Best of Weather: October

Weather Watch - Ed Buckner

The term “best of” is highly subjective. Maybe the word “favorite” is more appropriate when discussing everyone’s preferred weather month. We have award shows that recognize the “best” movies, music, plays and actors but I don’t think I’ve never seen a poll that determines the most popular time of the year. I’d be interested to know your pick, so if you get a chance, post on my THV11 Facebook page your favorite season or month of the year.

As for me, I’d vote for October hands down! For those of you who prefer sledding in knee deep snow during the winter, the new life spring brings or relaxing at the lake in the heat of summer, allow me to plead my case.

Let’s start with defining the phrase or concept of “best weather.” I think most of us would agree, low humidity, abundant sunshine, and pleasant temps – not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, but just right – would constitute a “best” scenario.

This describes October perfectly. Other than the occasional cold front or tropical system, rain is usually on the lower side, and since the sun is at a lower angle, the rare warm spells don’t last long. The record high temperature for October is 98 degrees set on October 15, 2015, and the lowest temperature is 27 degrees recorded on October 30, 1917. Remember, these are the extremes. An average high of 75 and low of 53, combined with low humidity, makes for a very comfortable environment and Ed a happy camper (not literally, I’m from Houston – I don’t camp).

Sometimes in the course of weatherman conversation, “What’s your favorite season?” comes up. Most people do say fall, with spring running a close second. Spring is a lovely time of year with budding trees and blooming flowers, along with sneezing, watery eyes, post-nasal drip and a tornado every other day (written with sarcasm).

If Arkansans are fortunate enough to get the right amount of rain, lots of sunshine and some cool nights heading into fall, then the October fall foliage will be especially beautiful. This is just another reason to love fall; not to mention football season, Arkansas State Fair and pumpkin everything! Here’s one of my favorite pumpkin recipes given to me by my neighbor, and since we are all Saline County neighbors, I’ll share it with you. Enjoy!

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies


1 cup shortening
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped dates

Caramel Frosting:

½ cup butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
¼ cup of 2% milk
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar


In a large bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans and dates.

Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, for frosting combine the butter, brown sugar and milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in maple flavoring and vanilla.

Cool slightly; beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to achieve spreading consistency. Remove cookies to wire racks; frost while warm. Makes 6-7 dozen.