NEWS

Hotter than normal temperatures in another dry month


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The final numbers for September 2023 are in and—no surprise here—the month was much warmer than normal. The heat dome, that center of upper-level high pressure, maintained its stranglehold over our area for much of the month.

90°-highs were recorded 27 times, with a much-too-hot 11 of those reaching triple digits. The hottest temperature in September was 107° on the Sept. 7. Those highs of greater than 100° ended during the weekend of September.

Only three days had a high below normal

So, for 2023, there were 80 days … 80! … where the high at Camp Mabry made it to 100° or more. The record book will show that 2023 had the second most highs in three figures, topped by the 90 that baked this area in 2011.

You may remember that back in May our team made its prediction of how many days triple digits would be reached. If you don’t the guesses ranged from 33 days to 44 days. We all missed badly.

September 2023 will also have the distinction of being the second warmest with an average temperature of 86.0°. What may surprise you is that September 2011 was not the hottest, but it was 2019. That September the average temperature (the combination of highs and lows) was 88.0°.

It’s interesting to note that the Top 4 hottest Septembers have all occurred since 2005 as our planet continues to warm.

But as much as the hotter-than-normal temperatures were a disappointment for those who thirsted for the cooler air, it was the lack of rain that continued to exacerbate a worsened drought.

The normal rainfall for September is 3.45″, the fourth wettest month of the year. Rain was measured in just five days. We had a brief flurry of rain between September 13th and 16th. The only other rainy day, the one that came with an overabundance of large hail, was September 24th. The final total of 1.58″ was just 46% of what we would normally see in a typical September.

What does this do to our yearly numbers? For starters, the first nine months of 2023 have seen just 16.05″ of rain, 60% of the normal of 26.70″. We should cut into this deficit with the promise of showers and thunderstorms that begin Tuesday, October 3. What’s better is that October is predicted to be wetter than the normal of 3.91″. This is the second wettest month of the year.

Temperatures continue to amaze. The mean temperature from January 1st through September 30th is 77.5°, making 2023-to-date the hottest on record, tied with 2011. The October forecast? Yes, warmer than normal.

Hoping for a nice mild to cool month with plenty of rain.

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