1st-6thLate-season heat helped to push late-developing Midwestern corn and soybeans toward maturity, but stressed immature summer crops from the southern Plains into the Southeast. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 5F above normal in parts of the eastern Plains and much of the East. In contrast, cool air settled across the northern Rockies and northern High Plains. Elsewhere, a few showers dotted the Rockies and the Southwest, but little or no rain fell from Oregon and California into the Great Basin. Heat accompanied the dry weather in California. Late season heat also spread into the Southeast, where daily record highs for September 2 included 101F in Richmond, VA, and 99F in Norfolk, VA, and

Columbia, SC. For Richmond, it was the hottest September day since 1954. In Norfolk, the only hotter September days occurred in 1895, when the high reached 100F on September 19 and 23. In addition, Norfolk’s only other September day with a high of 99F was September 11, 1983. At mid-week, another surge of heat pushed temperatures to daily record, triple-digit levels as far north as the central High Plains. On September 3, daily record highs soared to 102F in Tribune, KS, and 100F in Burlington, CO. Meanwhile, cooler air arrived in the Northwest, resulting in daily-record lows for September 4 in Pendleton, OR (44F), and Eureka, CA (46F). Cool conditions were short-lived, however, along the northern Pacific Coast, where highs soared to daily record levels in North Bend, OR (93F on September 5), and Seattle WA (90F on September 6).


7th-13thIn the northern Plains, cold conditions, and rain and snow showers accompanied a strong push of cold air. Weekly temperatures more than 10F below normal in the northern Plains. In contrast, hot weather lingered for several days in the Southeast and gradually intensified in the Far West, leading to above normal weekly temperatures. Widespread freezes were also noted across eastern Oregon and northern Minnesota. Low temperatures on September 13 dipped to 40F or below as far south as central sections of Illinois and Missouri. Elsewhere, dry weather accompanied late season heat in the Pacific Coast States, maintaining heavy irrigation demands and elevating the risk of wildfires.

Heat lingered through mid-week across the central and southern Plains, where Dodge City, KS, posted a daily record high of 100F on September 9. The following day in Texas, record-setting highs included 103F in Abilene and 101F in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Meanwhile, cold air surged across the northern Plains and interior Northwest. By September 11, daily record lows dipped to 24F in Meacham, OR, and 33F in Omak, WA. In western Montana, record setting lows for September 12 plunged to 7F in Wisdom; 13F in West Yellowstone; and 15F in Big Sky. Elsewhere, daily record lows for September 12 included 18F in Sheridan, WY; 24F in Pocatello, ID; and 31F in Chadron, NE. In Wisconsin, Rhinelander collected consecutive daily record lows of 29F on September 12-13. By September 13, lingering cold air led to daily record lows in locations such as International Falls, MN (25F); Mason City, IA (31F); McCook, NE (32F); and Russell, KS (34F). In contrast, record setting heat returned to parts of California, where daily-record highs for September 13 surged to 100F in El Cajon and 104F in downtown Sacramento.


14th-20thDry weather covered the mid-South into the Mid-Atlantic States. Meanwhile in the Midwest, early and late week showers interrupted an otherwise cool, dry weather. Gusty winds accompanied some of the late-week Midwestern showers. Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 5 to 10F below normal from the middle Mississippi Valley into the Northeast. Late-season warmth accompanied mostly dry conditions from the Pacific Coast to the northern and central High Plains. Weekly readings averaged at least 10F above normal across portions of the northern Intermountain.

Breezy conditions accompanied and trailed the Midwestern showers, with September 20 gusts in Minnesota clocked to 56 mph in Redwood Falls and 53 mph in St. Cloud. Very cool conditions lingered early in the week from the Plains and Midwest into the Northeast. On September 14, daily record lows included 38F in Moline, IL, and 42F in Ponca City, OK. Later, chilly weather returned in the wake of another cold front’s passage, with freezes and daily-record lows noted on September 19 in Northeastern locations such as Houlton, ME (25F); Massena, NY (28F); and St. Johnsbury, VT (29F). Caribou, ME, reported 8 consecutive days (September 13-20) with maximum temperatures below 60°F, breaking a September record (previously, 6 consecutive days in 1959). In contrast, triple-digit temperatures were common in parts of California and the Desert Southwest. Woodland Hills, CA, opened the week with consecutive daily-record highs of 107F on September 14-15. Similarly, Death Valley, CA, posted consecutive daily-record highs of 119F on September 15-16. Other triple-digit, daily record highs in California included 108F (on September 15) in Riverside; 104F (on September 15) in Fresno; and 103F (on September 16) in downtown Los Angeles. Later, heat spread farther inland, resulting in record-setting highs of 94F on September 17 in Salt Lake City, UT, and Pocatello, ID. Highs climbed to 92F, reaching daily-record levels, in Casper, WY (on September 18), and Sidney, NE (on September 19). At week’s end, heat also made a northward surge, boosting highs to daily record levels for September 20 in locations such as Medford, OR (100F), and Yakima, WA (89F).


21st-27…Along stretch of mild, mostly dry weather covered the Midwest. Midwestern showers were light and generally confined to the southwestern regions, weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10F above normal across the upper Midwest. Warm (5 to 15F above normal), dry conditions also dominated the northern Plains. Dry weather covered much of the South. However, northern California’s record-setting drought was barely dented by the rain, which temporarily boosted topsoil moisture and aided wildfire containment efforts.  Warmth spreading eastward from the Pacific Coast in advance of a cold front led to most of the daily-record highs. The parade of records began on September 24, when highs climbed to 92F in Missoula, MT; Ontario, OR; and Page, AZ. A day later, record-setting highs for September 25 surged to 97F in Miles City, MT, and Williston, ND. Page, AZ, set another daily record on September 25 with a high of 94°F. Worland, WY, set a trio of daily-record highs (89, 94, and 92F) from September 24-26. Rapid City, SD, notched a daily-record high of 95°F on September 26, little more than 2 weeks after the season’s first snowfall. At week’s end, warmth shifted into the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, resulting in daily-record highs for September 27 in locations such as Portland, ME (84F), and Marquette, MI (79F).


28th-30thEarly week warmth was most pronounced in New England. On September 28, daily-record highs included 87F in Hartford, CT, and 85F in Millinocket, ME. Warmth also extended westward across the nation’s northern tier, resulting in record-setting highs for September 28 in locations such as St. Cloud, MN (85F), and Sault Sainte Marie, MI (80F).. Earlier in the week, rainfall had spread from the West into the Midwest. Parts of California received some rain on September 28, when Fresno netted a daily-record total of 0.18 inch.

Jim G. Munley, jr.

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