September Climatological Overview

The last day of September is a good day to reflect the climate of the past month and to anticipate on what Mother Nature has in store for us. September has been warm this year. We tied a record temperature of 85F yesterday here at the Grand Forks International Airport at 3:33 pm. The previous record was set in 1943. Although we also warmed to 85F today, we were no where close to the 93F record high that was set in 1976.

Do you remember the hot days of summer when our thermometers topped 90F? The last time we recoreded a high temperature of 90F was on September 1. Sadly, we probably won’t see 90F again until 2013.

Preliminary results indicate that September last year was slightly warmer on average than this year. The reason is that the morning low temperatures this year have been a bit cooler due to the dry atmosphere we have been experiencing.

Speaking of dry, we have only had 10 days this month with precipitation, and most of those days we received only a trace of rainfall. We are currently experiencing extreme drought in the upper Red River Valley with only .20″ of rainfall this month. We have received only 13.78″ of precipitation this year which is 3.50″ less than our average of 17.28″ for this time of year. Last year we had two significant storms that provided 2.89″ of rainfall in September.

We continue to hope for a significant storm to provide a beneficial soaking before the ground freezes. There is a chance of precipitation with our next storm on Wednesday of this week, but it is a fast moving storm and it won’t produce enough rainfall to replenish the subsoil. However, it will provide us with colder air that will keep high temperatures in the 50′s for an extended period.

-Fred Remer

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