The cold temperatures that ended October were not enough to balance the warm start to the month. Temperatures averaged warmer-than-normal across all divisions. Statewide average temperature was 57.2 degrees F, or 1.5 degrees warmer-than-normal. The Southwest Division came closest to normal with an average of 56.5 degrees F, or 0.5 degrees warmer-than-normal. In contrast, the East Central Division averaged 58.9 degrees F or 2.5 degrees warmer-than-normal. The warmest reading for the month was 94 degrees F recorded at Hillsdale Lake, Miami County, on October 3rd. This set both a new daily record and a new monthly record for the location. The coldest reading was 11 degrees F reported at both Alton 2SW, Osborne County, and Russell 2E, Russell County, on October 28th. Most of the departure from normal came on the low temperature side. There were 17 new daily records for warm minimum temperatures, and only 6 new daily records for high maximum temperatures. Despite the warmth, there were 6 new record cold minimum temperatures and 8 new record low maximum temperatures. The 15 degrees F low temperature reported at Great Bend 3W on the 31st set not only a record low for the date, but also a record low for the month at that location.
Extreme western Kansas saw a break in the heavy precipitation that dominated September, but heavy amounts were reported in the North Central Division and the eastern three divisions. Only the Southwestern Division had less-than-normal precipitation for the month. That division averaged 1.21 inches or 83 percent of normal. The September-October average precipitation total for the Southwest Division was 3.66 inches or 120 percent of normal. Statewide average precipitation was 2.78 inches or 118 percent of normal. The greatest monthly total at a National Weather Service Coop (NWS) station was 7.08 inches at Chanute 4E, Neosho County. The greatest monthly total at a Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network station was 7.41 inches at Phillipsburg 5.7 E, Phillips County. The greatest daily totals for each network were: 6.37 inches at Gove 4W, Gove County, on the 3rd (NWS); 5.43 inches at Morland 9.7 S, Graham County, on the 3rd. The daily report at Gove 4W on the 3rd set an all-time record of the station. A second all-time record was set at Hill City 1E with 5.03 inches, also on the 3rd.
Severe weather was more active in October. The preliminary tornado count is 14, with 46 hail reports and 22 reports of damaging wind. The tornadoes came in two outbreaks: on the 2nd in western Kansas and on the 6th in central Kansas. In both cases, the tornadoes were classified as EF0 or EF1. Damage was reported to trees, power poles/lines, and outbuildings. There were no reports of injuries.
The near-normal precipitation coupled with only slightly warmer-than-normal temperatures resulted in improvement in the drought conditions across the state. There was a 26 percent decrease in drought coverage from the end of September through the end of October. The November outlook calls for drier-than-normal conditions in southwest Kansas, with equal chances of above- or below-normal precipitation across the rest of the state. This is coupled with increased chances of above-normal temperatures in the western and southern parts of the state, with equal chances of above- or below-normal temperatures across the rest of Kansas.
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library