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Showers returned to the Southeast and increased in coverage and intensity across the northern High Plains and parts of the West. In the West, rain caused brought local drought relief, aided wildfire containment efforts. Elsewhere, showers were generally confined to the Northeast and areas along and near the Gulf Coast, with several locations in both regions receiving at least 2 to 4 inches of rain during the week. Early in the week, heavy rain soaked parts of the Northeast. Bangor, ME, received more than 2 inches of rain on each of the first 2 days of September, totaling 4.34 inches. Elsewhere in the Northeast, daily-record totals for September 2 included 2.82 inches in Providence, RI; 2.26 inches in
Portland, ME; and 1.89 inches in Philadelphia, PA. Meanwhile, locally heavy showers affected the West, where daily-record amounts reached 1.31 inches (on September 1)
in Tonopah, NV, and 0.49 inch (on September 3) in Boise, ID. Steadier rain fell in the Northwest, boosting weekly totals to 2.34 inches in Salem, OR, and 2.21 inches in Olympia, WA. In Arizona, Kingman received at least a trace of rain, totaling 1.97 inches, on 17 consecutive days from August 22 – September 7. Prior to this year, Kingman’s longest stretch with at least a trace of rain was 12 days from July 21 – August 1, 2007. Farther east, showers near the Gulf Coast resulted in daily-record totals for September 5 in locations such as Naples, FL (2.57 inches), and McAllen, TX (0.78 inch). Late in the
week, strong thunderstorms rolled across the nation’s northern tier. On September 5 in Montana, thunderstorm wind gusts were clocked to 62 mph in Great Falls and 56 in
Lewistown. It was the highest September wind gust in Great Falls since 1971, and the highest September gust on record in Lewistown (previously, 55 mph on September 16, 1998). With a 1.64-inch total on September 6, Cut Bank, MT, experienced its second-wettest September day on record behind 1.92 inches on September 4, 1911.
Brief warmth was displaced by stormy conditions in Alaska. On September 1, King Salmon notched a daily-record high of 70F. The following day, Juneau (69F) collected a daily record high for September 2. Farther inland, McGrath received measurable rain on each day of the week, totaling 2.65 inches. McGrath also netted daily-record totals of 1.26
inches on September 1 and 0.86 inch on September 2. Similarly, Bethel’s weekly sum of 2.02 inches was aided by a daily-record total of 1.47 inches on September 1.
8th-14th…The interaction between the monsoon circulation and a cold front led to historically heavy rain and deadly flooding in parts of Colorado. Weekly rainfall totaled 6 to
18 inches or more at several locations along the eastern slopes of the central Rockies. Unusually heavy rain also soaked the remainder of the Four Corners States, as well as the central High Plains. Ironically, the High Plains rain provided much-needed drought relief. Showers also affected the Intermountain West, but little or no rain fell in the northern Rockies and the Pacific Coast States. Colorado’s rainfall led to record flooding in the South Platte River drainage basin. Along the main-stem South Platte River, a record crest was established in Kersey, CO, on September 14. The river climbed 8.79 feet above flood stage in Kersey, surpassing the May 1973 high-water mark by more than 7 feet. Closer to the Rockies, a record crest was broken along the Cache la Poudre River at Ft. Collins (4.06 feet above flood stage on September 13), surpassing the June 1965 standard. On September 13-14, the water level along the Big Thompson River at Drake, CO, exceeded the crest observed in that location during the historic flood of July 31, 1976. From September 9-15, official rainfall totals in Colorado included 5.26 inches in Burlington and 4.65 inches in Denver. Burlington also experienced its wettest day on record (4.32 inches on September 12), surpassing the standard of 4.00 inches set on October 19, 1908. Similarly, Goodland, KS, received 6.15 inches during the 7-day period, assisted by a 4.11-inch deluge on September 12. It was Goodland’s second-wettest day on record, behind only 4.15 inches on June 28, 1989. Meanwhile in Wyoming, 5.79 inches pelted Cheyenne during the 7-day period ending September 15. In addition, Cheyenne’s month-to-date rainfall climbed to 6.20 inches, easily surpassing its September 1973 standard of 4.52 inches. Farther south, Guadalupe Pass, TX, netted 8.37 inches of rain from September 9-15. During the same period, totals in New Mexico included 4.04 inches in Clayton, 3.43 inches in Roswell, and 3.14 inches in Albuquerque. With a 2.82-inch sum on September 11, Roswell endured its second-wettest September day behind 3.37 inches on September 27, 1958. In Douglas, AZ, monsoon-season rainfall climbed to 16.24 inches, shattering its record of 15.90 inches set from June 15 – September 30, 1964. In Las Vegas, NV, measurable rain fell on 5 consecutive days from September 8-12, breaking its September record of 3 days. Elsewhere, locally heavy showers dotted southern parts of Texas and Florida, as well as portions of the nation’s northern tier. Daily-record totals included 2.56 inches (on September 9) in Sault Sainte Marie, MI; 2.41 inches (on September 13) in Harlingen, TX; 1.87 inches (on September 8) in Dickinson, ND; and 1.23 inches (on September 12) in Caribou, ME.
15th-21st…Heavy rain lingered early in the week in parts of Colorado, but mostly dry weather thereafter allowed flood recovery efforts to progress. However, a record-setting flood crest on the South Platte River coursed through northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska, inundating some agricultural lowlands. Meanwhile, the tropical plume of moisture partially responsible for Colorado’s flooding shifted eastward in advance of a cold front. As a result, 1 to 3 inch rainfall totals were common along and east of a Wisconsin-to-Texas line. Even heavier rain, locally 4 inches or more, curtailed fieldwork but eased drought from central and eastern Texas to the Mississippi Delta. Wet weather also affected southern Florida. Elsewhere, generally dry weather across the Southwest and the northwestern half of the Plains contrasted with scattered showers from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Flooding rains persisted early in the week in parts of Colorado, where Colorado Springs netted a daily-record total (1.53 inches) on September 15. Colorado Springs’ 7-day (September 10-16) rainfall climbed to 3.90, while the cooperative observation site in Boulder, CO, received 16.69 inches of rain during the first half of September. Boulder’s previous wettest month had been May 1995, when 9.59 inches fell. According to emergency operations reports, Colorado’s flooding claimed seven lives, destroyed nearly 1,900 homes, and damaged more than 16,000 others. Meanwhile, month-to-date precipitation climbed to 6.22 inches in Cheyenne, WY, nearly all of which
(5.80 inches) fell from September 9-16. Prior to this year, Cheyenne’s wettest September had occurred in 1973, when 4.52 inches fell. In Nebraska, a record-setting crest on the South Platte River passed Roscoe (3.20 feet above flood stage) on September 20, and arrived 3 days later in North Platte (1.36 feet above flood stage). The Platte River at Brady, NE, crested 3.23 feet above flood stage on September 23, surpassing the May 1973 high water mark by more than a foot. As the week progressed, heavy rain began to shift eastward. North Platte, NE, collected a daily-record rainfall (2.82 inches) on September 15, followed the next day by a record-setting total of 1.44 inches in Borger, TX.
Later, South Bend, IN (3.44 inches on September 19), experienced its 11th-wettest calendar day on record. Also on September 19, daily-record totals reached 2.58 inches in Kansas City, MO, and 2.43 inches in San Angelo, TX. The following day, record-breaking amounts for September 20 reached 6.35 inches in Texarkana, AR, and 2.33 inches in Cincinnati, OH. In Pine Bluff, AR, where 4.26 inches fell on the 20th, it was the wettest September day since 1886. By September 21, additional daily-record totals included 3.80 inches in Jackson, MS; 2.79 inches in Buffalo, NY; 2.74 inches in Charlotte, NC; and 2.68 inches in Huntsville, AL. Late-week precipitation also fell in the Northwest, where daily-record amounts for September 21 reached 1.22 inches in Redding, CA, and 0.56 inch in
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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