National Overview - September 2014
NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.
Maps and Graphics
Temperature and Precipitation Ranks
U.S. Percentage Areas
Major climate events NOAA is closely monitoring:
- Persisting drought in parts of the West: Heavy precipitation during September improved short-term drought conditions across the Southwest. Along the Pacific Coast, precipitation was insufficient to significantly improve drought conditions, with drought still impacting all of California. The long-term drought conditions across the region will continue to impact water resources and agriculture and increase wildfire risk. More information is available from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
- El Niño still probable later this year: According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there is a 2-in-3 chance of at least a weak El Niño developing during the next 1-2 months and lasting into spring 2015. El Niño conditions could impact temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States. More information is available from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
- Transition to the cold season: September marks the end of the warm season for the United States, and over the next month freezing temperatures will bring an end to the growing season for most locations. Freezing temperatures typically impact high-elevation and northern locations first and expand southward as autumn progresses.
Supplemental September 2014 Information
- Year-to-date temperature evolution for select U.S. cities
- Year-to-date precipitation evolution for select U.S. cities
- January-September records and near records
- September temperature extremes
- First freeze dates
- Climate Highlights — September
- The September national temperature was 66.2°F, 1.3°F above average. This ranked as the 26th warmest September in the 120-year period of record. The average maximum (daytime) September temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 78.3°F, 0.5°F above the 20th century average, ranking near the median value in the 120-year period of record. The average minimum (nighttime) September temperature was 54.1°F, 2.2°F above the 20th century average, the eighth warmest on record.
- Locations from the Rockies westward were warmer than average during September. California, Nevada, and Utah each had one of the 10 warmest Septembers on record. Much of the East Coast was also warmer than average. Near- to below-average temperatures were observed across much of the Plains and the Midwest. Crops continued to mature at a slower than average rate throughout the Northern Plains and Corn Belt. Early freeze conditions across parts of the Northern Plains ended the growing season earlier than average.
- The September precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.58 inches, 0.09 inch above average — ranking near the median value in the 120-year period of record.
- The near-average September precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. masked regional extremes. The Southwest was much wetter than average, where enhanced monsoonal flow and the remnants of Hurricanes Norbert and Odile brought an abundance of moisture to the region. Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah each had a top 10 wet September. Parts of the Northern Plains were also wetter than average, where heavy rain caused flooding and record monthly precipitation at a few locations in western South Dakota and Nebraska.
- Much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were drier than average, where Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont each had one of the 10 driest Septembers on record.
- On September 7th and 8th, a plume of moisture associated with the remnants of Hurricane Norbert brought heavy rain to the Desert Southwest. Locations around Phoenix, Arizona received over six inches of precipitation. The Phoenix Sky Harbor airport received 3.30 inches of rain in a seven-hour period on the 8th breaking the record for the rainiest calendar day in Phoenix since records began in 1895. The deluge caused massive flash flooding and the high water forced the closure U.S. Highway 60 and Interstate 10 in Phoenix.
- On September 10th and 11th, an early season snow storm and blast of cold air brought snow to parts of the Northern Rockies and Plains. Several locations in the Black Hills of South Dakota set new records for earliest date of snowfall greater than 1.0 inch including Mount Rushmore which received 8.1 inches of snow and Rapid City which received 1.6 inches.
- According to the September 30th U.S. Drought Monitor report, 30.6 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down from 32.8 percent at the beginning of the month. Drought conditions improved across the Southwest, Great Basin, Central Plains, and southern Georgia, while conditions worsened in parts of the Southern Plains, Southeast, and the Northeast. Abnormally dry conditions developed in the Mid-Atlantic region. Drought continued to impact California and Nevada, with nearly 100 percent of both states in moderate-to-exceptional drought.
- Alaska was warmer and slightly wetter than average during September. The state had its 11th warmest September in its 1918-2014 record, with a temperature 2.5°F above the 1971-2000 average. Locations in western Alaska were notably warm; Cold Bay had its warmest September on record. Alaska's September precipitation total was 9.0 percent above the 1971-2000 average.
