WASHINGTON — After an average September, October gets underway feeling very much like fall. However, temperatures are set to rise in the middle of the month.
The million dollar question: Do we pull out the winter gear or can we stick with the summer shorts?
The latest forecast for October is on the mild side for Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, temperatures are likely to be near average.
Typical high temperatures for the first day of October is 74 degrees. By the final day of October, Halloween, our average high temperature dips to a cool 64 degrees. In the image below, orange is above average, where blue is below average. Believe it or not we average a trace of snow downtown and .1" at Dulles. The highest October temperature every recorded is 98 and the lowest downtown is 26.
Additionally, there is a greater than 50 percent chance of a dry month for the DMV. This may be good news for some, after a damp September. The average amount of rain for October is 3.40 inches.
The first several days of October is forecast to be cooler-than-average, meaning 60s and lower 70s. No big rain events are forecast through October 8.
The Climate Prediction Center temperature forecast for the second week of October is for above average weather.
This usually indicates a pattern of high pressure, which can bring warm sunny days and mild to cool nights in D.C.
It will be perfect for outdoor work and fun, leaf peeping, or perhaps getting the house prepped for the long winter ahead.
Long range forecasts also indicate mild weather through the third week of October.
So don't put away the shorts just yet. By the middle and end of the month, temperatures are likely to rise to near or above average. This also means most of the winter gear can stay in the closet, for now, too.
Comparing this October to last October.
Last October was both warm and damp. In fact, October 2019 holds the distinction of having the hottest October day of all time. On October 2nd of last year, National Airport recorded a sizzling high temperature of 98 degrees. That 98 is the hottest recorded October day in Washington, D.C. history.
October 2019 was a wet one, finishing with 6.66 inches of rain, nearly double the average for the month.
What about the tropics?
Hurricane season remains in full swing, and tropical systems tend to be wild cards when it comes to long range forecasts.
NOAA says there is an expected uptick in activity in the Caribbean Sea and perhaps the Atlantic Ocean in the first half of the month.
As of the September 30th, the Hurricane Center has exhausted its hurricane list and is now up to Beta, meaning the next named storm, if or when it forms, would be Gamma.