The month of October 2003 saw near normal temperatures and below normal rainfall. The early part of the month was cool, with average temperature rising during the last half of the month under upper air high pressure. The month was 1.6 deg. warmer than October 2002, and 2.71 inches drier. Year-to-date rainfall through October 31 was 0.84 greater in 2003 than in 2002. Rainfall in 2003 has not been uniform in the area. Generally, the southwestern half has been wet, and the northeastern half dry. The thirty-day outlook for October 2003 had called for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
The week September 28-October 4 saw temperatures 7 deg. cooler than normal, and no rainfall. For the week, upper air high pressure was over the Western United States. This brought a northwesterly flow aloft, which allowed cool and dry air to flow southward into the region. Cold fronts on the 28th, 1st, and night of the 2nd kept winds from a northerly direction for much of the week. Disturbances early in the week caused periods of cloudiness as they moved through Oklahoma, causing rain activity there. None of this crossed into East Texas. The week's average temperature was 65.9 deg. This was 8.2 deg. cooler than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was 11.0 deg. cooler. There was no rainfall during the 2002 week, either. The week October 5-11 saw near normal temperatures, and rainfall about 200 percent of normal. Two wet storms crossed the area during the week: the first on the 6th, and the second on the 8th-9th. Tropical Maritime air was over the area for most of the week, and high-level moisture from the remnants of Pacific Tropical Cyclones Nora and Olaf were responsible for the rains. The week's average temperature was 70.1 deg., which was 4.2 deg. warmer than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was 1.3 deg. warmer, and 0.09 inch drier.
The week October 12-18 saw normal temperatures and minimal rainfall. Cold fronts on the 14th and 17th displaced Tropical Maritime air masses, and lowered temperatures. Upper air high pressure over Western North America kept the middle and upper atmosphere dry, and suppressed most rainfall. The week's average temperature was 68.0 deg., which was 2.1 deg. warmer than the previous week. Rainfall was 0.01 inch. Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was 6.0 deg. warmer, and 1.27 inches drier. The week October 19-25 saw temperatures 5 deg. warmer, and no rainfall. Upper air and surface high pressure were over the region during the week. This resulted in lower nighttime temperatures, but warm daytime readings for most of the week. On the 25th, Gulf moisture returned, ahead of a cold front which went through that night. The week's average temperature was 70.4 deg., which was 2.4 deg. warmer than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was 5.8 deg. warmer, and 0.90 inch drier.
During the final six days of the month, Polar Maritime air controlled through the evening of the 29th. This built in behind the cold front of the 25th. On the evening of the 29th, Tropical Maritime air returned rapidly, and temperatures warmed. This happened as upper air high pressure built in from the Southeastern United States, and deepening low pressure at the surface to the northwest pulled in very moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. The record high minimum temperature was equalled on the 31st. Conditions were windy on the 30th with the strong pressure gradient. Rainfall occurred overnight the 25th/26th with the passage of the cold front.
The reporting period for temperatures and phenomenon on each day is for the twenty-four hours ending at midnight hours GMT--6 p.m. CST and 7 p.m. CDT. The reporting period for precipitation is for the twenty-four hours ending at noon GMT--6 a.m. CST and 7 a.m. CDT. All times are given using the twenty-four hour clock, and are expressed in Greenwich Mean Time.
Observations are from NWS Station 41/9207/4 in Tyler, Texas. The term "normal" refers to averages from the standard climatic period 1971-2000.
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October 2003, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: