With warmer-than-normal temperatures and several hurricanes and tropical storms affecting the eastern states, the first half of autumn across North America had rather extreme weather, in line with our forecast.
Warmer-than-normal temperatures were the rule in most other places as well. In the world as a whole, September 2016 was the second warmest September ever recorded, behind only September 2015.
September was the first month this year that did not set a new record for global warmth, although 2016 will still wind up as the Earth’s warmest overall year in history.
As you can see from the map above (which shows September temperature departures from normal), most of the world had above-normal temperatures. Delving deeper, we can see that:
- North America had its third highest September temperature departure since continental records began in 1910.
- Ohio experienced its warmest September ever while, as a whole, this was the ninth-warmest September across the United States in the 122-year period of record.
- Much-warmer-than-normal temperatures prevailed in northern South America while, in contrast, those in central and southern South America were near to below normal.
- Europe and Asia had their warmest September in more than 100 years of records, while Africa experienced its second warmest, behind only 2015.
- Temperatures were below normal across much of Australia, which had its second wettest September on record, behind only 2010.
- Arctic sea ice was well below average, with the fifth smallest sea ice extent since satellite records began in 1979. Antarctic sea ice had its smallest extent since 2002 and the fifth smallest on record.
All of this is consistent with the change from last winter’s strong El Niño to a weak to perhaps moderate La Niña this fall and winter.
Along with the other factors that control our winter weather, this means that nearly all of the country will be colder than last winter, although most places will still have above-normal temperatures when averaged across the entire winter season.
Snowfall will be above normal from southern New England and western New York southwestward through the Appalachians; from eastern Minnesota eastward to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan and southward to St. Louis, Missouri; and from central North Dakota westward to the Pacific coast. Other locales that normally receive snowfall should expect below-normal amounts.
Unfortunately, we expect rainfall and precipitation to be below normal in California, which could result in higher food prices next spring and summer.
For a complete 2017 weather forecast across the U.S. and Canada, pick up your copy of the The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac!