Sunday, September 20, 2015

Normal New England September Weather Today To Seem Shocking After Endless Summer Heat

My yard and trees in northwestern Vermont were still
looking awfully green this morning for this late in the season.  
Today where I live in Vermont and in the rest of northern New England, high temperatures will be in the 60s today, and there will be pockets of frost in the mountain valleys tonight.

This kind of weather is exactly normal for the third week in September, but to lots of us, it will seem shockingly, bitter cold.

That's because our endless summer had us steaming in July weather almost constantly from early August to just yesterday.

The heat has been on this month in much of the rest of the country, too, and the rest of the world for that matter.

In Burlington, Vermont, the mean temperature for September through yesterday was 72.1, or a whopping 9.2 degrees above normal.  Normal for July is cooler than this September so far by about a degree and a half.

Fourteen of the first 19 days of September in Burlington have gone above 80 degrees, pretty much unheard of for September. For comparison, only 10 of the first 19 days of July, 2015 got above 80.

In New England, famed for its fall foliage, trees are confused. The process of trees turning from green to bright autumn colors is very, very late. It will happen, and soon, but not only does it feel like mid summer in Vermont, it very nearly looks like it, too.

As I noted, starting today, it will be cooler in Vermont and the Northeast. But we still have a shot of experiencing the hottest September on record. Temperatures in the upcoming week will be slightly above normal, though there are signs of cold snap at the end of the month.

The heat really is uncharted territory.

And it's certainly not just Burlington, Vermont in the hot zone this month. According to a blog post in  WeatherUnderground by Bob Henson last week,  American cities as widely scattered as Portland, Maine, Flint, Michigan, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Denver and Sioux Falls, South Dakota have a decent shot at experiencing their hottest Septembers on record.

The United States heat has been shifting around, but pretty consistent. This weekend, record heat is forecast in much of California. Bad news there, since wildfires thrive on heat and drought, and they've had more than their share of fire disasters this year.

Overseas, it's the same story. The nation of Croatia, four cities in Germany, Sarajevo, Bosnia/Herzegovinia, among other places, have had their hottest September days on record this month.

Not everyone is sharing in the heat. Seattle, Washington has had an unheard of 18 consecutive months of warmer than normal tempeatures, but that streak looks like it might end this month. September, 2015 in Seattle has been running a little cooler than average.

On a global basis, 2015 is almost a sure bet to become the hottest on record. Based on the anecdotal evidence of added heat in September, that global 2015 heat record seems even more solidly locked in.

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