By Don Jenkins, Capital Press
Idaho shivered through its coldest October on record, while Washington weathered its second-coldest October and the coolest in more than a century, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Oregon was chilly, too. The month was the fourth-coldest October for the state, according to records that date back to 1895.
The extended region-wide cold snap defied the odds. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center forecast in September that the outlook favored a warmer than normal October.
Unusual atmospheric conditions caused frigid air to blow down from the Gulf of Alaska, Washington State Assistant Climatologist Karin Bumbaco said. Normally, warmer and wetter air from the south flows into the region, she said.
“It was really different than we would typically see this time of year,” Bumbaco said.
The cold damaged some crops, and the northern winds “made farm work outdoors miserable,” according to the USDA’s late October crop report for Idaho.
The cold October followed a wet and cool September.