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Recap of October 2017 Weather for the 30-county NWS Hastings Coverage Area: 

- Precipitation: October was an interesting month, as the majority of rain fell during the first week (mainly the first few days). Thereafter, things really dried out for most of the month, up until a fairly light/early-season snow event on the 31st. In general, about 80% of the area measured above normal precipitation, and roughly 25% of the area was near-or- above TWICE normal October amounts. For all areas, the vast majority of precip fell during the first several days of the month, much of which associated with widespread thunderstorm activity between the 1st-3rd. Taking a closer look at the wettest areas, some of the highest amounts were largely concentrated near/east of Highway 281 in Nebraska and also within parts of Phillips and northwestern Rooks counties in KS. Per official NWS observers and CoCoRaHS/NeRAIN stations, just a few of the highest October totals included: 7.41" five miles east of Phillipsburg KS, 5.37" Ord airport, 5.36" Grand Island airport, 5.35" Phillipsburg KS and 4.80" three miles northeast of Shelby. On the opposite side of the rain gauge, only about 20% of the area observed below normal precipitation, largely concentrated in places such as: 1) Furnas and Gosper counties in Nebraska...2) various small "stripes" of north central Kansas, including central/southwest Rooks County, southern Smith/northwestern Osborne counties, and southern Jewell/northwestern Mitchell counties. Some of the driest official stations included: Cambridge (0.80"), four miles west-northwest of Plainville KS (0.94"), Cawker City KS (1.05"), six miles north-northwest of Oxford (1.07") and eight miles south of Elwood (1.18"). 

- Snowfall: Oct. 31 (Halloween) featured the first true October snow event since 2009 for most of the area, albeit a fairly minor one. While most places saw 1" or less (including the Tri Cities), localized areas mainly north of the Interstate 80 corridor received modestly-higher totals into the 1.5"-2.5" range, including 2.5" at Loup City and 2" in St. Paul. Note: Because most NWS observers report for a 24-hour period ending around 7AM, this Oct. 31 snow event will officially be associated with Nov. 1 data for these sites.   

- Flooding: The first few days of the month featured some (primarily minor) flooding, mainly within portions of north central Kansas. The "main event" that sparked flooding was a swath of at least 2-4" of rain that fell the night of the 2nd into the morning of the 3rd from portions of Phillips and Rooks counties, extending northeastward into Nebraska toward Hastings. In addition to short-term flooding of various low-lying areas and rural roads, the following rivers/creeks experienced minor flooding up to a few days thereafter: Deer Creek in Phillips County, North Fork Solomon River (gauges near Glade and Portis), South Fork Solomon River (gauge just upstream of Webster Reservoir), Bow Creek (gauge near the Rooks/Phillips County line). 

Temperatures: The month as a whole averaged 0-2º above normal across most of the area, making for a fairly "normal" month overall with a slight lean toward the warmer side. The month would have finished more solidly warmer-than-average if not for the fact that 5-of-the-last-6 days were actually cooler/below average. As for monthly extremes per official NWS observers/stations, some of the warmest days featured 88° near Plainville KS, 85° at Beloit KS and near Alton KS, and 84º at Cambridge, Beaver City and Smith Center KS. On the flip-side, the vast majority of the area experienced the coldest lows of the month on the 28th, featuring as frigid as 8º at Ord airport, 9° at Greeley and 11º at Ravenna and near Alton KS. 

Severe Thunderstorms/Tornadoes: Although most of the month was very "quiet", there were several reports of large hail/damaging winds on three evenings/nights: the 1st, 2nd and 6th. The 1st featured 1 confirmed tornadoa brief EF-0 in northwestern Rooks County KS.  Also during that event, hail up to baseball size was reported in Agra KS. The following evening, hail up to golf ball size fell near Grand Island and also near Macon in Franklin County. On the evening of the 6th, severe storms were confined to KS portions of the area, including golf ball size hail near Hunter. 

2017 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2017 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)
(for the 2017 tables, data for the previous month usually gets updated by around the 15th of the current month)

2016 Nebraska Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 45 sites)
2016 Kansas Cooperative Observer Precipitation Tables (around 18 sites)

This graphic features a precipitation map for October 2017, along with a partial listing of official NWS/CoCoRaHS totals (Click image to enlarge)
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