Nine states report record warmth
September 2015 delivered above average temperatures across most of the contiguous 48 states, with nine states — including Colorado — reporting record warmth for the month, according to the latest State of the Climate update from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.
After tallying up the numbers, the federal climate experts said it was the second-warmest September on record, lagging behind only 1998. The average temperature across the lower 48 states was 68.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which 3.7 degrees above the 20th century average.
According to the report, record and near-record warmth was observed across most of the country, wth 30 states reporting September temperatures that were much above average. Connecticut, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin – were record warm.
Near average temperatures across the Northwest brought a bit of relief to a region that baked all summer long, and the Southeast was also marked by near average readings, while Alaska was cooler than average.
September ended up drier than average, but there were pockets of above-average precipitation, notably in parts of the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. Below-average precipitation was observed across the Central Rockies, Southern Plains, and the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Arkansas had its 11th driest September on record.
Drought conditions worsened across parts of the Northeast. In the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi River Valley, Extreme Drought (D3) expanded due to the warm and dry month. Precipitation was spotty across the West with long-term drought conditions continuing to plague the region.
For the the year to date, the average temperature across the U.S. was 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, ranking the January through September readings as the eigth-warmest on record. Above-average temperatures were observed in the West and Southeast. Overall, 13 states, including Alaska, were much warmer than average. California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington were each record warm with temperatures more than 4.0°F above the 20th century average.
Year-to-date precipitation across the lower 48 states stands at 1.03 inches above average, making it the 32d-wettest year to day on record. Above-average precipitation was observed across the central US, where Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas were much wetter than average. No state was record wet for the year-to-date.
Read NOAA’s monthly update at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201509