Temperature outlook courtesy of NOAA/CPC. CONTRIBUTED

Elwell: Fall nearing, but September likely hotter than normal

It is almost here!

The kids are back in school. Football is being played on Thursday and Friday nights at a field near you. Even the pumpkin spiced whatever has started to show up. I spotted Halloween decorations on my local grocery store shelf.

That is right: fall arrives in 25 days! Are you ready?

Last week, the weather started to feel like fall. But I’m afraid that taste of autumn was only temporary. If you aren’t ready for summer to go away just yet, then you are in luck!

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The summer heat is back, and it may stick around through the month of September.

But before we look forward, let’s take a look back at the summer so far. After a chilly spring, summer began with temperatures soaring. June saw temperatures top 90 degrees before summer even officially started. The month wound up with temperatures well above average.

The heat continued into July, nearing or topping 90 degrees 10 of the first 15 days of the month. But the second half of the month saw a change in the weather pattern, and the heat eased across the Miami Valley. We would not hit 90 degrees again after July 15 until Aug. 5 when the heat appeared to return once again. But the renewed hot pattern only lasted a few days, with much of the rest of the month of August staying near or below normal.

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That is – until now.

The pattern we saw the first the first few weeks of July has returned as temperatures topped out at 90 degrees over the weekend for the first time since Aug. 6. The heat will likely last a few more days before another brief break arrives late this week.

Late last week, the Climate Prediction Center updated its outlook for the month of September. The outlook is calling for a strong likelihood that temperatures will remain above normal – perhaps significantly.

The average high temperature for late August in the Miami Valley is around 82 degrees. It is important to note that while the outlook does call for above-average temperatures, that doesn’t mean we will remain as hot as we are now. The averages are now on their way down.

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So that means in just a few weeks, it won’t take as much heat to get temperatures above normal as is does now. The average high temperature for Dayton on Sept. 1 is 81 degrees. But the average by Sept. 30 dips to a “cool-ish” 70 degrees.

While it may not really start to feel like fall again anytime soon, it will start to look like it soon enough. The stress from the heat and dry conditions, along with the increasing darkness will allow trees to start to change colors.

We are now losing over 2 minutes of daylight every day. Just in the month of September, we will lose 1 hour and 15 minutes of daylight. This is something, I must admit, I am not really a fan of.

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But whether it feels like it or not – and whether we are ready or not — fall will officially arrive at 9:54 pm on Saturday, September 22.