October is one of my favorite months. The long and hot days of summer are coming to an end and we will soon feel that first little twinge of cold, reminding us winter is coming.
Speaking of cold, the average date for our first freezing temperatures is November 16th. However, back on October 11th in 1906, a major blast of cold air barreled out of Canada and poured into the Southeast. It is the earliest we’ve ever seen a 32-degree temperature in Atlanta.
This is also the month where the leaves turn. As you well know, we’ve had a lot of rain this summer. As of this writing, we have a near 14-inch rainfall surplus for the year! That’s great for the lakes. It’s also good news and bad news for our fall color.
Let’s get the bad news over with. When we have had rain like we’ve seen this summer and fall, it tends to make the fall color a little “muddied” for lack of a better word. The color is OK but not great. During dry years our fall color tends to be spectacular with brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows. So, the bad news is the fall color will not be very brilliant for the most part. By now, you are asking what the “good” news is.
The good news is the abundant rainfall will give us a longer-lasting fall color. While dry conditions bring more vivid color, it does not last long. Rainy weather allows the leaves to remain on the trees longer, so we get to enjoy the fall color, as muted as it may be, for a much longer period of time.
La Nina continues to be 60 percent likely this winter. I am continuing to watch the colder sea surface temperatures build along the equatorial Pacific Ocean just off the west coast of South America. This disrupts the global wind patterns in such a way as to bring us warmer than average temperatures for the winter. It also has a tendency to bring us drier than average conditions for the winter. It could still snow in our area, but the odds are against it.
As far as the temperatures go, the daily high temperatures decrease by 9 degrees, from 77 to 68, rarely falling below 57 or exceeding 84. Daily low temperatures decrease by 11 degrees, from 59 on October 1st to 48 by the 31st, rarely falling below 37 or exceeding 68.
Hope you enjoy one of the best weather months of the year!