A Dry, Seasonable October in the Midwest

November 8, 2022 // Article by: Shawn McGarrity


The month of October turned out to be a much drier one for the Chicagoland area, with only 1.66 inches of rain down from the typical 3.43 inches. Early season snowfall was also a tad below normal, with only a trace amount of snow being recorded (which isn't that surprising with a normal 0.2 inches at this point). Despite the much drier pattern, October overall fared near or a bit warmer than normal. The average high was 63.9°F (normal 62.7°F), the average low 44.2°F (normal 45.4°F) and the overall average was 54.0°F, equal to the normal for this time of year.

October began pleasant with a good deal of sunshine with warm temperatures ranging from the mid-60s up to the mid-70s. Brief showers passed through on the 5th with a cold front the next day bringing light rainfall and a substantial cooling period, plummeting temperatures into the upper-50s. A dry spell returned behind the cold front that lasted through the 10th, during which time temperatures slowly rebounded back to the low-70s. 

Another round of showers and a few storms pushed through the Chicagoland area the 11th and 12th, bringing moderate rainfall. This period of showery activity did not last long, with quiet conditions returning that would last into the second half of the month. 

The first sighting of snow (non-accumulating) of the season was on the 17th, during which time temperatures cooled to their lowest levels for the month, reaching only 43°F for a high. Cooler temperatures held for a few days, keeping the area in the 40s before rebounding to seasonable then above-normal levels. In the span of only five days the city recorded its coolest and warmest high temperatures, reaching just shy of 80°F on both the 22nd and 23rd.

Shortly thereafter the city saw its wettest day for the month, with periods of showers on the 25th bringing three-quarters of an inch of rain; a little less than half the rainfall for the entire month. Temperatures fell following the event, returning to more seasonable levels, in the mid-to-upper 50s. An overall dry trend continued to close out the month other than a few showers passing through the 30th and 31st.

Rainfall totals from October 25th. Courtesy NWS Chicago.


Drier than normal conditions remained in place for October with only 1.42 inches of rain being recorded in Indianapolis–down from the typical 3.22 inches. Snowfall was also modest, with a trace of snow being recorded during the month (only a tad below the typical 0.1 inch). Temperatures during the month were near-normal, if not slightly below average. High temperatures averaged 66.1°F (a tad warmer than the normal 65.5°F), lows averaged 43.0°F (down from the normal 45.5°F), and overall average temperatures were 54.5°F (a bit below the normal 55.5°F). 

Things started off dry for Indianapolis with temperatures starting in the low 70s before warming into the mid-70s by the end of the first week of October. Other than a brief shower on the 6th, this dry spell continued to the 11th and 12th when periods of showers passed through the city. 

Heading into the middle of the month, temperatures gradually fell to the 60s and dipped into the upper 50s at times before a cooler airmass settled in beginning the 17th. During the overnight on the 17th into the 18th, the city had it's first flakes of snow, but nothing more than coatings on elevated surfaces accumulated. While lows were in the 30s, highs only rose into the mid 40s during this time, the coolest of the month. It took several days for temperatures to rebound to normal to even above-normal levels, reaching the month’s warmest temperatures of 79°F on the 23rd.

The wettest day of the month was the 25th when moderate rain fell across central Indiana. By the event’s end, 1.06 inches of rain fell, making up nearly three-quarters of the month’s entire rainfall. Cooler temperatures returned in wake of the showers, bringing seasonable conditions for the remainder of the month. Other than some scattered showers the final two days of October, the final week of the month was dry.


Like much of the Midwest, Ohio fared much drier than normal this October with Columbus and Cincinnati seeing only 0.60 and 0.99 inches of rain respectively (below the normal of 2.90 and 3.35 inches typically seen). Temperatures were either normal or a bit cooler than normal. Average high temperatures for Columbus and Cincinnati were 65.6°F and 67.0°F (normal is 65.5°F and 66.7°F), average lows were 42.7°F and 43.7°F (normal is 44.8°F and 45.7°F) and the overall average temperatures were 54.1°F and 55.4°F (relative to 54.1°F and 56.2°F norms).

Other than a few lingering showers in Columbus on the 1st from the remnants of Hurricane Ian, the month started off dry with temperatures varying from the 60s to mid 70s. A prolonged dry period continued into the second week of the month before a few isolated showers returned on the 12th. This rain event proved to be the wettest day of the month in Columbus, even though only 0.15 inches was reported. Temperatures also warmed notably for Cincinnati, reaching its warmest a high of 78°F.

Heading into the second half of the month, temperatures dipped throughout the state, reaching as low as the mid 40s for highs beginning the 17th. A few snow flurries fell during this time throughout the region, but no accumulation occurred. This cold spell didn’t last long, with temperatures rebounding to the high 70s from the 22nd through the 25th. Dayton and Cincinnati both saw their warmest days of the month, reaching 78°F. Some returning showers on the 26th was the wettest day for Dayton, bringing 0.29 inches of rain.

Closing out the month, temperatures returned to seasonable levels with weather remaining generally quiet. Showers passing through the final two days of the month brought the wettest days for both Columbus and Cincinnati, with each city measuring 0.15 inches and 0.40 inches on the 31st and 30th respectively. 

Midwest Drough as of October 25th. Courtesy of United States Drought Monitor