Average High Temperature: 59.8°F
Record High Temperature: 87°F (the 7th, 1963)
Average Low Temperature: 40.4°F
Record Low Temperature: 19°F (the 27th, 1976)
Average Precipitation: 3.2" inches
Maximum Precipitation: 8.29" (1955)
Minimum Precipitation: 0.21" (1964)
Average Snowfall: 0.5"
Record Snowfall: 5.7" (1988)
October ranks right up there with April in terms of weird weather - at least in my opinion.
Just like April, there can be some absolutely glorious stretches of warm, brilliantly sunny days and crisp, but comfortable evenings. Unfortunately, there can also be many days that are cold, cloudy, wet and windy - in other words, just plain nasty!
Generally, the first killing frosts occur between the first and middle part of the month - though it's certainly not extraordinary to get a rogue frost in the middle to later part of September. And, more often than not, at least some parts of Central New York will record the first measurable snowfall of the season. Unfortunately, even a two or three inch snowfall in late October can be a problem as it's often very wet and sticks to the leaves of many trees that have not fallen!
Most gardeners, including myself, wouldn't mind a bit if it stayed mild and comfortable throughout this month. Our lawns, landscapes and gardens, however, really need the gradual decline in temperatures (from an average high of 66°F and low of 45°on the first, to about 54° and 36° on the 31st) and daylight (11 hours and 45 minutes on the first, to a little over ten hours on the 31st) to trigger the acclimation process that will result in their achieving their maximum cold hardiness by the time really bitter winter weather arrives.
To avoid disrupting this acclimation process, do not prune trees or shrubs in your landscape and don't fertilize your lawn in October!