September 2011 Weather and Climate Review

     

 Monthly Narrative

Tri-Cities and Ord Details, and Monthly Extremes Graphs, Tables, Maps Drought Monitor Graphics

2011 Precipitation Totals and Archive of These Monthly Reviews

(Click on the tabs above to quickly jump to information located farther down the page)

September 2011 Weather Stories 
(Click HERE for archive to all web stories)

Sep. 15:

Record-cool High Temperatures In the Tri-Cities

Sep. 28:

Geneva Cooperative Weather Observer Receives  Holm Award

 (*Please Note: All climate data presented here are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at: WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV).

* Effective Aug. 1, 2011, the new set of 30-year climate averages, or "normals", from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) for 1981-2010 superseded the previous 30-year set of 1971-2000 normals on all NWS climate-related products. 


 

SEPTEMBER 2011 CLIMATE REVIEW FOR SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA AND PORTIONS OF NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS:

...Both Rainfall and Temperatures Well-Below Normal Across The Area...

The following narrative focuses on climate and weather highlights for the month of September 2011 across the NWS Hastings coverage area, encompassing 24 counties in south central and central Nebraska, and 6 counties in north central Kansas. Click HERE for a map of this coverage area. The temperature and precipitation data presented here are largely based on the NWS Cooperative Observer network, along with data from a handful of automated airport sites. Climate averages and "normals" for September 2011 presented here are based on the recently-released 1981-2010 normals.

TEMPERATURES
...This was a very cool September compared to climatological monthly averages, as the vast majority of the 30-county area checked in 3-5 degrees below normal for the month when factoring both the daily highs and lows. In the Nebraska Tri-Cities of Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney, the month ranked anywhere from the 3rd-coolest to 10th-coolest September on record, dating back to at least 1907. The primary driving force behind these cool average temperatures were the overnight lows, versus the daytime highs, as the regular presence of a dry airmass allowed night-time temperatures to fall quite efficiently. Breaking down the month into temperature trends, the first half of the month was the warmest, with the warmest overall 7-day stretch for most areas centered from the 6th-12th. The single-hottest day of the month for all areas was the 1st, when afternoon readings soared between 94-100 degrees across much of South Central Nebraska, and between 100-108 degrees across most of North Central Kansas. It was a pronounced cool-stretch at mid-month, primarily centered between the 14th-17th, that really contributed to the overall monthly cool-trend. On both the 15th and 16th, much of South Central Nebraska struggled to reach 50 degrees, while many North Central Kansas locations struggled to reach 55. In fact, on the 15th, Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney all managed to tie or set new daily records for coolest high temperature, highlighted by Kearney only reaching 45 degrees. For all three of these cities, high temperatures on the 15th were the coldest of ANY day in September since Sep. 24, 2000. Warmer air returned to the Central Plains for the latter 1/3 of the month, peaking on the 28th when most of the 30-county area pegged the upper 80s or lower 90s. 

In the Nebraska Tri-Cities, the hottest reading of the month belonged to Hastings with 95 degrees on the 1st, while the coolest-low temperature was 34 degrees at Kearney on the 30th. Based on NWS Cooperative Observer and automated airport observations, a few temperature extremes across the NWS Hastings coverage area during the month included Plainville, KS, with 108 degrees on the 1st, and Cambridge and Beaver City Nebraska with lows of 29 on the 30th. Although there was no widespread hard-freeze across the area during the month, parts of mainly Furnas, Dawson, Valley, Greeley (and likely Gosper) counties dipped into the 29-32 degree range on at least one of the following mornings: the 22nd, 23rd and 30th. (Please look farther down the page for more information on September 2011 temperatures and extremes, including a detailed breakdown for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord)  

PRECIPITATION...For portions of the 30-county area, the well-below normal precipitation in September was a continuation of a trend that had been going on for a few months, but for most areas it was an abrupt departure from the near-normal to above-normal rainfall during the summer months.  No matter the case, nearly the entire 30-county area in South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas ended up with well-below normal rainfall for the month, with the majority of cooperative observer sites only totaling between 0.35 and 1.00 inches, or between 20-50% of normal. Based on 30-year averages, September rainfall typically ranges from 1.50-2.50 inches across roughly the western half of the NWS Hastings coverage area, to 2.50-3.00 inches across the eastern counties. 

The vast majority of rain that managed to fall during the month occurred during the first few weeks, much of it associated with thunderstorm activity on the 2nd and 3rd. The latter half of the month was dominated by a dry airmass and upper level ridging, with most locations ending the month on a streak of 12 consecutive rain-free days. Focusing on precipitation extremes, monthly rainfall amounts from dozens of NWS cooperative observers and automated airport sites ranged from only 0.15-inch at Blue Hill (4 miles SW), up to 1.28 inches at both Belgrade and Fairmont. Ironically, the Blue Hill site had just finished August as one of the wettest locations in the entire 30-county area with 8.89 inches.  A few of the highest monthly totals from the Nebraska Rainfall Assessment and Information Network (NeRAIN) included 1.44 inches at Sumner (3 miles W) and 1.34 inches 9 miles NE of Palmer. In the Nebraska Tri-Cities of Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney, the month ranked anywhere from the 10th-driest to 18th-driest on record, dating back to at least 1896. On the Kansas side of the border, cooperative observer rainfall totals ranged from only 0.30-inch at Natoma, up to 1.07 inches at Webster Dam. In terms of percent-of-normal rainfall, Gothenburg, on the far-western fringe of the coverage area, fared among the best at 63% of normal with 1.09 inches. For northwestern locations such as Ord, this was the third-consecutive month with below-normal rainfall, with combined totals for the months of July-August-September falling 3.11 inches below normal. 

