October 2004 was the second warmest October on record. Only October 1941 was warmer by 0.4 deg. October 2004 replaces October 1947 as second warmest by 0.5 deg. The month was drier than normal. Between the 17th and 31st, a strong upper air high pressure ridge built northward from the Gulf of Mexico. Only a couple of weak cold fronts penetrated part of the region. Compared with 2003, the month was 5.7 deg. warmer, and 1.70 inches drier.
Year-to-date rainfall through the end of the month was 1.13 inches less this year than last. The thirty-day outlook for October 2004 had called for below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
The week September 26-October 2 saw near normal temperatures and rainfall about one-half of normal. Weak cold fronts on the 25th, 28th, and 1st brought only slight cooling and drying to an otherwise warm and moist air mass. Upper air high pressure remained in control through the 1st. The week's only rain fell with the front of the 1st, and was associated with that day's cold front and its accompanying upper air disturbance. The average temperature was 73.8 deg., which was 2.0 deg. cooler than the previous week. Rainfall was 0.44 inch. Compared with the same week in 2003, the week was 3.7 deg. warmer and 1.96 inches drier. Two upper air storms crossed during the week--on the 4th and between the 7th and 9th.
The week October 3-9 saw temperatures about 1 deg. above normal and rainfall about 200 percent of normal. The storm of the 4th brought very heavy rains to the southern two-thirds of the area, which averaged between one and four inches. There were reports of severe weather to the west and southwest of Tyler. Scattered light showers fell on the 5th, 6th, and 7th before the core of the upper air storm arrived, and a surface tropical low moving up the Texas Coast had come fully within range. This feature became Tropical Storm Matthew, which continued rains in the area through the 11th. The week's average temperature was 72.2 deg., 1.6 deg. lower than the previous week. Precipitation was 2.19 inches. Compared with the same week in 2003, the week was 6.3 deg. warmer. There was no precipitation during the same week last year.
The week October 10-16 saw temperatures about 1 deg. below normal, and near normal rainfall. A cold front moved into the area on the 11th--behind departing Matthew. A second, and much stronger front, arrived on the morning of the 14th. The week's rain was associated with Matthew, with only a few spotty showers accompanying the mid-week front. Gusty northwest winds accompanied the mid-week front, with most stations reporting gusts in excess of 35 mph. The warm-up was rapid as nearly full sun and a dry air mass caused higher temperatures on the 15th and 16th. Rainfall totals in the area between the 4th and 11th ranged between about one inch across the south to around seven inches across the northeast--closer to where Matthew moved northward through Louisiana and south Arkansas on the 10th and 11th. The week's average temperature was 66.6 deg., which was 5.6 deg. cooler than the previous week. Rainfall was 1.08 inches. Compared with the same week in 2003, temperatures were 1.4 deg. lower, and rainfall 1.07 inches greater.
The week October 17-23 was very warm, and dry until the weekend. Temperatures averaged about 13 deg. above normal, and rainfall was about 20 percent of normal. Daily high minimum temperatures were set somewhere in the area on each day between the 18th and 22nd, with Tyler setting new daily records on the 18th and 19th, and equalling the monthly high minimum temperature on the latter date. Upper air high pressure built northward into the region from the Gulf of Mexico. This was responsible for the warm temperatures and low rainfall. A shallow layer of very moist air was responsible for high nighttime readings. A cold front and upper air storm crossed on the night of the 22nd/23rd, bringing the week's only rainfall. Amounts were light in the Tyler area, though stations to the northeast and southwest received two inches of rain or more.
The week's average temperature was 78.6 deg., which was 12.0 deg. warmer than the previous week. Rainfall was 0.28 inch. Compared with the same week in 2003, the week was 8.2 deg. warmer. There was no rain during the same week last year.
Very warm weather continued during the week October 24-30. The week's average temperature was about 12 deg. warmer than normal, and rainfall was about one-third normal. A warm front moved through on the 24th, and the region remained in Tropical Maritime air through the end of the week. A weak cold front on the 30th penetrated almost to IH-20, but did not reach Tyler. The week's showers accompanied the warm front, an upper air disturbance at mid-week, and a surface trough preceding the late- week cold front. Otherwise, upper air high pressure was the controlling weather feature. The week's average temperature was 76.3 deg., 2.3 deg. cooler than the previous week. Rainfall was 0.39 inch. Compared with the same week in 2003, the week was 9.9 deg. warmer and 0.12 inch wetter.
October 31 was also warm, with a few showers over the north associated with the cold front/turned warm front, and to the south along the sea-breeze front. A high minimum temperature record were set on the 29th.
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 2004, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: