Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 1969 -- A Year To Remember

I wasn't around in October 1969, but if you were, chances are that you might recall the unusual weather it brought.

On this date in 1969, a bitterly cold air mass was spilling south from the Arctic. It brought single-digit temperatures and widespread snow to the northern Rockies and high plains.

Meanwhile, record heat was found on the west side of the storm system with mid 60s as far north as central Alaska.

It was a stagnant weather pattern with much of the month cooler and wetter than normal for the lower 48 states.

In fact, for Denver, it was the coldest, wettest and snowiest October on record. And those records still stand today.

The cause for the unusual weather was the jet stream pattern. There was a huge ridge over the western US with a large trough of low pressure covering the rest of the country.

There was a great paper written about the weather pattern and the resulting weather that October.

Click here to read it.

The paper has charts, maps and detailed analysis of the scenario.


  1. hmmmm....I was a young college student in Wisconsin. Memories of the weather don't come to mind. :-D

  2. I seem to remember that the winter of 69 was cold and snowy in the Northeast. What's the prediction for this year?

  3. Hmmm. Autumn of '69... Not memorable, but with two 2-yr olds and a 1 yr old in the house, I don't remember much.

    However, it may have been the winter of 68 or 69 when the temp. in Mpls. dropped to some 50 degrees below zero, with windchill about 100 below. Our furnace went out, and I remember putting the babies in snow suits and tucking them into sleeping bags. My husband managed to put a spare motor in the furnace about midnight. That was pretty scary. No cars would start, no emergency help would be coming.

  4. October 13, 1969 here in Jackson, Tn. The Lo : 47 °
    Hi : 77 °
    Rainfall : 0.26 “ : The Average Temp For October 1969 was 61.0 ° which is Normal. The Coldest Lo was 32 ° on the 28 th : The Hottest Hi was 90 ° on the 4 th. Apparently Tenn got lucky weather wise in Oct. 1969. Excellent Topic by the way.