Record Warmth Prevails
October 2007 Overview

Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist
Center for Environmental Prediction, Cook College/NJAES, Rutgers University
November 1, 2007

October warmth shattered the previous statewide monthly record. The average temperature of 62.4° was 8.2° above average. This exceeds the previous warmest October (1947 and 1971) by 2.3° (see table below for the top 12 warmest Octobers since 1895). A ridge of high pressure sitting over the East Coast was responsible for frequent clear skies and a warm southerly flow of air into the region, while keeping colder air to the north at bay. This continued the late summer pattern (September was the 8th warmest) and brought the warmest temperature for so late in the season to New Brunswick (91° on the afternoon of the 8th).

Warm Octobers have been scattered throughout the past century, unlike the tendency for more recent warmth in most other months of the year. Still, it is interesting to note that this past September was the 8th warmest, while last November and December were each the warmest on record.

Low temperatures in scattered areas of the Pinelands and valleys of the northwest dipped below freezing on the 13th and 14th. However it was not until the morning of the 29th when most of the state had its first freeze, about two weeks later than average. Urban and coastal areas will have to wait until some time later this fall for that event to occur.

On occasion, the high pressure ridge relinquished its grip, particularly the last week of October. This opened the door for moisture to enter the region, the result being an above average amount of rainfall. Statewide, an average of 5.33" fell, which is 1.82" above average. The bulk of the rain fell between the 9th and 12th, and in particular from the 24th to 27th. The northwest counties received over 7" for the month, while coastal counties missed out on the bulk of the heavy rains of the 27th and received monthly totals of between 4-5".

The monthly total ranks 20th wettest (see table below for the top 25 wettest Octobers). It is quite interesting to note that 5 of the top 25 wettest Octobers have occurred in the past 6 years.

With the ample October rains, the worrisome downward spirals of ground water, river flow and reservoirs ceased. Southern NJ is still categorized as being in the "abnormally dry" category on the "National Drought Monitor" map; however this is the lowest level of concern and a step up from earlier in the month. Still, NJ begins its water recharge season with water storage below the average October minimum. Thus it will be important to receive at least average precipitation during the coming months in order to return storage to its normal maximum next spring.

Warmest NJ Octobers since 1895

Year Temperature
2007 62.4°
1947 60.1°
1971 60.1°
1949 59.6°
1900 59.4°
1984 59.0°
1941 58.7°
1990 58.7°
1954 58.6°
1919 58.5°
1920 58.5°
1946 58.5°

Wettest NJ Octobers since 1895

Year Precipitation
2005 11.98"
1903 9.13"
1927 8.01"
1913 7.98"
1943 7.48"
1917 7.16"
2002 7.04"
1955 6.96"
1995 6.85"
2006 6.58"
1902 6.54"
1996 6.38"
1976 6.29"
1898 5.90"
1932 5.70"
1911 5.62"
1937 5.49"
1972 5.45"
1958 5.41"
2007 5.33"
1989 5.09"
2003 4.89"
1929 4.72"
1966 4.72"
1925 4.70"

Past Climate Summaries