October 2021 in top 5 warmest, rainiest on record for Triangle


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – October makes us think of pumpkin spice, apple cider, hoodies, and Halloween.

This October however, your fall drinks may have been iced, and your hoodies may have lived in the back of your closet for a little longer because October of 2021 is now ranked in the top five warmest on record for the Triangle.

The overall average temperature came in at 66.1 degrees.

October 2021 only had seven days where high temperatures were below average, leaving a whopping 24 days with afternoon highs either at or above average.

For perspective, October 2019 (which is the 6th warmest October on record, just behind this year) had nine days with afternoon temperatures cooler than average.

You may remember October 2019 had significantly hotter days than this October.

October 2, 3, and 31 of that year all broke high-temperature records.

So how did October of this year edge out 2019, the year that brought us our only 100-degree day in October history across Central North Carolina?

Morning temperatures.

October of this year not only had more overall afternoons warmer than average, the mornings were also warmer than average.

October 2019’s average morning low was 54.4 degrees.

Compare that to October 2021 which had an average morning low of 55.5 degrees.

It may not seem like a big difference, but experts from the National Weather Service and North Carolina State Climate Office say it’s our morning temperatures becoming warmer which can be one of the more obvious indicators of our warming climate.

Earlier in October, Jonathan Blaes, the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Raleigh, said to CBS 17 Meteorologist Rachel Duensing, “we’re seeing warmer days, especially during the warm season and more notably, warmer nights, especially throughout the year.”

Corey Davis at the State Climate Office agreed and stated, “some of the sneakiest changes that we’re already seeing is just our nighttime low temperatures.”

So October 2021 will come down as one of our warmest on record.

In addition to being warm, it was rainy as well. We picked up 7.53 ihches of rain during the month, including 4.96 inches the morning of Oct. 9, a record for that date.

The overall rain total for the month has October 2021 tied with October of 1971 for the fifth rainiest October on record in the Triangle.

We also ended the month with no mornings in the 30s, but that was also the case in 2020 where our coolest October morning dropped to 40 degrees.

The last time we had a morning temperature in the 30s in October was October 19th, 2019 when we dropped to 39 degrees.

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