No snow fell within the NWS Hastings coverage area during September 2011.

(Please look farther down the page for more information on September 2011 precipitation and extremes, including a detailed breakdown for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord)
  


DROUGHT STATUS
...According to the U.S. Drought Monitor as of September 27th (shown at bottom of page), the very dry September resulted in an introduction of D0 (abnormally dry) conditions to much of the six-county area in North Central Kansas, and also for roughly a 9-county area in South Central Nebraska generally north of a line from Holdrege-Grand Island-Silver Creek. In addition, over the course of the month there was a slight northward-expansion of ongoing drought conditions across much of Kansas, with the category D1 (moderate drought) line now brushing the extreme southern border of Rooks and Osborne Counties. Fortunately, D2 (severe), D3 (extreme) and D4 (exceptional) drought conditions were still holding at least 1-3 rows of counties south of the area. The September dry spell lasted into the first several days of October, with several warm and windy days adding to the building dryness and resultant fire danger. However, a slow moving low pressure system finally brought some much-needed rain to much of the region between Friday Oct. 7th and Sunday Oct. 9th (see upcoming October 2011 narrative for more details).  
(Please refer to the Drought Monitor graphics toward the bottom of the page for further details)

SEVERE WEATHER...Thanks to the month being dominated by high pressure aloft and/or a drier and more stable airmass, there were NO severe thunderstorms reported across the 30-county area. In fact, NWS Hastings issued ZERO severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings during the month, marking the first time this has happened in September since at least 2001.

Number of Severe Thunderstorm Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in September 2011:  ZERO
Number of Tornado Warning polygons issued by NWS Hastings in September 2011:  ZERO

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September 2011 Climate Details For Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord...Along With Temperature and Rainfall Extremes For NWS Cooperative Observer and Automated Airport Sites:

Click on the links below for the September 2011 climate summaries for Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and Ord.

Grand Island     Hastings     Kearney           Ord

 

...SEPTEMBER 2011 TEMPERATURE/PRECIPITATION EXTREMES FROM NWS HASTINGS COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS OR AUTOMATED ASOS/AWOS SITES...

...A FEW OF THE HOTTEST HIGH TEMPERATURES DURING SEP. 2011

108 Degrees...Plainville KS (4 miles WNW) on the 1st (Cooperative Observer)
107 Degrees...Alton KS in Osborne County on the 1st (Cooperative Observer)
106 Degrees...Phillipsburg KS airport on the 1st (automated AWOS)
105 Degrees...Smith Center KS on the 1st (Cooperative Observer)
105 Degrees...Beloit KS on the 1st (Cooperative Observer)
102 Degrees...Superior (4 miles E) on the 1st (Cooperative Observer)


...A FEW OF THE COOLEST LOW TEMPERATURES DURING SEP. 2011

29 Degrees...Cambridge and Beaver City on the 30th (Cooperative Observers)
30 Degrees...Greeley on the 30th (Cooperative Observer)
31 Degrees...Ord airport in Valley County on the 30th (automated ASOS)
32 Degrees...Lexington (6 miles SSE Canaday Plant) on the 30th (Coop Observer)
32 Degrees...Gothenburg in Dawson County on the 30th (Cooperative Observer)


...A FEW OF THE HIGHEST MONTHLY RAINFALL TOTALS DURING SEP. 2011 
(May also include observations from NeRAIN network)

1.44 Inches...Sumner (3 miles W) in Dawson County (NeRAIN observer)
1.34 Inches...Palmer (9 miles NE) in Nance County (NeRAIN observer)
1.28 Inches...Fairmont in Fillmore County (Cooperative Observer)
1.28 Inches...Belgrade in Nance County (Cooperative Observer)
1.20 Inches...Hastings NWS Office in Adams County
1.09 Inches...Gothenburg in Dawson County (Cooperative Observer)
1.07 Inches...Webster Dam in Rooks County KS (Cooperative Obserer)

...A FEW OF THE LOWEST MONTHLY RAINFALL TOTALS DURING SEP. 2011 

0.15 Inches...Blue Hill (4 miles SW) in Webster County (Cooperative Observer)
0.24 Inches...Orleans in Harlan County (Cooperative Observer)
0.28 Inches...Wilsonville in Furnas County (Cooperative Observer)
0.30 Inches...Natoma KS in Osborne County (Cooperative Observer)
0.33 Inches...Nelson in Nuckolls County (Cooperative Observer)

