A month of Transition

By Russell Russ

September truly was a month of transition. It began right where August left off, with warm temperatures and very dry conditions. Then, during the last week of the month, our weather pattern changed. In came the rain. Two big storms pumped in moisture from as far south as Florida and dumped record amounts of rain throughout the Northeast U.S. Parts of Connecticut, Norfolk included, picked up some impressive rain totals.

The month’s high temperature of 89 degrees was observed on September 2 and our low temperature of 38 degrees was observed on September 21. Norfolk flirted with record high temperatures during the first few days of the month and did set a new record for September 24 with a high temperature of 83, beating the old record of 81 set for this date in 1937. There were reports of scattered frost in the area during the morning of September 21, but no frost was observed at the weather station or in areas near it. The average mean temperature this month was 62.4 degrees, 3.7 degrees above normal. It was Norfolk’s fifth warmest September in the last 79 years. Four of the five warmest Septembers on record have occurred in the last ten years.

The official precipitation total recorded for the month was 3.36 inches, or 1.30 inches below normal. Determining final totals for September was difficult because heavy rains fell during the last day of the month. The National weather Service will record the total as 3.36 inches, but taking into account the rain that fell September 30 between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight, the total was 4.91 inches.

September’s lack of rain nearly set a record through the 27th. Then the rains came. A good eighty percent of the monthly rain came during the last four days of the month. About forty percent of the monthly rain came between 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on September 30. The rains continued into early October. October will have some serious rain totals. As of September 30, 2010, the yearly precipitation total stands at 37.15 inches, which is 1.87 inches below normal. October figures will most certainly bring us back to above normal levels for the year.