September has been averaging very warm this year and will continue this trend for the upcoming week. Thus far the average temperature is running nearly 6 degrees above average and if this pace continued we could near the record warm September if 1983 when the average for the month was over 70 degrees. That year’s warmth was warmer than 17 Julys and about 40 Augusts in the record book. In other words, this year our back to school month is more like summer than is typically the case.
Dry and Warm
After some showers today, the weather steadily becomes warmer and drier the rest of the week and we could end up near record territory by the upcoming weekend. This is another stellar vacation week.
It’s also been dry. I know it’s rained a bit over the past few days and some of you received a lot of rain, but on average it’s been quite dry.
Still Would Like Some Rain
If you look at September’s rainfall, not including the past couple of days, most of New England is running a significant deficit. When it comes to rainfall, it’s really better to widen out the time period to get a better picture of the pattern.
If I review the precipitation totals during the growing season of March through August the situation remains the same, drier than average.
Two Years Of Data
Looking at the past two years, from September 2013 through this weekend we continue to see the same story of a drier than average weather from central Maine south through Connecticut and into New York. While the averages are on the dry side, for most areas the rainfall deficit isn’t at a critical stage. Interestingly, one exception is much of Connecticut, where some areas are running at nearly 50% of average precipitation. This is a major drought and similar to the widespread drought of the early 1960s in parts of New England.
Frost-free October Possible
Although I am forecasting a continuation of the warm weather through September and even October, summer temperatures were very close to average. Remember, we didn’t have much warmth until the final half of August and this wasn’t enough to change the previous 10 weeks.
The long rain temperature forecasts from several models, including the one below keeps the overall warm pattern going right through October. This could mean an entire month without a frost for much of southern and coastal New England and a growing season which continues long past the average first frost dates of fall.
Quiet Tropics For Now
Hurricane season remains quite in the Atlantic basin and although we have passed the peak of the season, it doesn’t mean things can’t become active during the rest of the fall. There have been plenty of years when hurricanes have threatened and impacted New England well into October. Ocean water temperatures continue to be warm off our coasts and any storm that did make it this far north would have some ocean energy to sustain it. Notice on the map below how the water is even comparatively warm in the Gulf of Maine.
Speaking of warmth, the waters across the Pacific and Atlantic are both averaging significantly (statistically) above average. El Nino included, there is a lot of potential heat being put into the atmospheric system and this will no doubt have impact on the winter weather.
El Nino, while forecast to become quite strong, is also forecast to weaken quite rapidly in the late winter and into next spring. Summers following a strong El Nino are typically hotter than average in New England, more on that in the coming months.