Last month officially declared coldest October ever in East Idaho

Daisy Burr, 11, builds a snow fort on Tuesday morning along North Main Street in Pocatello.

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The National Weather Service has confirmed that last month was the coldest October in East Idaho’s history dating back to when the collection of weather data about the region began in the 1930s.

Pocatello set new record lows on 10 of October’s 31 days while Idaho Falls set new record lows six times during the month.

The National Weather Service said it’s unheard of for any city to set 10 temperature records during a single month. To put last month into perspective, Pocatello has only experienced one other record breaking temperature so far this year — a record low set on June 9.

Although it appears temps in November will mostly be in the normal range in East Idaho, Pocatello nearly started the month with what would have been the city’s sixth consecutive record-breaking low temperature.

The low was 9 degrees on Friday morning in Pocatello, one degree higher than the city’s record low for Nov. 1 set in 2002 and 1991, according to the National Weather Service. Friday morning’s 9 degree low was also 20 degrees colder than the city’s average low temperature for Nov. 1.

Pocatello ended October with five consecutive record-breaking low temperatures Sunday through Thursday of last week. That in itself is unheard of for any city, the weather service said.

On Thursday morning the mercury dropped to 6 degrees in Pocatello, breaking the city’s previous Oct. 31 record low of 7 degrees set in 2003.

The Gate City’s coldest temperature last week was minus 6 degrees on Wednesday morning, which broke the city’s previous Oct. 30 record low of 11 degrees set in 1991, the weather service said.

Wednesday morning’s minus 6 low was 13 degrees colder than the city’s previous coldest day in October record, coincidentally set last Tuesday, and was 36 degrees below Pocatello’s average low for Oct. 30, according to the weather service.

Prior to October 2019 the coldest October temperature ever recorded in Pocatello was 7 degrees on Oct. 31, 2003.

Pocatello also set record lows during the first three days of last week, Oct. 27, 28 and 29, as well as on Oct. 3, 10, 11, 12 and 24.

Last month’s average temperature in Pocatello was a record low 38.4 degrees, breaking the previous record for coldest October average for the city of 42.5 degrees set in 2002 and 1949.

The normal average October temperature in Pocatello is 48 degrees.

This past October in Pocatello also set new records for the city in terms of the number of days with below freezing temps at 25 and the most days with below zero and single digit lows with four.

Pocatello set a snowfall record on Oct. 9 when .6 inches of snow fell on the city; the previous Oct. 9 record for Pocatello was .5 inches of snow set in 1949.

Pocatello received over 4 inches of snow last month but that didn’t come close to the city’s record for snowiest October ever set in 1971 when 12.6 inches of snow fell on the city.

While Wednesday’s low of minus 6 was the coldest temperature ever recorded in Pocatello during October, the minus 3 recorded in Idaho Falls on that same morning not only broke that city’s previous Oct. 30 record low of 1 degree set in 2002 but it was also the coldest October temperature ever recorded in Idaho Falls.

The average temperature in Idaho Falls last month was 36.4 degrees, breaking the previous lowest average temperature for October record for that city of 38.8 degrees set in 2002.

There were a record-tying 29 days with below-freezing temperatures in Idaho Falls last month, which was also the only October in the city’s history with below zero temps.

Burley set three record lows last month and experienced its coldest October day ever when the mercury dropped to 6 degrees on Oct. 30. The previous coldest day in October record for Burley was 9 degrees set on Oct. 19, 1971.

Rexburg also experienced below zero temps last month as well as 27 days during which the mercury dipped below freezing.

By Friday afternoon in East Idaho daytime high temperatures started to inch toward the high 40s — normal for this time of year.

Daytime highs in the normal range are forecast to continue for the early part of November in East Idaho and no significant precipitation is expected for the region this week.

Nighttime lows, however, are expected to remain at or below freezing in East Idaho for the foreseeable future.

Despite experiencing its coldest October ever last month, East Idaho is not currently forecast to be hit by a severe winter.

The weather service said that temperatures in December, January and February are expected to be above normal in East Idaho and there are equal chances for above normal, normal and below normal precipitation.