There’s no rush to pull out those sweaters and parkas from the closet just yet. Despite a slight cool-down Monday and Tuesday, October 2017 is on pace to be the warmest on record.

Through Oct. 15, Portland’s average daily temperature was 58 degrees, about 6.6 degrees above normal for the month, said Tom Hawley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray. The average is derived from each day’s high and low at the Portland International Jetport, where the weather service has collected data since 1941.

The warmest October on record came in 1947, when the temperature for the full month averaged 55.3 degrees, Hawley said.

Of course, the second half of the month is usually cooler than the first half as we slide toward winter, and Hawley said Mother Nature “really turned the heat on” in 1947, with a string of days in the 80s during the last half of that month. Through Oct. 15, 1947, the average temperature was still above normal, but only by 3.8 degrees. It was the last 16 days of that month that pulled that average up to 6.5 degrees above normal, he said.

Warm Octobers are nothing new, Hawley said. It’s been eight years since Portland experienced an October of below-normal temperatures. Last year the average temperature during October was 50.4 degrees, still above the 48.8 degree average for the entire month, he said.

The coldest October on record was in 1976, when the temperature averaged 43.5 degrees, he said.

After dropping into cooler temperatures Monday and Tuesday, when high temperatures will be in the upper 50s, the warm weather will return and is likely to stick around through the end of the month, Hawley said, with temperatures predicted to be in the 60s to near 70 for the rest of this week, into the 70s over the weekend and through next Monday. Average highs are in the upper 50s for this time of year, he said.

The reason for the warmer temperatures, Hawley explained, is a low pressure trough over the center of the country and a high-pressure ridge just off the East Coast, both of which funnel warm air from the south into New England. There’s nothing on the horizon that suggests a long-term change in that pattern, at least through the end of October, he said.

Hawley said southern Maine has been drier than normal this fall and there’s nothing in the long-range outlook through the end of the month to suggest that’s changing anytime soon.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: