September was warmer and wetter than normal. The warmer than normal is a trend we’ve seen much of the year while the wetter than normal is something that has been a recent development.
The average daily high during September was 78.0, 2.2 degrees below normal. The average overnight low, however, was 62.2, 6.2 degrees above normal. This resulted in a monthly mean temperature of 70.1, 2 full degrees above normal. This ongoing trend of above average night time temperatures has been noted for several years and is yet another indicator of a warming climate. The highest temperature for the month was 93 on the 1st. The lowest temperature was 44 on the morning of the 28th. There was one temperature record set in September. The overnight low of 73 on the 19th broke the record high low for that date. The previous record was 72 set in 1948. The warmest September on record was in 1954 with a toasty monthly mean temperature of 78.1. The coolest month on record was in 1974 when we had a chilly mean temperature of 61.1.
Heavy rainfall in the first few days of September accounted for most of the month’s total precipitation. Normal September rainfall is 3.28 inches. Milford Lake received 6.74 inches of rain and Junction City received 6.91 inches. Storms that rolled through the region on Labor Day provided generous rainfall for much of Geary County but serious flooding rainfall on north in Riley County. The region is still showing the impact of the drought from the first 7 months of the year. Normal January through September precipitation is 27.96 inches. Milford Lake has recorded 22.37 inches of precipitation in 2018 and Junction City 24.82 inches. The driest September on record was 1947 when 0.24 inches of rain was all that could be gathered. The wettest September was 1967 when 13.28 inches deluged the area.
October brings us the heart of autumn and often our first freezing temperatures. Average daily highs during the month range from 76 on the 1st to 63 on Halloween Day. Overnight lows range from 49 at the start of the month and end with a chilly 39 on the 31st. Our average first frost is October 19th. Two years our of three that first frost will be within 12 days of the 19th.