September in Review: A look back at last month’s weather

Weather

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – Another month has passed us by, and it’s time to take a look back and see what happened weather-wise across southern West Virginia and Tazewell County! We saw plenty of action here, with some close calls with the remnants of two tropical systems and a taste of Fall and some weather that is yet to come.

**ALL THE DATA LISTED HERE IS FOR BECKLEY, WV UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED**

Speaking of the weather that is yet to come, i.e. winter, we saw some impressive cold shots this month, as well as some decent heat. Suffice to say it, the temperatures went through more ups and downs then your favorite rollercoaster. We saw just slightly more days above average (15) than below average (13) during September, which evened us out to seeing an almost exactly average month. Average monthly temperatures only fell 0.1°F above normal in September.

Some notable temperatures we saw this month:

  • Five Days were recorded with high temperatures of 80°F or greater (2, 3, 7, 8, 11)
    • These are likely the last 80° days we see this year. In 2020 we saw 76 days or 21 percent of the year (365 days) above 80°, and no days above 90°.
  • Sept. 7 and 8: Highs of 82° were recorded in Beckley, WV (Highest maximum temperatures of the month)
  • Sept. 22: A low of 39° was recorded in Beckley, WV (First time Beckley saw temperatures in the 30s since May 13 [132 Days])
    • Many others saw their first frost of the year this day, namely across Mercer, Monroe, Summers, Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties

One of the big reasons we saw so many days below average was due to a negative phase of the Arctic (AO) and North Atlantic (NAO) Oscillations. These are both teleconnections which is defined by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) as:

A linkage between weather changes occurring in widely separated regions of the globe.

Definition of Teleconnection from the AMS Glossary Source: https://glossary.ametsoc.org/

When these oscillations (teleconnections) are in their negative phases, we usually see a big dip in the upper atmosphere which opens the door for colder air to spill into the United States. Usually when these line up with storm systems in the winter it can set the stage for a snowy day across the Virginias.

A VERY generalized view of upper level conditions during the negative phases of the AO and NAO

September is notable alone for being one of just three months so far this year that fell below average precipitation wise. While it wasn’t by a large margin, only falling 0.89-inches below normal, its still interesting. The below average rainfall didn’t do much to deplete our surplus of precipitation in 2020, we’re still over 10-inches above average for where we should be by Sept. 30.

Days with notable precipitation:

  • Sept. 17: 0.29-inches of rain fell in Beckley, WV as the remnants of Sally passed to the south.
  • Sept. 29: 0.56-inches of rain fell in Beckley, WV as the remnants of Beta passed over the area (Highest one day total for Sept. 2020)

This brings September’s “Month in Review” to a close, a big shout out to folks at NWS Charleston, NWS Blacksburg, and the NOAA Regional Climate Centers who provided all of the data you see here. I’ll see you next month for October’s “Month in Review”! – StormTracker 59 Meteorologist Liam Healy

Follow StormTracker 59 Meteorologist Liam Healy on social media:

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