- The end of September was notably warm for Hawaii, with several daily and monthly temperature records broken. On September 26th, the temperature at Hilo reached 93°F, besting the previous warmest September temperature record for the city set on September 21, 1951. This was also 1°F shy of the all-time warmest temperature on record at Hilo, which occurred in November 2013.
- On the daily scale during September, there were 4,285 record warm daily high (1,091) and low (3,194) temperature records and 2,869 record cold daily high (2,122) and low (747) temperature records.
- Climate Highlights — warm season (April — September)
- The contiguous U.S. warm season temperature was 65.7°F, 0.6°F above average. This ranked as the 36th warmest April-September on record. The average maximum (daytime) warm season temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 78.1°F, 0.2°F above the 20th century average, ranking near the median value in the 120-year period of record. The average minimum (nighttime) warm season temperature was 53.3°F, 1.1°F above the 20th century average, the 17th warmest on record.
- Much of the West and the East Coast were warmer than average during the April-September period. California had its warmest April-September on record with an average temperature of 70.0°F, 3.3°F above average. This bested the previous record set just last year by 0.6°F. Oregon had its second warmest warm season, Washington its third warmest, and Nevada its ninth warmest. On the East Coast, Florida had its tenth warmest April-September on record. Central locations in the U.S., stretching from the Rockies to the Midwest, had near to below average warm season temperatures. No state had a top 10 cold April-September.
- The contiguous U.S. precipitation total during the warm season was 17.69 inches, 1.45 inches above the 20th century average, the 19th wettest on record.
- Much of the Lower-48 had a wetter-than-average April-September, including the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northern Rockies and Plains, Midwest, and parts of the Southeast and Northeast. The Upper Midwest was particularly wet, where Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin each had one of the 10 wettest warm seasons on record. Below-average precipitation was scattered across the West, Southern Plains, Ohio Valley, and southern New England.
- The warm season U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) was slightly below average. The components that were much above average during the six-month period included the spatial extent of extremes in warm minimum temperatures and one-day precipitation extremes. On the regional scale, the West had its second highest CEI for the warm season at 165 percent above average. This near-record high CEI in the West as driven by warm daytime and nighttime temperatures and the spatial extent of drought (all of which were record high). The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (falling in the upper or lower 10 percent of the record) in temperature, precipitation, drought and land-falling tropical cyclones across the contiguous U.S.
- Based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index (REDTI), the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during April-September was 33 percent below average and the 25th lowest in the 1895-2014 period of record.
- Climate Highlights — year-to-date (January — September)
- The January-September contiguous U.S. temperature was 55.3°F. This was 0.2°F above the 20th century average, but also marked the coldest first nine months of a year since 1996. The West continued to be much warmer than average, where six states had a top 10 warm year-to-date. California was record warm for January-September, with a temperature 4.1°F above its 20th century average. The East was cooler than average, particularly the Midwest and the Mississippi River Valley, where January-September 2014 was among the 10 coldest such periods in nine states. No state was record cold.
- The year-to-date average maximum (daytime) temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 67.4° F, 0.1°F above average. This ranked near the median value in the 120-year period of record, but was the coldest since 1997. The average minimum (nighttime) temperature was 43.1°F, 0.2°F above the 20th century average, also ranking near the median value.
- The year-to-date national precipitation total was 23.67 inches, 0.47 inch above the 20th century average. Above-average precipitation spanned the northern tier states, where Wisconsin had its ninth wettest year-to-date. Below-average precipitation was observed in parts of the West, Southern Plains, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast.
- The USCEI for the January-September period was the 19th highest in the 105-year period of record at 35 percent above average. The elevated year-to-date USCEI value was partially due to extremes in both warm and cool daily maximum and minimum temperatures, reflecting the dominant warm-west/cold-east pattern entrenched throughout the year. The component that examines extremes in one-day precipitation totals was also above average.
- Based on REDTI, the contiguous U.S. temperature-related energy demand during January-September was 27 percent above average and the 30th highest in the 1895-2014 period of record.
**A comparison of the national temperature departure from average as calculated by NCDC's operational dataset (nClimDiv), the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), and the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) is available on our National Temperature Index page.**
Alaska Temperature and Precipitation:
- Alaska had its 11ᵗʰ warmest September since records began in 1918, with a temperature 2.46°F (1.37°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 8ᵗʰ warmest July-September since records began in 1918, with a temperature 1.78°F (0.99°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 3ʳᵈ warmest January-September since records began in 1918, with a temperature 3.53°F (1.96°C) above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 33ʳᵈ wettest September since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 9.03% above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 27ᵗʰ wettest July-September since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 16.76% above the 1971-2000 average.
- Alaska had its 42ⁿᵈ wettest January-September since records began in 1918, with an anomaly that was 9.58% above the 1971-2000 average.
- Northeast Region: (Information provided by the Northeast Regional Climate Center)
- September brought warmer-than-normal temperatures back to the Northeast. The region's average temperature of 61.4 degrees F (16.3 degrees C) was 0.7 degrees F (0.4 degrees C) above normal. In terms of departure from normal, Rhode Island was the warmest state. It was 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) warmer than normal, making it the 16th warmest September since recordkeeping began. Departures for the rest of the states ranged from 1.3 degrees F (0.7 degrees C) above normal in Connecticut and Delaware to 0.4 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) above normal in Vermont.
- The Northeast was quite dry in September. The region received 1.91 inches (48.51 mm) of rain, 48 percent of normal, making it the 7th driest September since 1895. Eight of the twelve Northeast states ranked this September among their top 13 driest. Rhode Island saw only 21 percent of normal rainfall, making it the 2nd driest September on record. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine had their 6th driest September with 30 percent of normal, 33 percent of normal, and 39 percent of normal, respectively. New Hampshire saw 39 percent of normal rainfall and Vermont saw 45 percent of normal, making it the 7th driest September for both states. At 43 percent of normal, Pennsylvania had its 11th driest September, while New York had its 13th driest at 53 percent. Maryland wrapped up the month at 59 percent of normal, followed by New Jersey at 62 percent and West Virginia at 63 percent. Delaware saw 89 percent of normal rainfall in September.
- At the start of September, 6 percent of the Northeast was abnormally dry. Those areas included parts of eastern West Virginia, southeastern New York, and southern New England. Conditions deteriorated throughout the month. By month's end, Delaware was the only state without abnormally dry conditions, and moderate drought had been introduced in southern New England and southeastern New York. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released on October 2, 31 percent of the Northeast was abnormally dry, while 4 percent of the region was experiencing moderate drought. Many southern New England waterways were running very low, with streamflows at 10 percent of normal or less. In fact, provisional USGS data (from September 30) showed that a few waterways were at record or near-record low levels. Municipalities issued water conservation alerts due to low reservoirs, and crops and pastures needed to be irrigated due to dry soil conditions.
- On September 2, severe weather struck parts of the region. In Upstate New York, two EF-1 tornadoes and straight-line winds damaged trees and buildings. Straight-line winds also caused damage in central Vermont, and a funnel cloud was spotted in central Pennsylvania. In southern West Virginia, heavy rain flooded roads and basements. A few days later, on the 6th, straight-line winds downed numerous trees, some of which fell on homes and cars, in southern Maine and northern Massachusetts. Golf ball-size hail was reported in southeastern New York, and flash flooding occurred in parts of West Virginia.
- For more information, please go to the Northeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Midwest Region: (Information provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center)
- September temperatures averaged close to normal but were generally cooler than normal in the first half of the month and then warmer than normal in the last week of September. The departures from normal for the month ranged from 2 degrees F (1 C) below normal in a large area in the middle of the Midwest to near normal in the areas to the south, east, and northwest. Year-to-date temperatures, January to September, remained among the coolest ten percent on record for the region as a whole and for seven of the nine states. The region ranked as the 6th coolest in 120 years of records while Illinois and Indiana also ranked 6th, Wisconsin 7th, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri 8th, and Ohio 11th. Just outside the coolest 10 percent was Minnesota at 14th and Kentucky at 17th.
- September precipitation varied in both time and location across the Midwest in September. Some large rainfall events affected parts of the region before widespread dryness spread across the Midwest in the latter part of the month. Rainfall totals of up to 150 percent of normal stretched from east central Minnesota to northern lower Michigan. Another swath of above normal rainfall, nearly 200 percent of normal in central Illinois, stretched from Iowa and northern Missouri to the western shore of Lake Erie. The remaining areas in the region were below normal with some areas in Ohio, Kentucky, and Minnesota reporting less than half of their normal September rainfall totals.
- Drought was not much of an issue in the Midwest in September. The month began with less than two percent of the region in drought and ended with less than one percent in drought.
- Harvest was underway in the Midwest with some good and bad news. On the plus side, corn and soybean conditions were reported to be very much skewed towards good and excellent conditions while much less of the crops were in very poor or poor condition. Statewide corn condition ranged from 65 to 86 percent in good or excellent and only 2 to 15 percent in very poor or poor condition. Likewise, statewide soybean condition reported 61 to 78 percent in good to excellent condition while just 4 to 13 percent fell in the very poor or poor categories. Pasture was also in good condition for this time of year. On the negative side, the percentage of corn and soybean crops that had been harvested was behind the 5-year average in all nine Midwest states. First fall freezes were reported scattered across Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa between the 11th and 20th of the month.
- For details on the weather and climate events of the Midwest, see the weekly summaries in the Midwest Climate Watch page.
- Southeast Region: (Information provided by the Southeast Regional Climate Center)
- Mean temperatures in September were near average across much of the Southeast region. Due to a persistence of cloudy conditions, mean daily maximum temperatures were 1 to 2 degrees F (0.6 to 1.1 degrees C) below average, and mean daily minimum temperatures were 2 to 4 degrees F (1.1 to 2.2 degrees C) above average from northern Florida to Virginia. The mean daily minimum temperature for Athens, GA (1898–2014) tied for the third warmest month of September on record. In contrast, mean monthly temperatures were as much as 3 degrees F (1.7 degrees C) above average across central and northern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and western North Carolina. Mean monthly temperatures were near average in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during September. The warmest weather occurred during the first two days of the month, as the Bermuda High was displaced westward over the Southeast. Daily maximum temperatures reached the middle to upper 90s (30s C) across all states in the region; in fact, Richmond, VA (1871–2014) recorded a maximum temperature of 101 degrees F (38.3 degrees C) on the 2nd, which tied for the fourth warmest day beyond September 1st. The coolest weather of the month occurred from the 23rd to the 25th, as an unusually strong and expansive wedge of high pressure developed east of the Appalachian Mountains. Daily mean temperatures were 8 to 12 degrees F (4.4 to 6.7 degrees C) below average over a broad portion of the region, including northern Florida, central and southern Georgia, South Carolina, and areas of North Carolina and Virginia to the east of the mountains.
- Similar to August, precipitation was highly variable across the Southeast during the month of September. The driest locations were found across southern Florida, central and northern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and central Virginia. Central and northern Alabama was especially dry, with Montgomery (1948–2014) and Huntsville (1937–2014) recording only 0.62 and 0.49 inches (15.7 and 12.4 mm) of precipitation, which was about 15 and 13 percent of normal during September, respectively. In contrast, the wettest locations were found across central Florida, southwestern Georgia, and coastal portions of the Carolinas and Virginia. Several frontal boundaries stalled off of the Atlantic coast during month, and, as a result, various coastal locations recorded an unusually high frequency of days with measureable precipitation, including Miami, FL (1895–2014; 23 days), Charleston, SC (1938–2014; 18 days), and New Bern, NC (1948–2014; 17 days). Daytona Beach, FL (1923–2014) observed its wettest month on record for September and fourth wettest month all time, with 18.15 inches (461 mm) of precipitation. This monthly precipitation total is about 260 percent above normal for September. Similar to August, flash flooding locally impacted portions of the region, particularly Florida and the Carolinas. Lake City, FL received 4.60 inches (117 mm) of precipitation on the 7th, resulting in widespread flooded roads and residences. The total monthly precipitation of 6.44 inches (164 mm) was near average for San Juan, PR (1898–2014). The Virgin Islands were exceptionally dry, with St. Thomas (1953–2014) recording only 1.75 inches (44.5 mm) of precipitation, which is about 30 percent of normal for September.
