September 30: Beautiful Start to October

As we wrap up the month of September, let’s look back at a truly weird month of weather.  September started off with cool and rainy conditions — through September 13, Nashville was 8.6° below-average, with almost 3 inches of rain.  Then, Mother Nature flipped the switch back to summer…from September 14 through 29, the high temperature exceeded 80° every single day, with nine of those days topping 90°.  Low temperatures were above 60° every day from September 14 through 28.  That two-week stretch of unusually warm weather was enough to completely erase the 8.6° deficit from early in the month — September 2017 will actually go into the record books as a slightly warmer-than-normal month (by 0.3°).  We only added up 0.68″ of rain in the second half of the month as well, a dry stretch that will carry over into at least the first several weeks of October.

Today was an absolutely spectacular day…the beautiful weather will continue into the second half of the weekend, and through much of the upcoming work week as well.  Temperatures tonight will drop down to low 50s:

We’ll warm up to the upper 70s, even near 80° Sunday afternoon:

A gradual warming trend will continue through midweek, with highs just above 80° on Monday, and into the low to mid 80s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:

Just a slight shower chance on the way Thursday, then a slightly better chance by Friday and Saturday.  By that point, we’ll need the rain — lawns across the Midstate are already getting rather crunchy.

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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1 Response to September 30: Beautiful Start to October

  1. Fred says:

    Awesome wrap-up, Paul! A few more highlights of the month now completed. Those first 13 days smashed a 125-year old record (1891) with ease, being 1.2 degrees cooler. Only one of them, the 4th, was exactly normal, the rest had temperature deficits. From 14th onward, every day, but the concluding one, showed temperature excess. If we divide the month in equal halves, for the sake of convenience, then September 2017’s first half was, still, the coolest ever, this time besting a record that stood for 114 years (1902) by exactly half a degree, which is significant. By contrast, the latter half of the month was the 7th-hottest of the 144 Septembers in the record books. Apparently, the ghost of September 1891 wasn’t merely disturbed but fully resurrected, helping to complete the most heroic comeback temperature-wise for the month of its name (the monthly average was 71.8, 0.2 degrees above the norm). Nashville hasn’t witnessed consecutive months of below-average temperature since January-February 2015, however, since that January was colder than normal in the academic sense only, one would have to go back to early 2014, which, actually, started off with 3 unequivocally colder months in a row, something that seems like an improbable event from a distant past. The last month yielded 9 90-degree days, one more than the June total, yet the first one didn’t arrive until the 17th, an unusual occurrence, to say the least. 2017 has now accumulated 55 such days, 7 more than the mean yearly value, yet way short of the 86 Nashville had recorded at this point last year. It’s worth noting that sub-90 Septembers, though not exactly rare, statistically, have become increasingly scarce: only 3 have been observed over the 36-year span (1982 till present), with just one in the last 21 years, namely 1994, 1996, 2009. Additionally, the remarkable September was also notable for the over-abundance of fair days, the first truly bright month of the year. As far as September records are concerned in this century, the 17 fair days (should’ve been 18, but I’m not the one responsible for the official count) of the past month tied 2010 for the second-most, one shy of 2005, which was exceptionally clear and sunny. To put this figure in context, one may consider that through first 8 months of 2017, Nashville had logged 43 such days, an admittedly low total, no month recording more than 8 (May and July). The only negative impact of this is an unsettling pattern that has emerged: it appears that when Louisiana and/or Texas take a savage beating from a hurricane or a catastrophic flood in August, Nashville gets to enjoy an unusually pleasant September. It happened in 2005, 2016 and this year. In 2010, no landfalls occurred in US, but it, likewise, had a very active hurricane season. Wonder if there’s data available to support the claim, or is this just a statistical phantom?

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