For the first time in 17 months, the United States was cooler than average in October. Is global warming therefore a hoax? Yes, of course. Obviously.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration yesterday released its monthly overview of the country’s weather. The slightly cooler average temperature for October — 0.3 degrees F below the long-term average — was offset by the month’s closing out the warmest year-to-date on record. So far in 2012, the average temperature has been 58.4 degrees F — 3.4 degrees above average, and 1.1 degrees above the previous warmest year ever. Is global warming therefore a hoax? Yes, of course. Obviously.

NOAA.govClick to embiggen.

Meanwhile, the drought (remember the drought?) continues.

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The October 30, 2012 U.S. Drought Monitor showed 60.2 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing moderate-to-exceptional drought, less than the 64.6 percent at the beginning of October. Drought conditions improved across parts of the Midwest and Northeast, while drought conditions worsened across parts of the Northern Rockies.

Jeff ReidIt feels like forever since we’ve used a drought photo. I missed them.

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And that ongoing drought continues to affect agricultural production. From Reuters:

October is typically the third-wettest month for Texas, but instead last month was the ninth-driest October statewide since 1895, according to the Drought Monitor report issued weekly by a consortium of state and federal climatology experts.

Texas and Oklahoma both recorded above-normal temperatures and little or no rain. Kansas and Nebraska also saw drought expansion.

The persistent drought was hindering growth of the new winter wheat crop in those states, as soil moisture levels were too low to spur normal plant development. Grazing for livestock was also poor as pastures remained parched.

Does the ongoing drought and that thing about the livestock up there and some article I read at and my own personal bias mean that global warming is therefore a hoax? Yes, of course. Obviously.

This post is part of our November 2012 theme: Post-election hangover — whither the climate?