- There were a total of 120 severe weather reports across the Southeast during September, with about 91 percent of these reports corresponding to damaging thunderstorm winds. On September 7th, thunderstorm downburst winds estimated between 70 and 80 mph destroyed six airplanes at the Henry County Airport near Hampton, GA. Only two tornadoes were confirmed across the region during the month. On the 7th, a weak EF-0 tornado touched down near the town of Vance in Orangeburg County, SC, resulting in substantial roof damage to a mobile home. The next day, an EF-2 tornado touched down near the town of Greenevers in Duplin County, NC. Two manufactured homes and one single-family home were heavily damaged or destroyed, and one minor injury was reported in the single-family home. On the 16th of the month, multiple large waterspouts were spotted over the Santa Rosa Sound near Navarre Beach, FL, but no damage or injuries were reported. Similar to August, several people were injured by lightning strikes, including two roofers who required hospitalization in Marietta, GA on the 2nd and a landscape worker who was knocked unconscious in Broward County, FL on the 6th.
- Little change in drought conditions was noted for the Southeast region during September. While approximately 91 percent of the region remained drought-free (less than D1), there were minor changes in drought conditions on a more localized scale, particularly in central Alabama and southwestern Georgia. Areas of moderate drought (D1) expanded substantially across central Alabama, and severe drought (D2) conditions were introduced in Clay and Tallapoosa Counties in the east-central part of the state. Overall, areas of moderate drought (D1) or greater in Alabama increased in coverage from 10 percent on the 2nd to 27 percent on the 30th. Conversely, the areal coverage of moderate-to-severe drought (D1-D2) conditions in southwestern Georgia decreased in coverage. However, rainfall near the end of the month in this region delayed the harvesting of peanut and cotton crops by at least two weeks.
- For more information, please go to the Southeast Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- High Plains Region: (Information provided by the High Plains Regional Climate Center)
- September temperatures were largely near normal across the High Plains Region. While most average temperatures were within 2.0 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) of normal, there were a few warmer spots. A large area of western Colorado and a few pockets of southern Wyoming had temperature departures of 3.0-4.0 degrees F (1.7-2.2 degrees C) above normal. Alamosa, Colorado, located in the south-central part of the state, had its second warmest September on record with an average temperature of 58.7 degrees F (14.8 degrees C). The warmest September occurred with a temperature of 59.0 degrees F (15.0 degrees C) back in 1933 (period of record 1906-2014). Record yields are expected for both corn and soybean crops even though development was behind due to a cool, wet summer. Because of the conditions this summer, combined with late planting there is a higher risk for frost/freeze damage in the northern part of the High Plains Region. Freezing temperatures did impact late season crop development in some areas, however the overall impact has not been serious. Warmer temperatures prevailed at the last week of the month with departures ranging from 6.0-12.0 degrees F (3.3-6.7 degrees C) above normal for a large area extending from Kansas north through the Dakotas. These warm temperatures offered good harvest weather, aided row crop development in some parts, and helped with crop dry down in others.
