First, a look back at October. The average temperature of 67.7° was 7.4° above normal, ranking it as the 4th-warmest on record (according to data from NOAA’s Regional Climate Centers). We only picked up 0.43″ of rain, which ranks as the 10th-driest October on record in Nashville. Furthermore, the average temperature for September and October combined was 71.9° — that’s the 2nd-warmest September-October time period on record, behind only 1941. (That year brought below-average temperatures in November, but data from one year is the very definition of “small sample size.” I plotted ALL Sept-Oct temperatures versus the subsequent November temperatures, and there’s virtually zero correlation — for you statistics nerds, the r-squared value is less than 0.01.)
ALSO…and this deserves its own paragraph and some bold/italic/underline treatment…the first ten months of 2016 are the warmest such ten months on record in Nashville (dating back to 1875). The average temperature for January through October this year has been 65.5° — the next-warmest first ten months of the year was in 2012, at 65.3°.
More record warmth in store for us to start the month of November, with temperatures today reaching the mid to upper 80s, and highs Wednesday still reaching the low to mid 80s. This autumn heat wave is a result of the jet stream (the main “storm track” for North America) being pushed WAY up to the north, along the US-Canada border:
That position allows a large area of high pressure to establish itself and become entrenched — high pressure means sinking air overhead (“subsidence” is the technical term). Sinking air warms up, and it also suppresses our rain chances.
The heat wave will come to an end on Thursday with a chance of rain showers. Futurecast’s radar simulation looks impressive, but the models are likely underestimating how dry soil conditions are right now — that means the humidity will remain low, which will eat away at this rain as it moves into the Midstate:
I don’t expect much in the way of measurable rain, just enough to settle the dust.
A short list of nerd-links today, since I spent most of my time this morning crunching the climate numbers…
- Nationwide in October, there were over 5,000 warm-temperature records set in the United States, less than 500 cold-temperature records.
- More warm-weather data: 2016 is on track to be the 2nd-warmest year on record in the United States as a whole.
- The New Horizons probe flew by Pluto in July 2015, but it just finished sending back the last bits of data this week.
- Archaeological nerdiness: here’s what researchers found in the 60 hours they had access to the site where Jesus’ body is traditionally believed to have been buried.
- A history of the search for the oldest lifeforms in the fossil record.
- How your heartbeat can trick your senses.
- Do dogs respond better to hand signals or spoken commands?