As the end of October arrives, the weather in Madison becomes increasingly subject to large variations, especially when measured from one year to the next.
The city’s record high temperature on Oct. 31 is 77 degrees, recorded in 1950, while the lowest temperature for the day is 16, recorded in 1925.
In 1960, we had 1.21” of rain on Halloween, surely dampening the spirits of lots of small children. In 1926, we received 3.2” of snow as a Halloween treat. As recently as 2014, we received snow on Halloween, just 0.2”, but it stands as the only snowy Halloween in the last 30 years.
On average, the high temperature is 52 on Oct. 31 while the low is 34, usually recorded in the early morning of the day. Nearly 2/3 of the past 30 Halloweens have been completely dry and only 3 of 30 have recorded more than 0.25” of rain.
Thus, our guess is that the usual conditions for setting out on trick or treat in Madison consist of no rain and a temperature between 46 and 50. All in all, not bad.
It certainly appears that this evening’s conditions will be well above the average, with a temperature likely to be as much as 10 degrees warmer than usual and no rain. It may, in fact, be our warmest Halloween since 2008, when the high temperature was 70 in the middle of an unusual and extremely late October-early November warm spell that lasted through Election Day that year.