- There were areas of extreme wetness and dryness this month across the High Plains Region. A large area of southern North Dakota, central and eastern South Dakota, and isolated pockets throughout the Region received at best 50 percent of normal precipitation. Wichita, Kansas was one dry location and only received 0.47 inches (12 mm), or 15 percent of normal precipitation. This ranked as the 6th driest September on record in Wichita. The driest September occurred back in 1956 with 0.03 inches (1 mm) (period of record 1888-2014). Areas receiving over 150 percent of normal precipitation included western Wyoming, central Kansas, parts of eastern Nebraska, and a large swath running from southwestern to northeastern Colorado up through eastern Wyoming, the panhandle of Nebraska, and western South Dakota. It was the wettest September on record in areas of the Black Hills with widespread precipitation totals of at least 200 percent of normal and isolated locations topping 300 percent of normal. Rapid City, South Dakota had its second wettest September on record with 3.17 inches (81 mm). This amount was 1.88 inches (48 mm) above normal, or 246 percent of normal precipitation. The record of 3.94 inches (100 mm) set back in 1946 held (period of record 1942-2014). An early season snowstorm brought the earliest recorded snow to the Black Hills this month. 1.6 inches (4 cm) fell at the Rapid City National Weather Service Office, while 8.1 inches (21 cm) fell at Mount Rushmore. That made this September the second snowiest for Mount Rushmore coming in just shy of the record of 8.3 inches (21 cm) set back in 1965 (period of record 1962-2014). Another wet location was Lincoln, Nebraska which had its 7th wettest September on record (period of record 1887-2014). A late month heavy rain event dropped 5.0-8.0 inches (127-203 mm) across the city during the day of the 30th and during the early morning hours of October 1. The September total for the Lincoln Municipal Airport was 6.89 inches (175 mm) (this total does not include the precipitation which fell on October 1). Flooding was an issue for roads, lakes, streams, and basements. According to the Omaha/Valley National Weather Service Office, this was a 1 in 200 year event. The past three months have all ranked in the top 10 for Lincoln with the city having its 7th driest July, 6th wettest August, and 7th wettest September. The heavy precipitation across the Region has led to much above normal to high flows in the Missouri River Basin. Long-term conditions have also impacted flow in the Basin. For instance, the Black Hills of South Dakota has been experiencing higher flows since the October 2013 blizzard, while lower flows were present along the Republican River, which has been experiencing long-term drought effects. Additionally, increased soil moisture conditions were present across much of Wyoming, the western Dakotas, the panhandle of Nebraska, western and northern Colorado, and eastern Nebraska. Meanwhile, eastern Kansas showed drier conditions.
- More improvements were in store this month as heavy rains impacted the High Plains Region. The total area in drought (D1-D4) dropped from 21 percent to 12 percent. Nebraska and Wyoming joined the Dakotas as the drought free states in the Region. At the end of the month, all drought was confined to Colorado and Kansas, however there were improvements in both states. Over the past month, Kansas went from 88 percent in drought to 46 percent in drought. The extreme drought conditions (D3) in the northwestern part of the state improved one category and only 2 percent of the state was left with D3. Many improvements were made in northern and eastern areas of the state as well. In Colorado, the main improvement was the removal of moderate drought conditions (D1) in the northwestern portion of the state. Drought in the southeastern part of the state remained about the same, although there were some improvements in the southwest corner of the state. According to the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook released September 18th, all drought conditions in the Region should improve or be removed.
- For more information, please go to the High Plains Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Southern Region: (Information provided by the Southern Regional Climate Center)
- September average temperatures did not vary much from normal over the Southern Region. Although some areas of central Mississippi did average between 3 and 5 degrees F (1.67 and 2.78 degrees C) above normal, most of the stations in the region averaged between 2 degrees F (1.11 degrees C) of the monthly average. All six state average temperature rankings fell within the middle two quartiles. The state wide average temperatures for the month are as follows Arkansas reported 72.60 degrees F (22.56 degrees C), Louisiana reported 78.20 degrees F (25.67 degrees C), Mississippi reported 76.40 degrees F (24.67 degrees C), Oklahoma reported 73.30 degrees F (22.95 degrees C), Tennessee deported 70.60 degrees F (21.44 degrees C), and Texas reported 76.40 F (24.67 degrees C).
