How common is beautiful, sunny October?

After a fairly dreary end of September, October has dawned with some gorgeous fall weather in our area. In fact, it appears as though we will rack up 11 straight days of not even a trace of precipitation in Madison to begin October 2011. One might wonder how common such a long string of rain-free, sunny days is in a Madison October. A very limited look back into the recent past suggests it is not at all common.

The longest such streak in 2006 occurred from October 5-9 during which the average high temperature was 64.4 degrees – perfectly average for this time of year. A warmer five-day streak occurred in October 2007 (3rd – 7th) when the average high was 81 degrees – more than 16 degrees above normal.

Slightly less impressive was the four-day streak in October 2008 in which the average high was 74.8 degrees, just a bit more than 6 degrees above normal. We were well into the middle of October 2009 before we had even a three-day precipitation-free streak (17th – 19th). During this period the average high temperature was 56 degrees, almost 4 degrees below normal. It is worth noting that this short streak occurred after the first snowflakes had fallen in Madison.

October 2010 was legendary for the major windstorm that occurred on the 26th. It also makes the record books for logging the longest rain-free streak in this short record at 17 straight days (3rd – 19th). During that period the average high was 69.9 degrees, 3 degrees above normal. So, enjoy this incredible string of beautiful fall days; recent history suggests it is pretty unusual.

Category: Climate
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