Warm and Dry Conditions Characterize the 2017 Autumn Season Across Delaware

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Figure 1. Delaware statewide mean fall temperature (°F) 1895-2017. Gray line indicates 1981-2010 normal.
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Figure 2. Delaware statewide fall precipitation (inches) 1895-2017. Gray line indicates 1981-2010 normal.

Autumn Temperatures

Preliminary data indicates that autumn 2017 ranked as the 3rd warmest autumn season since records began in 1895 (tied with three other autumn seasons). The statewide mean autumn temperature of 60.2°F was 2.6°F above the 1981-2010 mean value of 57.6°F (Figure 1).

Autumn Precipitation

The statewide mean precipitation of 8.23 inches was 2.60 inches below the 1981-2010 normal of 10.83 inches, and was in the driest one-third of autumns since 1895 (Figure 2). Precipitation during the autumn of 2017 was the lowest since the 2013 season.

Statewide Spatial Averages

Data from the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) show that autumn temperature anomalies were generally positive across the State, with a few locations experiencing near normal temperatures for the season (Figure 3).

Autumn precipitation was much below normal across the entire State, with the exception of extreme southeastern Sussex County (Figure 4). However, the size of the negative anomalies varied greatly from one location to another. Several stations in northern New Castle County and Chester County, PA saw negative anomalies of between four and six inches during the autumn months.

Autumn 2017 average temperature departures (°F) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
Figure 3. Autumn 2017 average temperature departures (°F) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
Autumn 2017 precipitation departures (inches) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
Figure 4. Autumn 2017 precipitation departures (inches) from the 1981-2010 mean based upon DEOS station data.
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