National Weather Service Juneau wraps up September trends

    Photo courtesy of National Weather Service Juneau

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Rick Fritsch, one of the lead forecasters and the climate focal point for Southeast Alaska, National Weather Service Juneau summarized one of the wettest months of the year, September, with temperatures, rainfalls, and trends.

    Juneau set one record temp-wise on the 26th with a daytime high record of 60 degrees and one daily rain-fall record on the 30th of 1.81", breaking the 1981 record of 0.94".

    Fritsch started off detailing September temperatures overall.

    "We did wind up with an average temperature and average of the days and the nights of nearly two degrees above normal, which in the world of climate is kind of a big deal. And for the daytime highs, we were averaging about 1.4 degrees above normal. And for the overnight lows about 1.7 degrees above normal, so that worked out to be 1.9 for the daily departures from normal."

    He continued on to Juneau's September monthly rainfall.

    "In terms of rain, and that's really the big story. Our monthly accumulation at the airport was over 11 and a half inches. As a matter of fact 11 and two-thirds inches of rain for the month of September, normally 9.15. And I should probably also state that September and October are our wettest months of the year. So the fact that we had a significantly wetter than normal September, our wettest month of the year, one of the two, is a big deal. We had, for the most part, normal rain for the first week of the month. And then things kind of got flat until we got to the 14th of September, and then we started to rain again, and then it turned off again. And then it was not until the 20th where it started raining and it continued to rain all the way through the end of the month, which put us over the monthly high. Granted we did have more rain than normal for the month of September. It's also important to realize that the record is actually quite a bit more than what we actually got. The highest monthly rainfall for the month of September was way back in 1991, where we got over 15 inches of rain as compared to the 11 and two-quarters of an inch that we just got this past month."

    Fritsch detailed what this year is shaping up to be when it comes to rainfall trends.

    "Reaching out and looking at a little bit wider of the scale. We are on track right now to have the wettest year, January 1st through December 31st on record. If we get just normal rainfall for the rest of the month we are going to have the wettest year on record."

    Fritsch is looking on the positive side when it comes to the rainy 2022 Juneau is having.

    "We'll have plenty of water in the creeks and streams for the salmon, and plenty of water for hydroelectricity and plenty of water. When you turn on the tap, the water will be flowing. While the Interior is drying up and burning away in muskeg fires, we here in Southeast Alaska, we've got it good."

    Fritsch commented on this upcoming winter.

    "Two La Niña winters back to back, it's not extraordinary, but it is not normal. Usually, we have a La Niña winter and then maybe we'll have an ENSO El Niño, La Niña, neutral winter, followed by maybe an El Niño or an ENSO positive winter. Maybe a couple or three of those before we go back actually to a La Niña or ENSO minus year. But this year, it's almost at this point a slam dunk that we're going to have another La Niña winter with cooler than normal temperatures."

    He added that although the winter is predicted cooler than normal, that doesn't necessarily mean there will be more snow.

    Fritsch noted that full September statistics will be available on the website soon.

    "Everybody keep your eyes peeled for the webpage. We're going to be coming out with the September statistics here very soon, as well as on the weather, the very front page, there'll be a graphic that shows both temperature trends compared to normal, as well as precipitation trends compared to normal for numerous Southeast Alaska cities. And they can see that on weather.gov/ajk or slash Juneau."

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