July 30, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
76°F
test

September counts as region’s fourth-wettest on record

After a summer with a long heat wave, we seemed to have moved right into a soggy, damp September that hasn’t painted trees in dabs of gold and red or left us with crisp mornings and leaves crunching underfoot.

If it felt like it’s been wet, it has, according to Martin Thompson, a veteran meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland. In September, 7.6 inches of rain were recorded for the region.

“That’s about 3.9 inches above normal. It puts us close to the fourth wettest September on record,” he said. “It was definitely a wet month. Three days we were above an inch of rain.

“Because there were periods of prolonged rainfall, it felt as if it was raining every day,” Thompson said. “But the days we got rain, it didn’t mess around.”

Since Jan. 1, the region has seen 49.3 inches of rain, which is way above the normal year-to-date rainfall of 29.2 inches.

“We’re 20.1 inches above normal since the beginning of the year,” Thompson said.

So just why has it been so wet, despite some blisteringly hot days  that included a summer high of 97 on July 21, a seasonal average high of 82.5 degrees, and 12 days of above-90 readings?

Thompson pointed to a general pattern of weather in the area that saw the jet stream come a little farther south than normal where it led to a number of low-pressure weather systems like the one that left the area waterlogged Friday and earlier in the week.

The jet stream is a strong wind current that typically blows at speeds of 60 mph or faster some six to nine miles above the planet’s surface and can greatly affect local weather.

“These systems have tended to slow up, hang around for a while and dump rain on us,” Thompson said. “That has allowed for rainfall to be above normal. Still, the month should have been a bit drier than it was.”

Despite the September rain and dampness of the month just past, we experienced some heat, including two days of temperatures above 90, when the mercury hit 94 on Sept. 2 and 3.

“That’s noteworthy, although for the month we were just 1 degree above normal,” Thompson said.

The lowest temperatures for the month were reached Sept. 16 and 18 when the average temperature was 66.1 degrees.

Today’s forecast calls for a 100 percent likelihood of continued rain with a daytime high of 50 and overnight low of 40. Rain chances should drop to around 60 percent Sunday, with a daytime high of 53 and nighttime low of 43.

The coming week looks to offer highs in the mid-60s and overnight lows around 50.

“Believe it or not, it looks like we’ll actually be below normal for precipitation,” Thompson said.

In the meantime, a flood watch remains in effect for a 12-county region including Lorain County. The weather service indicated rainfall could continue through this morning, with totals ranging from 1 to 3 inches in spots.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.