- The month of September was a drier than normal month for most of the Southern Region, with the exception of western and southern Texas, which saw precipitation totals of over three times the monthly average. Texas was the only state in the region to report a wetter than normal month. The state wide precipitation totals for September are as follows: Arkansas received 2.38 inches (60.45 mm), Louisiana received 2.94 inches (74.68 mm), Mississippi received 2.59 inches (65.79 mm), Oklahoma received 2.45 inches (62.23 mm), Tennessee received 2.17 inches (55.18 mm) and Texas received 3.52 inches (89.41 mm). For Tennessee, it was the twenty-sixth driest September on record (1895-2014), while Arkansas experienced its thirtieth driest September on record (1895-2014). All other state rankings fell within the middle two quartiles.
- Drought conditions in the Southern Region improved slightly across the Southern Region. Texas and Oklahoma are still the only two states exhibiting severe to exceptional drought, however, the areal coverage over the month of September has reduced from roughly 25 percent (of the region) on September 2, 2014, to roughly 22 percent (of the region) on September 30, 2014.
- September was a relatively quiet month in terms of severe weather. On September 2, 2014, an EF-1 tornado touched down in De Soto Parish, Louisiana, and blew the metal roof off a barn. A number of downed limbs were also reported.
- On September 24, in Oldhan County, Texas, baseball-sized hail was reported, with several car windows broken by the event.
- In Texas, September saw improvements to crop moisture and increased crop harvests. Almost all of Texas's crops are at their 5-year average for harvesting by the end of the month, with the exception of peanuts, soybeans, and oats. Corn, cotton, and soybeans are behind their maturation for this time of year as well. Winter wheat is on par in terms of planting and emergence with 2013 September and is ahead of their 5-year average. Rangelands improved somewhat due to the rain, but mostly stayed in the same conditions as August. Beef prices reached another record high this month, which is being credited to the drought both here in Texas and in California (Information provided by the Texas Office of State Climatology).
- In Texas, wet conditions throughout the month led to big improvements to long-standing low reservoirs out west, like Red Bluff Reservoir jumping 50% to its highest level since 1988, being washed out in the statewide average by continually-declining reservoirs in the Metroplex. New and existing plans for dealing with ongoing water supply problems continued to move forward this month. The Lower Colorado River Authority has two plans in place, one for future water release planning where no water will be discharged unless the Highland Lakes are at a combined 50% capacity and one for a new reservoir, the first in decades, costing an estimated $215 million. San Antonio is planning a public-private venture that would add a $3.4 billion pipeline from Burleson County to the city. Raymondville, in an ongoing dispute over water discharge along the Rio Grande, plans to drill for and treat 2 million gallons (7570823.5 liters) of groundwater per day in a new well project that's estimated to cost $3.8 million (Information provided by the Texas Office of State Climatology).
- For more information, please go to the Southern Regional Climate Center Home Page.
- Western Region: (Information provided by the Western Region Climate Center)
- Scattered areas of the West saw significantly above normal precipitation this month, notably the Great Basin and areas along the Mexican border. Though several low-pressure systems moved through the West during September, strong high pressure between storms kept temperatures above normal for much of the region.
- Remnants of hurricanes Norbert and Odile supplied moisture that allowed for heavy precipitation over the Southwest this month. Phoenix, Arizona recorded its wettest calendar day on record September 8th when 3.3 in (84 mm) fell in roughly 7 hours. Phoenix also recorded its wettest September on record with a total 5.11 in (130 mm) precipitation. Records for Phoenix began in 1933. Artesia, in southeastern New Mexico, recorded 7.37 in (187 mm) this month. This was the 5th wettest September in a 110-year record. Average September precipitation for Artesia is 1.79 in (46 mm). A cold-core low-pressure system during the last week of the month also provided precipitation for a wide swath of the West. In Northern California, Eureka logged 3.09 in (78 mm) of rainfall, 500% of normal and the 6th wettest September since records began in 1887. Of this total, a majority (2.59 in/66 mm) occurred on the 24th. Southeast Utah also experienced above normal precipitation this month. Cedar City reported 2.57 in (65 mm), the 3rd wettest September since records began in 1948. Above normal precipitation was also observed in southern Idaho and along the borders between Idaho and Oregon/Nevada and Utah. This precipitation occurred mostly as a result of the slow moving low-pressure system that passed through the region during the last week of the month. Despite this month's precipitation, extreme to exceptional drought continues in California, Oregon, and Nevada due to the large precipitation deficit present after 3+ years of drought and the impacts observed in water resources and landscapes. Some improvement in drought conditions was observed in the eastern Great Basin, Arizona and New Mexico though moderate drought persists as drought-related impacts are still apparent.
