Can you believe it’s already September? What an incredible summer it has been.
The temperatures were some of the hottest we’ve seen in many years. Most days we had low to mid 90s. The rain, of course, was relentless, with afternoon storms on most days. Humidity was way up this summer. We were calling it “air you can wear.”
While the tropical air was in place most days, our tropical weather season was not even half as bad as forecasters thought it would be. Yes, we had Tropical Storm Fred that brought five confirmed tornadoes and 2-5 inches of rain, but as of press time, only one storm, impacting Mexico, would turn into a hurricane. September however, is a prime month for tropical waves coming off the west coast of Africa, to spin up into tropical systems with more frequency.
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers this month. The first day of fall is Wednesday, September 22. The Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere will occur at 3:20 p.m. The average high temperature in September is 86 degrees and the average low temperature is 67. The average monthly rainfall is 4.09 inches. All these numbers are based on the averages over the past 30 years.
I have been getting a great many questions about our upcoming winter weather. Based on what I am seeing, we will likely have another La Nina winter. La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, compared to El Niño, which is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. This changes our global wind patterns in such a way that it will likely give us another mild and fairly dry winter. A typical La Niña winter in the U.S. brings cold and snow to the Northwest and unusually dry conditions to most of the southern tier of the U.S., according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Of course, there are exceptions to these patterns during the season and it’s important to remember that no single weather event can be tied to either an El Niño or La Niña phase.
You should also keep in mind that other factors may influence the large-scale circulations and weather patterns, contributing to the climate variability for a particular period. One such factor is the Arctic Oscillation (AO). The AO is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuate between negative and positive phases. Positive phases tend to keep colder air closer to the high latitudes, while a negative phase usually means colder air is making surges farther southward. Such a difference in phase can contribute toward the difference between a snowy or rainy El Niño/La Niña for certain areas.
For the most part, I am forecasting warmer than average temperatures and below average rainfall with several shots of cold arctic air, mainly in late December through January.