By DAVID GREEN
Remember when it used to rain?
In a string of three below-average months, October takes the prize for the least precipitation.
“It was easily the second driest in the last 35 years,” said George Isobar, the National Weather Service climate observer for the Morenci area.
September was the wet month of the three with only 2.16 inches, but that takes its place among the driest eight since 1975.
Then you go back to the 1.04 measured in August and that’s second driest for that month.
Last month’s tally was a meager 0.74, down from the average of about three inches.
“If you take an average August, September and October, you’d end up with about 10.5 inches,” Isobar said.
“Of course that never happens—some years are wetter and some drier—but still, the four inches from this year is a long way from the 10.5 average.”
The biggest storm in October produced about a quarter of an inch of rain. In September there was a storm that dropped 0.65 inches, and in August there was one with half an inch.
“I pass a pond off M-34 on the way to Adrian and I watched the water get lower and lower in recent weeks,” Isobar said. “A couple of weeks ago there was no more standing water at all.”
There’s often a heron looking for a meal in the water there, he said, but last week there was one duck sitting on the shore looking out at the dry bottom.
All that lack of precipitation led to some great fall weather, Isobar said, especially with the above-average temperatures.
“We made it into the 80s on three days and into the 70s on nine days,” he said. “For the month, the mean temperature came out 3.0° above average. “It was just a really beautiful month weatherwise.”
That doesn’t mean there weren’t any chilly times, Isobar said. Nearly every morning started out in the 30s—or lower.
“We had our first two 20° readings of the season, with the October low of 28° coming on the 22nd.”
Toledo’s 87° reading on Oct. 10—also the high in Morenci—set a record, topping the previous mark of 85° set in 1949. A record was also set in September when a high of 92° was reached on the 22nd.
There was a windy ending to the month when a large storm system blew through the area, although severe weather didn’t hit this area. The maximum gust recorded at Toledo’s airport was 49 m.p.h. on Oct. 27.
With nine days of the month gone, there’s been little change in the precipitation department, Isobar said. Only three tenths of an inch has fallen so far, although that wasn’t all rain. Snow pellets fell on the morning of Nov. 4.
“There should be more than that coming,” Isobar said. “Nearly every November ends with measurable snow recorded.
“We had more than six inches a few years, but you know that won’t happen. Right?”