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Assessing the U.S. Climate in September 2016

Map of contiguous United States average temperature percentiles for September 2016

The contiguous U.S. September average temperature was 67.2°F, 2.4°F above the 20th century average, making it the ninth warmest September in the 122-year period of record. Record warmth was observed across parts of the Southeast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic with below-average temperatures across parts of the interior West. The year-to-date (January-September) contiguous U.S. average temperature was 57.8°F, 2.8°F above average, making it the second warmest on record, behind only 2012. A warmer than average September in Alaska contributed to a record warm first nine months of 2016 for the state.

The September precipitation total for the contiguous United States was 2.70 inches, 0.21 inch above the 20th century average, and ranked near the median value in the 122-year period of record. Above-average precipitation was observed across parts of the Rockies, Great Plains, and the Mid-Atlantic to Southeast Coast with below-average precipitation in the West, Southeast, and Northeast. The year-to-date (January–September) contiguous U.S. precipitation total was 24.77 inches, 1.57 inch above average, and the 19th wettest.

From January through the end of September, the United States experienced 12 weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each. These included four flooding events (doubling the previous annual record) and eight severe storm events. Overall, these events resulted in 68 fatalities and caused $26.9 billion in damages to the impacted areas.

Map of U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters fro January 1 to September 30, 2016

This monthly summary from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, business, academia, and the public to support informed decision-making.