October lands in top 10 for warmest, wettest in Metro Detroit

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Last month was among the top 10 warmest and wettest Octobers in Metro Detroit in more than a century of National Weather Service recordkeeping.

The average temperature over 31 days was 59.4 degrees at Detroit Metro Airport, ranking it the sixth warmest October, according to the weather service website.

Flint was second with an average of 58.6. Saginaw placed fourth at 57.7, records show.

Detroit Metro notched 15 days at or above 70 degrees. Roughly half were on consecutive days Oct. 7-14.

William Lovelady with the Oak Park Department of Public Works removes debris and leaves from a storm server drain October 25, 2021, in Oak Park.

The warmest reading was 81 on Oct. 14. The mercury never dropped below 36, the low on Oct. 25. 

The next day, 1.16 inches of rain fell, a record for the date. That and the other 15 days with measurable precipitation left the area with 5.25 inches of rain, securing it as the seventh wettest October on record.

Flint ranked fourth with 5.45 inches, according to the weather service.

The month's wild weather owed mostly to the jet stream keeping cold air farther north, said Bryan Tilley, a meteorologist with the weather service station in White Lake Township.

"There were no blasts of cold air coming down from Canada," he said. "It stayed pretty stable through the month."

The trend has changed along with the calendar.

After a cold front moved through the region on Halloween, Monday was blustery, with temperatures topping out in low 50s. 

As the thermometer drops into the 30s early Tuesday, the weather service calls for a 20% chance of snowflakes near the Ohio border.

"It’ll be warm enough that it’ll just be a few patches of light rain here and there," Tilley said.

The chill lingers Wednesday and Thursday, with highs in the 40s and overnight lows near the freezing mark.

Temperatures are forecast to rebound into the 50s over the weekend.

"The outlook for the next 10 days or so after this cooldown is relatively mild and overall kind of dry," Tilley said.

Southeast Michigan is predicted to have an almost 50% chance of above-normal temperatures in some areas, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 2021 Winter Outlook report.

A warmer, wetter winter is expected in Michigan and the Great Lakes region, according to NOAA.