Nearly every time I check my social media accounts lately, I find a meme expressing exasperation over the extended summer we’ve had in the Augusta area (and much of the Southeast) this year. Not only has record heat extended the summer season past the first day of fall, but the season began with record heat in May prior to the official start of summer.
There is no doubt that fall has been put on hold this year. While September is normally still quite warm, and even hot at times, this September has been exceptional, with an average daily high temperature of 93.7° at Augusta Regional Airport, which is a full 7 degrees warmer than average. When accounting for overnight lows, the average temperature for the month was 80.2°, which is 5.6 degrees warmer than average, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.
The highest temperature during September 2019 occurred on Monday, Sept. 30 at 101°. The heat, coupled with a lack of rainfall made for a scorching month. Only 0.77″ of rain was recorded at Augusta Regional Airport. At Augusta Preparatory Day School in Martinez, no measurable rain was recorded.
Before you go around telling folks you survived the hottest September on record, another check of climate records is in order. Believe it or not, September 2018 was even hotter! Yes, just last year! The average temperature for September 2018 was 81.4°, thanks to more humidity, which contributed to warmer overnight low temperatures. Perhaps the reason we don’t remember it being as hot as this year is because last September brought much more rain. More than 7 inches was recorded at Augusta Regional Airport then. September 2018 was the hottest September on record since records began at Augusta Regional Airport in the 1940s.
According to the National Weather Service, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Augusta during the month of September was 106° in 1925.