9||18.0||18.5||19.3||37.8||43.4||51.9||61.5||66.3||59.4||49.0||35.1|
|Average Temperature (F)*||53.8||38.5||28.6||31.6||30.0||52.9||55.4||65.2||74.3||80.6||73.2||65.3||49.0|
|Departure from Normal (F)*||+2.9||+1.5||+2.7||+7.0||+1.9||+15.2||+6.7||+5.7||+4.5||+5.9||+0.6||+1.8||-1.9|
|Departure from Normal||+2.88||-0.69||-0.18||-0.46||+0.49||-0.77||+2.12||-2.18||-2.31||-2.70||-1.63||-1.53||-1.46|
|Departure from Normal||-0.7||-3.1||+3.1||-4.4||+1.9||-4.6||-1.8||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||-0.2||-0.7|
|Ord (Evelyn Sharp Field Airport) - Oct. 2011 - Oct. 2012
(*Winter precipitation data may include coop observer reports due to automated airport equipment under-measuring snowfall liquid equivalent)
|Average High (F)||66.6||52.8||39.5||45.0||40.2||67.7||65.0||75.8||88.2||96.9||89.0||82.2||62.5|
|Average Low (F)||36.6||20.2||14.1||15.6||15.7||34.1||38.8||48.3||59.4||64.5||57.4||43.9||31.6|
|Average Temperature (F)||51.6||36.5||26.8||30.3||27.9||50.9||51.9||62.0||73.8||80.7||73.2||63.0||47.1|
|Departure from Normal (F)||+2.0||+0.2||+1.9||+5.7||+0.1||+13.2||+3.1||+2.7||+4.6||+6.3||+0.2||-0.6||-2.5|
|Departure from Normal||+0.90||-1.04||-0.05||-0.24||+0.86||-0.78||+2.70||-1.55||-3.79||-2.82||-2.37||-2.31||-1.61|
|Snowfall (Coop Observer)||0.0||Trace||8.5||1.5||8.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||2.5|
|Departure from Normal||-1.1||-5.3||+1.1||-5.3||+2.0||-5.9||-2.5||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||+1.4|
|Smith Center, KS (Cooperative Observer) - Oct. 2011 - Oct. 2012
(*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)
|Average High (F)*||71.0||54.4||43.0||47.1||45.8||70.5||70.6||83.5||94.2||100.4||89.9||83.6||65.4|
|Average Low (F)*||41.0||27.3||18.7||18.5||20.6||38.3||44.4||53.0||62.6||69.4||60.5||51.0||37.2|
|Average Temperature (F)*||56.0||40.9||30.9||32.8||33.2||54.4||57.5||68.3||78.4||84.9||75.2||67.3||51.3|
|Departure from Normal (F)*||+1.2||+0.5||+2.1||+5.1||+1.2||+12.8||+5.0||+4.6||+4.4||+5.2||-2.0||-0.9||-3.5|
|Departure from Normal||+0.44||-0.50||+0.29||-0.36||+0.73||-0.59||+0.51||-3.78||-2.00||-2.87||-0.55||-1.63||-0.74|
|Departure from Normal||-0.4||-1.2||+0.5||-3.7||+0.5||-2.6||-0.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||-0.2||-0.4|
Most of the following images depicting October 2012 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. In addition, some "bullseyes" may be a result of missing data.
Click Images To Enlarge
|Nebraska: October 2012
Measured Precipitation (Inches)
|Kansas: October 2012
Measured Precipitation (Inches)
|Nebraska: October 2012 Percent of Normal Measured Precip.||Kansas: October 2012 Percent of Normal Measured Precip.|
|NWS Hastings Area: October 2012 Total "Observed" Precipitation
Based On AHPS Precipitation Analysis Including Radar Data
While the precipitation images above are based strictly on gauge-measured data, this image on the left utilizes an "Observed" multisensor approach created by River Forecast Centers. Hourly precipitation estimates from WSR-88D NEXRAD radar are compared to ground rainfall gauge reports, and a bias (correction factor) is calculated and applied to the radar field. For much more information on these types of images, and to create your own precipitation maps, please visit the following site: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge2/
|Nebraska: October 2012 Temperature Departure
from Normal (F)
|Kansas: October 2012
from Normal (F)
The following drought status images, current as of October 30, 2012, are courtesy of the U.S. Drought Monitor (see narrative above for more details:
Click Images To Enlarge
|Nebraska - U.S. Drought Monitor as of October 30, 2012||Kansas - U.S. Drought Monitor as of October 30, 2012|
Interactive Map of October 2012 Severe Weather Reports:
The interactive geographic information systems (GIS) map below shows preliminary severe hail (one inch or greater) and wind reports for South Central Nebraska and portions of North Central Kansas for the entire month of October 2012.
Pan, zoom, or click on the map. Clicking on the points will give you a description of size, magnitude, location, and/or any other possible information.
Notes: The time is in UTC. Click here (opens in a separate window) for a UTC time converter. Hail size is the diameter of the hailstone. Some wind speeds (in MPH) are unknown but a description of damage will be in the comment. Click on "Legend" to expand the legend. Certain features may have overlapping data, so once you click on a feature in the map, be sure to click the "play" button in the upper right hand corner of the pop-up window to sort through the different severe weather reports. The black dots are reports that have missing magnitudes/measurements and/or ratings (i.e. when a wind report comes in with damage but an unknown (UNK) speed).
**Disclaimer** : This map contains data that may have changed pending the results of further event research or damage surveys. Refer to the National Climatic Data Center for finalized data.
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.|