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Record-Breaking October

Well, October has now come and gone and weather-wise it was a pretty amazing month. Two main weather stories developed during October. The first was the beautiful warm weather we experienced during the first half of the month. The second was the record-breaking late-fall storm that dumped copious amounts of rain across a large portion of southern and central Manitoba, along with some snow over the far west, combined with some really intense winds.

October started off fairly nice, with highs in the low teens and overnight lows falling just a little below zero. Then, as we moved further into the month the weather just kept on getting better. By October 4, the high temperatures across most regions went above 20 C and the daily highs repeated that feat every day for the next eight days, a truly remarkable run of warm October weather. The warmest temperatures occurred on Oct. 8 and 9, when the thermometer topped out in the mid-20s at a number of locations.

Along with the warm temperatures came much-needed dry weather. During the first 24 days of October most regions saw little to no rain. This dry weather was really needed in the wetter agricultural areas as it allowed a large number of farmers to get onto their fields – something that wasn’t looking very likely at the end of September.

Then, on Oct. 25, the weather changed, and boy did it change! A large area of low pressure developed to our southwest and began to move to the northeast. At the same time, an area of low pressure moved in off the Pacific Ocean. These two features came together over Minnesota and created what is being called the Super Storm of 2010. From a storm’s point of view everything came together almost perfectly, and the results were tremendous amounts of rain and snow over our region, thunderstorms and tornadoes to our southeast, and plenty of wind just about everywhere. While there was a lot of rain and some snow from this system, the real headline-making weather topics were the winds and the barometric pressure produced in this storm. Had this storm occurred two or three weeks later we would have probably been buried in snow up to our armpits, and we would be talking about the snowstorm of the century.

The reason this storm was dubbed the Super Storm of 2010 was the amazing low atmospheric pressures that were recorded. For those of us who still have the old-fashioned barometers, we saw the needle or arrow move into a region on the barometer that we have never seen before. At the peak of the storm the barometric pressure over central and eastern portions of southern Manitoba fell to around 965 mb, or 28.5 inches on the old scale. This shattered the previous record low of 974 millibars. Farther to the east, under the centre of the low, pressure bottomed out at 955 millibars or 28.2 inches. If we were to compare it to pressure in a typical hurricane it would be around a Category 2 hurricane. This set a record for the lowest pressure in the interior continental U. S. and was only five millibars behind the Canadian record set in January 1978 over Ontario. All in all it was truly the Super Storm of 2010.

When all the numbers for the month were added up and averaged out, all three of our main locations in Manitoba came in with temperatures well above average for the month. Precipitation was running well below average until the storm hit, but by the time the storm was done most regions finished up the month well above average.

How will November fare? According to Environment Canada, it is going to be a warmer-and drier-than-average month. Over at theOld Farmer’s Almanacthey call for colder-than-average temperatures and above-average amounts of precipitation. Don’t know if I would be trusting their forecast as they call for a cold and snowy start to the month, and if you check out our forecast, it is looking anything but that. The good folks at theCanadian Farmers’ Almanacappear to call for near-to below-average temperatures (they call for fair and cold conditions). It also appears they are calling for a wet month as they mention rain, wet snow and stormy conditions several times. Finally, here at theCo-operator,I agree with Environment Canada and am calling for a warmer-than-average November along with below-average amounts of precipitation.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

Daniel Bezte

Daniel Bezte is a teacher by profession with a BA (Hon.) in geography, specializing in climatology, from the U of W. He operates a computerized weather station near Birds Hill Park.

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