It's not just a bunch of Hocus Pocus, Winifred Sanderson. The month of the ghouls and goblins really has been hot as Hell itself but it comes up short when setting a record.
I reached out to the National Weather Service in Houston for clarification on how a given month is classified as the ''warmest'' on record -- especially since the official records in Houston have been located in more than once place over the past 100 years.
According to meteorologist Molly Merrifield, there are two ways to calculate the "warmest" temperatures of a given month. The first way is to take the monthly mean temperature. Using that method, if October were to end today, we'd be the second warmest on record with an average mean temperature of 77.2 degrees through the first 16 days of October. Here's a list of the top 5 warmest, excluding 2016 because the month isn't finished yet:
1. 77.5° (2004)
2. 76.7° (1963)
3. 76.5 (1947)
4. 76.3° (1962)
5. 76.0° (1919)
The second way to calculate the warmest temperature for a month is to average the high temperatures observed. Using that method, 2016 falls far short of the top five.
Finally, there have been an incredible number of 90 degree-plus days at Bush-Intercontinental, the official recording site for Houston climate. As of October 18th, the city is tied for the second place with the most 90-plus degree days ever recorded. Below is a break down of the numbers:
Now if you're discouraged that we won't have a cold winter because of how hot it's been here for the month, let me give you some peace of mind. Warm falls have little to no impact on the upcoming winter. In fact one of the years that shows up in the records for the warmest monthly mean temperatures is 2004. If you think back to 2004, that was the year that a massive snow storm developed off the Texas coast and dropped over 13 inches of snow in Victoria and 4 to 6 inches of snow on Galveston Island on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.
It won't be long before the weather finally does turn cooler for the duration of the Autumn and winter. Just give it a little time for the spell to be broken.