November 19, 2017
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Maine, and most of New England, just had the warmest October ever

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Updated:

Last month was the warmest October ever recorded by weather stations scattered throughout New England, according to the National Weather Service.

In Maine, 11 weather stations ranging from Portland to the Aroostook County town of Frenchville showed record temperatures for October. Another two dozen or so stations in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut also showed record warmth for the month.

“The observed October temperatures in northern Maine were about what would be average for central Pennsylvania,” weather service officials wrote in a statement on the Caribou office’s web page. “For Downeast [Maine], it was about what would be average for northern Maryland.”

In Bangor, the average temperature last month was 55.6 degrees Fahrenheit — more than one degree higher than the previous record average for the month in 1968. It was roughly eight degrees warmer than October’s historical average temperature for the city.

Average October temperatures in other locations in Penobscot and Aroostook counties fell below 53 degrees, also setting records. Further south, Portland, Gray and Augusta each set record averages of 56 or 57 degrees that were also approximately 8 degrees warmer than historical averages.

[September was hotter and drier than usual in Maine]

Boston had its second-warmest October ever, falling one-tenth of a degree short of tying the record average of 61.5 degrees in 1947. Record averages for the month also were set in parts of New Jersey and in New York City.

Temperatures in Maine in September also were warmer than normal, making for the third warmest September on record in northern and central Maine and the second warmest September in Portland.

Donald Dumont, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Caribou, said there is some evidence that winters in Maine and elsewhere are getting milder. But the warm fall so far this year does not indicate how severe or mild the coming winter may be — either for temperatures or the amount of snowpack that will build up. Over the past 10 to 15 years, he added, winter snowpack in Maine has generally decreased, but the years with less snow aren’t necessarily preceded by warm falls.

Given how warm this October was, Dumont expects the fall of 2017 (September through November) will end up ranking in the top 5 for warmth for Maine. November would have to be much colder than normal, he said, to negate a record October that in Caribou broke the prior record average by nearly three degrees.

“We crushed it,” Dumont said. “That’s huge.”

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