October 2014 Summary – Wet and very Warm – No Snow Contest Until After Election

A very wet and very warm October has made the thought of drought a distant memory. But how does this rank from past Octobers?  And what about the Snow Contest!?

Temperatures well above normal.

As was the case for September, the month of October saw temperatures above normal in both the City and at the Airport.

Minimum temperatures in the City and Airport were way above normal:  5º C in the City from the average and 4º C at the Airport.  The maximum temperatures were also above normal at 1.8º C and 1.4º C respectively leading to an overall average temperature that was 3º C and 2.6º C above the normals.

Rainfall exactly double normal

Our normal rainfall for October is 218mm.  We received exactly double that amount at the Airport with a total of 437mm.  The top rainfall amount recorded was at the Maquinna Islandweather station with 446mm.

However, the official amount at the Airport didn’t even crack the top-10 of wettest Octobers in Port Alberni.  According to my compilation of the data from all of the historic Environment Canada Valley stations (Excel Sheet here), the wettest October was recorded at Robertson Creek hatchery in 1975 with 562 mm.  The 10th wettest was 453 mm in 1967 recorded at Lupsi Cupsi at the Catalyst paper mill.

This October’s value ranks at #12 since 1895.

However, we did set a number of daily rain records for the Airport.

Records for the Month at the Airport since 1994 (daily data here)

We set one new station daily temperature record at the Airport on October 19th with a temperature of 19ºC.  The previous record was set in 1999 at 18.3º C.

We set new station rainfall records on the 13th (43mm), 21st (75mm), 22nd (59mm), and 28th (47mm).

Strong El Niño Threat Fades – But 2014 still among hottest.

The latest El Niño forecast isn’t due out for a few more days.  However, the October update showed the fears of a strong El Niño have not materialized.

We are still expected to enter El Niño conditions but they look to be a weak to moderate El Niño at worst.

Regardless, the world continues to set monthly global average temperature records.  Check out this great post from NASA on “Five things to know about 2014 Global Temperatures“.  In their words:

2014 is already pummeling records without the aid of El Nino’s push.

I would expect October to set or be very close to another global temperature record and it seems 2014 is well on its way to setting another global record as a whole.

Monthly Outlooks

As was the case last month, the monthly precipitation charts for October greatly underestimated the amount of rain in our area.  Here was the forecast for October generated in September:


As you can see, the model predicated normal to slightly below normal rainfall.  That didn’t happen…. though perhaps it did not anticipate a vigorous punch from Hurricane Anna which Dr. Jeff Masters of WUnderground described as “a truly rare event“.

But even before Anna’s final kick, we were well above normal for rainfall for the month.

This month’s prediction for precipitation for November swings in the opposite direction with things looking above-average wet:

November 2014 IMAE Forecast generated Oct
November 2014 IMAE Forecast generated in October


This is a big shift from last months run which had November very dry.  It is never a good sign when models swing between extremes.  I don’t know how much faith we should put in any of it.


December looks normal, as it did last month. You can see all the long term charts here.  November is supposed to remain warmer than normal.  Winter is still looking very dry and abnormally warm except for normal temperatures in December.  Still not a great snow forecast.  Fingers Crossed.

When will the first snowfall happen and Snow contest!?  

I am hoping the first snowfall does not happen before the 15th.  I don’t want to start the snow contest until after the Civic elections on Saturday the 15th (Please go vote!) just to completely avoid the notion of giving out prizes to people while I am running in a political campaign.  It just doesn’t sit well with me.

So I will start the contest promptly on Sunday November 16th.  

I think it is very unlikely we will get snow before then anyway!

Happy November!!

*Denotes incomplete data for the month

Average Daily Temperature for October:

Alberniweather: 12.8° C
Alberni Elementary School : 12.8° C
Maquinna Elementary School: 12.3° C
Neptune Canada Station: 13.2° C
Overall City Average: 12.8° C
Environment Canada Airport: 12.4° C

1981-2010 Env Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 9.8° C
City Stations Diff from normal: +3.0° C
Official (Airport) Difference from normal: +2.6° C

Average Minimum Daily Temperature for October:

Alberniweather: 10.2° C
AES: 10.1° C
MAQ: 9.9° C
NEP: 10.6° C
Overall City Average: 10.2° C
Environment Canada Airport: 9.0° C

1981-2010 Env. Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 5.0° C
City Stations Difference from normal: +5.2° C
Official (Airport) Difference from normal: +4.0º C

Average Maximum Daily Temperature for October:

Alberniweather: 16.5° C
AES: 16.4° C
MAQ: 15.8° C
NEP: 16.2° C
Overall City Average: 16.2° C
Environment Canada Airport: 15.8° C
1981-2010 Env Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 14.4° C
City Stations Difference from normal: +1.8° C
Official (Airport) Difference from normal: +1.4° C

Average Precipitation for October:

Alberniweather: 331.5 mm
AES: 337.4 mm
MAQ: 446.0 mm
NEP: NA (not measured)
Overall City Average: 371.6 mm
EC: 437.2 mm

1981-2010 Env Canada Normal (Robertson Creek): 218.3 mm
City Stations Diff. normal: +153.3 mm (170% of normal)
Official (Airport) Diff. from  normal: +218.9 mm (200% of normal)


Comparison to recent Octobers at Alberniweather (only).

2013: we were 3ºC warmer this year than last and almost 400mm wetter!

2012:  We are just a little warmer this year than 2012 but twice as wet.

2011: We are a bit warmer this year than 2012 but a lot wetter (88mm in 2011)

2010:  2010 was cooler and received near normal rain.

2009:  2009 was cooler and received 160mm of rain.

2008:  2008 was a lot cooler (8.8ºC mean temp vs. 13 this year) and pretty dry (124mm).

2007:  2007 was a cooler and drier than this year.

2006:  2006 was a cooler and drier than this year.

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1 thought on “October 2014 Summary – Wet and very Warm – No Snow Contest Until After Election

  1. Great summary again Chris. I too was struck by how wrong the seasonal forecasts have been!

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