September Summary

Record heat, drought, and flooding rains - just a few of the things that we'll remember about September 2010.

As a meteorologist, I'll always remember the weather we had this September. It's not every month that brings periods of record heat, coupled with drought, followed by flooding. Looking over the numbers from McCormick Observatory at the University of Virginia shows just how abnormal this month really was. Let's start with the temperatures...

Simply put, September was a scorcher. Record highs came crashing down all over the place, especially toward the end of the month.

September 23rd: Tied record of 95 degrees (last set in 1980).

September 24th: Hit 97 degrees (breaking old record of 94 set in 2005).

September 25th: Hit 98 degrees (breaking old record of 95 set in 1933).

September 26th: Tied record of 95 degrees (last set in 1930).

An unbelievable 14 days out of the month reached or exceeded 90 degrees. Even more amazingly, we had 9 days featuring temperatures of 95 degrees or hotter. That broke the record for number of 95 degree days observed in any September on record. With all of the 90 degree heat in September, it brought our yearly number of 90 degree days up to 69 -- the highest number on record for any year.

Now let's talk about rain -- or the lack thereof for the first few weeks of the month. We were well on track to see the driest September on record, with the first three weeks of the month bringing us less than a tenth of an inch of rain. That all changed toward the end of the month as several systems brought significant rain to the region. We finished the month with a total of 5.05" of rain, which is above average! Interestingly, the last four days of the month featured more rain than had been recorded at McCormick over the previous 3 months! Hopefully October's weather won't be quite as extreme!


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