Even though there were some cooler days and nights in the last week, the average temperature for October stayed steady and will finish the month much warmer than normal.
The average temperature for the first four weeks of the month now stands at 13.3 degrees Celsius, down slightly from 13.6 C at the end of the third week but still way above 9.4 C, which is the normal average for the entire month. The continuing above-normal average temperature was entirely due to the record daytime high for October 27 (in the last 30 years) of 22.5 C. As warm as that was, it didn’t come close to the 26.3 C that was recorded on October 26, 2022. How quickly we forget!
Obviously, with warmer-than-average temperatures, there was no killing frost in the past week, but it was close. During the night of October 28-29, the ground temperature reached 0 C, but the air temperature stayed up at 3 C. The normal date for the first killing frost is October 16, which is 11 days later than it was 30 years ago. The first probability of a good frost will be Monday night into Tuesday morning, October 30-31.
The rains continued throughout the past week with some precipitation every day and bringing down 22 millimetres of rain. Added to the deluge at the beginning of the month, the total so far is 157 mm which is almost twice the normal precipitation for what we would expect for the month.
With the warmer temperatures, the corn heat unit (CHU) count has already surpassed the normal for the entire month. There have been 365 CHU so far in October, more than double the normal of 146 CHU for the month. Since the May 11 start date for the local heat unit count, the total recorded so far is 3,538 CHU for the 2023 cropping season, which is well above the 10-year average of 3,189.
Despite the mild weather, or maybe because of it, the geese have been landing in the fields but not with as many numbers as in past years, and not as frequently (i.e. not every day). Maybe they’re waiting for cooler weather, which the first half of November will bring as daytime temperatures are forecast to be below normal. However, nighttime lows are forecast to be warmer than usual, with temperatures only dipping a few degrees below zero at most.