First October Cold Front and Fall’s Semi-Permanent Residence (10/3/17)


My apologies for the late update this week. I was under the weather on Sunday and decided to do some relaxing.

We often think of November being the “magical month of the year” as deer hunters but honestly October is just as exciting in many ways. The build up to the season can be just as intense as the rut out of shear anticipation. As the whitetail archery season has opened pretty much nationwide at this point, we find ourselves in a period where the weather is becoming increasingly important. Changes become more, and more drastic and fall finds its footing with winter trailing slowly behind. Leaves are changing, crops are coming out all over the country. Each cold front that passes now has the ability to get deer moving on their feet for at least some period of daylight, and each cold front gets stronger as we go deeper into fall. All of these are major changes in the whitetail’s world.

It’s actually been a fairly warm start to the month. Most states east of the Rocky’s have been in the upper 60s to 70s in the central and northern states, and well into the 80s farther south. I am new to Wisconsin, but I am certain that 78 degrees at 8pm in October is fairly warm here. However, I think I can confidently say that (at least in the Midwest) Fall is getting ready to find its footing. I titled this write up “..Fall’s semi-permanent residence” just because as a meteorologist I would be wrong to say anything with absolute certainty right? In all seriousness, as I have discussed in the past it is difficult to say anything certain more than 7 days out but general model consensus points to cooler temperatures becoming the norm in the week’s to come. The GFS model shows several cold fronts moving across the country over the next two weeks with temperature drops becoming fairly substantial by the October 10th time frame:

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 2.53.30 PM

As always don’t take these numbers as a matter of fact. Just celebrate the blue colors beginning to overtake a larger part of the country in the long range models. The arrival time of this system will likely change by a day or two by the time it happens. Interestingly the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is calling for above normal temperatures for most of October for the eastern part of the country:

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.00.30 PM

As I’ve mentioned in previous discussions this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be warm for the month of October. Obviously as we can see above there should be some period of relatively cool temperatures. This monthly outlook just means that we may see more days that aren’t necessarily cool in terms of average October conditions. So with that we can say that it is unlikely we will see any long-lived periods of cold in the month of October, but we can still get bursts of it. After the bigger front moves through that’s shown on the model above I generally doubt temperatures in the Great Lakes region go above low 70s again for the rest of the season. There are always weird situations where this can change and some warm air moves in for a few days, but it usually moves out quickly.

In the short-term, expect temperatures to cool following a cold front that’s moving through the plains at the time of this writing. We can see that well on satellite:


Images courtesy of GOES-16 Blue-band visible via by WxByte.

If you look in northwestern Oklahoma and into Kansas you can see a diagonal line of clouds moving southeastward. This is the leading edge of the front mixed in with some cold air produced by thunderstorms in Kansas last night. If you look at southeastern Nebraska you can also see a line of thicker clouds moving eastward, which is another portion of the front.

This front should bring temperatures down at least 10-15 degrees in most areas of the northern plains and western Great Lakes. It looks like it will stall in northern Oklahoma and not have any major effect on the southern plains unfortunately:

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.36.47 PM

You can see on this map of the NAM that the front is pretty much in the same place in Oklahoma by tomorrow morning and will continue to mix out, but the front has made its way into the northern plains and western Great Lakes. However, the stronger front in the days to come should definitely impact the more southern states.

Take great advantage of every cold front that comes during the month of October. They always prove to be great times to hunt for me and my friends.

Good luck.

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