By DAVID GREEN
Compared to most Septembers, the month just passed was a dry one—an inch and a half below the average.
Compared to August, it was really rather wet.
“Since the last week of July, there hasn’t been much in the way of rainfall,” said George Isobar, National Weather Service climate observer in Morenci.
The August precipitation ended at only 1.04 inches, which is the driest August in this area since 1976. That was followed by just 2.16 inches in September.
“Only three inches of rain in more than two months is really unusual,” Isobar said. “I hope we don’t get a cruel joke from Mother Nature now when we don’t need rain for bringing the crops in.”
Isobar said there were four thunderstorms during September, although the word “storm” might be pushing things a little.
“The most notable weather last month was the streak of hot temperatures in the last week,” he said. “We had 89° on the 23rd, then a cooler day at 77, then back to 91 and 84.”
Records were set in several locations, including 92° in Toledo Sept. 23, topping the previous mark of 90° from 1945.
That was summer’s last push, because four days later there were two mornings with temperatures in the upper 30s, including the low for the month on the 30th at 38°.
“The average monthly temperature was 1.6° above normal,” Isobar said. “There were several days last month that were below average to help balance out the hot streak.”
The high for the month in Morenci came on the second day of September at 92°.
“We get at least one day in the 80s during a typical October,” Isobar said, “but we also typically have some readings in the 20s.”
There have been a few years with a morning reading in the low 20s, he added, and even a rare year like 1988 when the temperature dropped to 18° in October.
“But it’s snow that you’re really wondering about, isn’t it?” Isobar asked. “Well, that’s a rarity, but it does happen from time to time.”
Since 1976, measurable snow has fallen only three times in October, including 2.1 inches in 1980.