Looking back on a very rainy September

Weather 101

September is in the rearview now, and the data is in the books! It was a wet month for all of us, but some racked up truly impressive numbers. It was a top-10 month for rain in parts of Western New England!

Albany got off to a very active start, with 1.42″ of rain recorded on 9/1. That would end up being the rainiest day of September, though not by much – 1.39″ fell on 9/24. Even though a quick hitting shower passed through downtown Albany on the 30th, no rain was measured at the airport where the official measurements are taken. Our monthly total wound up at 5.30″ – well above the average of 3.73″ and enough to place us within the top 20% of Septembers on record.

Not to be outdone, Pittsfield kicked off the month with an even 2″ of rain on 9/1. Their overall total wound up being 6.51″ – good for their 9th rainiest September. Even though it was a top 10 month for precipitation, it was nowhere near the record. A whopping ten and a half inches fell there back in 1938!

Bennington was among the rainiest places in our area, with the final total coming to 6.88″ on the month! That means it was the 2nd rainiest September on record there, beat only by the 7.42″ that fell in 2015. It’s important to note, however, that records in Bennington only go back to the late 1990’s. That’s a much smaller sample size than Albany (records back to the late 1800’s) or Pittsfield (1920’s) and it’s likely that this month wouldn’t have placed as high if more historical data had been available.

Still – it was a lot of rain. It might be surprising then to find that parts of northern Vermont are actually experiencing moderate drought conditions! Even parts of New York’s North Country are running abnormally dry.

It’s not for lack of rain in the month of September. Places like Burlington and Plattsburgh wound up with a little over 3 inches of rain, which is near average for both locations. Rather, these areas were especially dry at times during the summer and spring, and just haven’t seen enough rain since then to make up for it.

In terms of temperature – most everybody wound up warmer than average. Glens Falls and Bennington were over a degree above the baseline, while Poughkeepsie and Pittsfield were a full 2° above.

The notable exception is Albany, where the average temperature at the airport came in 1.3° below normal. This is likely due to a cold bias in the thermometer there, an issue that has been ongoing since July of last year. On September 29th, the National Weather Service finally replaced that instrument. We expect that in the coming months the data from Albany International Airport will begin to show more consistency with surrounding areas. Data from the PRISIM Climate Group at Oregon State University shows that nearly the entire Northeast saw average temperatures 1-5° above normal.

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