October 2009 was one of the coldest Octobers on record across the area as well as ranking among the wetter and snowier Octobers. The beginning of the month was particularly cold and rainy with below normal temperatures from October 1 to October 17 and precipitation recorded on most of the days from October 1 to October 14.
Omaha had the third coldest October on record with an average temperature of 46.8 degrees. Lincoln had the second coldest October on record with an average temperature of 46.2 degrees. Norfolk had the second coldest October on record with an average temperature of 43.6 degrees.
October 2009 also ranked among the top 5 snowiest Octobers at all three locations.
Cold weather has persisted for much of the summer and early fall. The average temperature from June 1 through October 31 was the coldest on record in Omaha (tied with 1992), Lincoln, and Norfolk.
Grand Island, Hastings, and Kearney all had the second coldest October on record.
Only six days of the month had daily average temperatures at or above normal at Hastings, and Grand Island saw just seven days of normal to above normal temperatures. The average monthly temperature at Grand Island, was 44.6 degrees, or 7.4 degrees below normal. At Hastings the average monthly temperature was 44.9 degrees, or 8.1 degrees below normal. The cold average daily and monthly temperatures were record setting, and October 2009 will go into the record books as the second coldest on record.
October precipitation at Grand Island totaled 3.39 inches which was 1.88 inches above normal. The first snowfall of the season fell on October 9th and snow continued October 10th. During those two days, 3.9 inches of snow accumulated. An additional 0.6 inch of snowfall occurred on the 22nd, bringing the total snowfall for the month and season to 4.5 inches. At Hastings, 3.53 inches of rain fell during the month, which was 1.86 inches above normal. The first snowfall of the season occurred on the 10th when one inch of snowfall accumulated. An additional 0.4 inch of snow was recorded on October 22nd bringing the total snowfall for the month and season to 1.4 inches.
October 2009 was much colder and wetter than normal with temperatures typical of November. It was also snowy across Western and North Central Nebraska with many locations receiving well over a foot of snow for the month. Three major winter storms impacted Western and North Central Nebraska during the month. The first system was on the 9th and 10th, the second on the 22nd, and the third system pounded Western and North Central Nebraska on the 29th and 30th.
For North Platte, the average daily temperature was 40.9 degrees and was 8.8 degrees below the normal of 49.7 degrees making it the second coldest October on record. The average daily high temperature was 51.8 degrees which was 13.8 degrees below the normal of 65.6 degrees. The average daily low temperature was 30.0 degrees and as 3.7 degrees below the normal of 33.7 degrees. For the month, 4 daily record lows and 2 daily low maximum records were set.
Precipitation for October totaled 4.29 inches at Lee Bird Field which was 3.05 inches above the normal of 1.24 inches. October 2009 will go down as the third wettest on record for North Platte. Ironically, only one daily precipitation record was set during the month. On the tenth, 0.53 inches of precipitation fell at Lee Bird Field breaking the record of 0.25 inches set previously in 1912.
October was a historic month for snowfall in North Platte. During the onth, 30.3 inches of snow fell which was a whopping 29.2 inches above the normal of 1.1 inches. The 30.3 inches was also 1.9 inches above the seasonal normal of 28.4, and we haven't even reached winter yet! Snowfall received in October 2009 broke the old monthly record of 15.7 inches which fell in 1969. Considering all months, October 2009 will go down as the snowiest month ever for North Platte. The 30.3 inches received broke the previous record of 27.8 inches recorded in March 1912. In addition to the two monthly records for snow, four daily snowfall records were broken and one record as tied.