October starts with warmer temperatures

Monday, October 2, 2006

We've all heard the saying, "all good things must come to an end." But when it comes to the weather, there seems to be a slight glitch around this time every year.

Call it a second summer or the last hurrah before winter, but after a warm weekend, weather forecasters have predicted an even warmer start to the week.

Temperatures in central Indiana are expected to climb to around 83 degrees today with lows dipping only to the low 60s.

The same is predicted for tomorrow, however, temperatures on Wednesday are expected to remain in the 70s and a few rain showers are headed this way.

By the end of the week, highs may not reach 70 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, but skies should be clear.

All this warm weather may help make up for what the weather bureau said Monday was the coldest September since 1993.

Temperatures in central Indiana have trended up for the last two Septembers, but not so this year with the highs in Indianapolis trending well below normal during the second half of the month.

Locally, Putnam County weather spotter Peggy Torr, who lives near Greencastle, recorded an average high temperature of 72.4 degrees in September. The average low, she said, was 51.1 degrees.

In Indianapolis, September's monthly average turned out to be more than two degrees below the normal, helping it to tie for the 19th coolest September ever recorded there.

Specifically, the first half of September trended near normal in both temperature and precipitation, however, a strong cold front brought a major cool down to the state on Sept. 18, which lasted through the end of the month.

The high temperature in Putnam County on Sept. 19 was only 60 degrees, which was more than 10 degrees below normal for that date.

In matters or precipitation, Indianapolis reported a wetter than normal month with 3.53 inches of precipitation reported at the airport.

Locally, Torr said she recorded a total of 8.23 inches of precipitation for the month. Other areas of the state, mainly south of Putnam County, saw near record rainfall amounts, which forced many residents to flee flooded homes.

Once this current warm-up ends, the inevitable first widespread frost and freeze will surely come, bringing an end to the growing season in Putnam County.

According to the weather bureau, Greencastle residents can expect to see their first frost on or around Oct. 7.

However, looking back to 1971, local residents didn't see icy crystals form on their lawns until Nov. 4, setting the record for the latest date of the first frost.

On the contrary, the earliest frost to blanket the Greencastle area was on Sept. 14, 1923, according to the National Weather Service.

In matters of the first freeze which we all dread, Greencastle typically sees the temperature plummet below 32 degrees on or near Halloween, Oct. 31.

The latest recorded first freeze came to Greencastle on Nov. 28, 1899 and the earliest came on Sept. 26, 1928.

But good news awaits on the horizon. The weather bureau reported Monday that there is a high likelihood of warmer than normal temperatures through the middle part of October.

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