- An early season snow event affected southern Montana and northern Wyoming. Some locations in the mountains east of the Continental Divide in this region reported over 12 in (31 cm) of snow. Lower elevations saw up to 2 in (5 cm) of snowfall. Towards the end of the month, a slow moving and cold low-pressure system brought the first snowfall of the season to the Sierra Nevada. Up to 6 in (15 cm) of snowfall was observed at favorable high-elevation locations, with 1-3 in (2-8 cm) widespread in the range. The storm then tracked eastward and brought 1-5 inches (2-12 cm) of snow to Utah's Uinta and southern Wasatch Mountains and the central Rockies.
- Above normal temperatures dominated the West this month. Along the coast, North Bend, Oregon recorded an average 61.6 F (16.4 C) this month, 4.2 F (2.3 C) above normal. Further south, temperatures averaged 75.7 F (24.2 C) in San Diego, 5 F (2.8 C) above normal. This was the 4th warmest September on record for both North Bend and San Diego, with records beginning in 1902 and 1939, respectively. In the central Great Basin, Ely, Nevada recorded its warmest September at an average 61.4 F (16.3 C). Consistent records in Ely began in 1938. In southern Colorado, Alamosa also experienced its warmest September on record with an average of 58.7 F (14.8 C). Records for Alamosa began in 1948. Small areas of slightly cooler than normal temperatures were observed in parts of Arizona and New Mexico and also dotted Wyoming and Montana.
- Precipitation was highly variable throughout Alaska this month. Fairbanks recorded 2.89 in (73 mm) of precipitation, 262% of normal and the second wettest September since records began in 1929. Further southwest, Bethel reported 1.26 in (32 mm), 46% of normal. Temperatures were generally above normal throughout with state, though some Interior locations were slightly cooler than normal. Homer, on the Kenai Peninsula, reported its warmest September since records began in 1932 at an average 53.2 F (11.8 C). Further south, precipitation was variable throughout Hawaii as well. Hilo observed 41% of its normal rainfall; Kahului recorded 186% of normal. The average temperature in Hilo this month was 79.4 F (26.3 C), 3.2 F (1.8 C) above normal and the warmest September in a 66-year record. Other stations in the state generally observed near-normal temperatures.
- September (all month): King Fire in northern California: The human-caused King Fire was ignited September 13 and spread rapidly due to strong southwest winds. The fire has charred over 97,000 acres (39,000 hectares) and destroyed 12 residences since it began. Smoke from the fire reduced air quality in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area as well as in the communities of the Sierra Foothills.
- September (throughout month): Flooding in Southwest: Heavy precipitation associated with the northward movement of subtropical moisture brought several waves of flooding to the Southwest this month. During the first week of the month (8th-9th) southern Arizona, southern Nevada and southeastern California experienced flash flooding, road closures, and stalled or stranded vehicles. Two fatalities were reported near Tucson. Over the 16th -19th, southern and eastern New Mexico saw flooding that resulted in road closures and caused some localized areas to be evacuated. On the 26th -27th, heavy precipitation resulted in flooding that closed parts of Interstate 15 near Las Vegas, Nevada, debris flows in southern Utah, and flooding of homes in southwest Utah.
- For more information, please go to the Western Regional Climate Center Home Page.
For additional details about recent temperatures and precipitation across the U.S., see the Regional Highlights section below and visit the Climate Summary page. For information on local temperature and precipitation records during the month, please visit NCDC's Records page.
These regional summaries were provided by the six Regional Climate Centers and reflect conditions in their respective regions. These six regions differ spatially from the nine climatic regions of the National Climatic Data Center.