When speaking of temperatures, October was a normal month.
But when considering rainfall, or the lack of it, October was dry. In fact, it was dry all over.
The Kansas University Weather Service reported today that Lawrence received 2.55 inches of rain during October, which is .67 of an inch below the average of 3.22 inches. Walter Schwarz, cooperative meteorological observer in Worden in southern Douglas County, said he measured 2.50 inches of rain, and that he had "never seen the ground so hard." Eudora fared better, reported weather observer Ray Long, who measured 3.49 inches of rain during the month.
For the year, Lawrence has received 33.23 inches of rain, compared to an average at this time of 33.39 inches. The last measurable precipitation was on Oct. 26, with .04 of an inch. The rainiest day of the month was Oct. 3, when 1.09 inches fell.
BUT THE DRY spell extends well beyond the county and Kansas. Drought conditions in the upper basin of the Missouri River, such as in Montana and both Dakotas, recently caused the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide additional releases from Perry Lake, Tuttle Creek Lake and Milford Lake. These releases assisted the navigation flow along the lower Missouri River via the Kansas River.
Jerry Buehre, chief of the water control section for the Corps of Engineers in Kansas City, Mo., said that the action was not unusual for this time of year. He added that the navigation season ended today, so no more water releases would be necessary.
As a result, Perry and Milford lakes are 3 feet lower now, Buehre said, and Tuttle is about 4 feet lower. The Corps of Engineers cautioned that the lower lake levels might create boating safety problems because underwater hazards might be closer to the lake's surface.
Clinton Lake was not used in the releases, Buehre said.
ALTHOUGH October was unusually dry, its temperatures almost exactly hit its average. The average high temperature for October 1990 was 71.45 degrees, a shade higher than the overall average of 71.3. Likewise, the average low for the month was an even 48 degrees, with the overall average being 47.8.
The warmest reading was 91 degrees on Oct. 5. The coldest morning was Oct. 25, when the overnight low was 35.