We have had an extended warm spell that has rolled through several seasons. Over the last year-and-a-half, only four months have been below average. Most recently, September came in 4.4° above average at the National Weather Service.
While it hasn’t felt like it, October normally begins the transition into the cold season. The normal high temperature falls a degree about every two days. The average high at the NWS starts at 59° on October 1. By the end of the month, the high is only 44°. The average low temperature dips to the freezing mark on October 24 and falls to 30° by the 31st.
Like the last two days, summer occasionally makes a last stand. The record high at the NWS is 87° set on October 2, 1992. Iron Mountain reached 88° the same day and also soared to 88° as late as the 15th in 1947. Marquette’s October record high is 89° set on October 4, 1922.
There can also be a brief shot of winter cold late in the month. Houghton crashed to 12° on October 29, 1925, while Iron Mountain skidded to an all-time record low of 8° on the same day. At the NWS, the record low is 9° set on October 23, 1969.
Snowfall averages 5.3″ for the month at the NWS. Occasionally, there can be a big storm. Last year, a foot-and-a-half fell on the 17th and 18th, with only some slush in the city of Marquette close to relatively-warm Lake Superior. However, the Queen City was socked with 14″ of snow on October 19, 1859.
While snow could fall at some point this month, it still looks like the warmer-than-average trend will continue.