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Baton Rouge area facing hottest September on record

2 months 3 weeks 1 day ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 September 16, 2019 12:15 PM September 16, 2019 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather, Climate Central

With high temperatures eclipsing 90 degrees every day so far this month, and above average temperatures expected to continue, the Baton Rouge area will very likely set its hottest September on record. In addition to weeks of above average temperatures, Metro Airport has only recorded rain on one day in September. This as the region heads into the historically driest time of the year.

The climatological summer months of June to August were warmer than usual. With an average temperature of 82.1 degrees, the area measured its 11th hottest summer on record. Eight of the top ten warmest summers have all occurred since 2000. According to research from Climate Central, summers are stretching further into the meteorological fall season. As a result, energy demands for cooling (and the ensuing air conditioning costs) remain high, and warm-season woes such as allergies, mosquitoes and ticks linger longer. Additionally, important natural events such as bird migration, hibernation and fruit ripening are occurring ‘off schedule’, with the extent of these impacts on ecosystem health and biodiversity not yet fully understood. 

Of 244 cities analyzed, 95% (229) recorded an increase—with more than half experiencing a rise of 2°F or more. For Baton Rouge, September to November temperatures have warmed by 1.8 degrees since 1970. However, the seven highest increases have all come in the western U.S.—led by Reno, Nevada (7.7°F), Las Vegas, Nevada (5.9°F), and El Paso, Texas (5.4°F). Fall has been the fastest warming season in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

This trend is not evident every year along the central Gulf Coast, but is certainly playing out in 2019. Given the first two weeks and the outlook through September 30, this year is on pace to become the hottest on record dating back to 1930.

Through September 15, there have been 99 days at or above 90 degrees, exceeding the average number of days in the 90s for a given year. The last 90 degrees days has historically occurred around October 1, but has come as late as October 26 in 1939. By the fall months, cold fronts usually start migrating southward, bringing some spells of cooler and drier air. As far as cool air is concerned, there is no sign of a break. With climatological temperatures for the final two weeks feature highs and lows in the upper 80s and upper 60s respectively, the 90s and 70s are expected to continue. Though lower humidity has not yet been experience, the area can be considered dry with regard to rain. September has been parched with a growing rain deficit heading into the driest two months of the year.  

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