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Various graphs and tables depicting September 2011 climate data for South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas:

(Please Note: THESE DATA ARE PRELIMINARY AND HAVE NOT UNDERGONE FINAL QUALITY CONTROL BY THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER /NCDC/.  THEREFORE...THESE DATA ARE SUBJECT TO REVISION.  FINAL AND CERTIFIED CLIMATE DATA CAN BE ACCESSED AT WWW.NCDC.NOAA.GOV)  

Click Each Graph To Go To Monthly Temp/Precip Summary Pages
Grand Island Temperature Summary:  Observed daily maximum and minimum temperatures are connected by blue bars. Area between normal maximum and minimum temperatures is shaded green. Red bars connect record high temperatures. Blue bars connect record low temperatures. Hastings Temperature Summary:  Observed daily maximum and minimum temperatures are connected by blue bars. Area between normal maximum and minimum temperatures is shaded green. Red bars connect record high temperatures. Blue bars connect record low temperatures.

 

Click Images To Enlarge
 
Grand Island Airport Precipitation Summary:  Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for September 2011. Red line indicates "normal" September precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010. Hastings Airport Precipitation Summary:  Blue line indicates cumulative observed precipitation for September 2011. Red line indicates "normal" September  precipitation based on 30-year data from 1981-2010.

 

Grand Island (Regional Airport) - Sep. 2010 - Sep. 2011

  Sep. 2010 October November December January  February  March April May June July August September
Average High (F)

79.6 

 70.9 

50.1  

36.2 

28.5

 39.0

 48.6

61.5

71.5 

83.7

89.0

86.0

74.8 

Average Low (F)

 51.9

 40.3

25.8 

14.9 

8.7

15.8 

27.5 

38.1 

48.1 

59.9

69.8

63.5

47.3

Average Temperature (F)

 65.8

55.6 

37.9 

25.6 

18.6

27.4 

38.1 

49.8

59.8 

71.8

79.4

74.7

61.0

Departure from Normal (F)

 +0.7

 +3.6

+1.5 

 0.0

-3.8

-0.8 

 -0.2

-0.1

 -0.8

+0.7 

+3.6

+0.7

-4.1 

 

Precipitation (inches)

1.66 

 0.30  

0.44 

0.24 

1.49

 0.28 

1.02 

2.93 

8.70 

1.72

4.37

2.30

0.83 

Departure from Normal

-0.57 

-1.21 

-0.97 

-0.42 

 +0.95

-0.40 

-1.02 

 +0.32 

+4.63 

-2.00

+1.23

-0.82 -1.40 

 

Snowfall (inches)

0.0 

 0.0

T 

3.0 

18.7

 2.2 

 8.7 

 0.2 

 0.0 

 0.0

 0.0

0.0  0.0

 Departure from Normal

-0.1 

 -1.0

-4.7 

-3.6

+12.5

-3.7 

+1.9 

 -1.3

  0.0

 0.0

 0.0

0.0  -0.1

 Hastings (Municipal Airport) - Sep. 2010 - Sep. 2011

  Sep. 2010 October November December January February March April

May

June

July

August

September
 Average High (F)

 78.5

 70.5

50.5 

 36.2

28.6

 38.2

  49.2

 61.9

 71.1

83.1

 89.8

84.3

74.0

Average Low (F)

 53.2

41.5 

26.9 

 16.0

 10.2

 16.0

 28.4

38.6 

 48.3

60.8

 69.9

64.6 

48.2

Average Temperature (F)

65.8 

 56.0

38.7 

 26.1 

  19.4

 27.1

38.8

 50.3

  59.7

71.9

 79.9

74.4 

61.1

 Departure  from Normal (F)

 +0.2

 +3.0

 +1.5

  -0.6

-4.2

 -2.5

 -0.3 

  -0.3

  -1.8

+0.2

 +3.8

 +0.1

-4.5

 

Precipitation (inches)

 2.70

  0.16

0.80 

0.28 

 1.00

 0.30

0.49 

  4.34

 5.03

 2.65

 4.96

4.90 

0.70

 Departure from Normal

+0.14  

 -1.51

 -0.66

-0.45 

 +0.45

 -0.37

 -1.59

+1.47

 +0.44

-0.94

+1.15

+1.60 

-1.86

 

Snowfall NWS Office (inches)

   0.0 

  0.0 

0.1 

3.3 

 20.0

5.2  

 4.4

 1.0

 0.0

0.0

 0.0

0.0 

0.0

Departure from Normal 

 -0.2

 -1.0

-3.4 

-2.7 

 +15.1

 -0.2 

 -1.3 

 -0.3

 0.0 

 0.0

 0.0

 0.0 

-0.2

Kearney (Cooperative Observer at Airport)  - Sep. 2010 - Sep. 2011
(*Temperature Data may include "mix"of automated obs and Cooperative Observer obs to better reflect true "calendar day" averages)

 

 Sep. 2010

October

November

 December

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

Average High (F)*

79.2

71.3 

 50.6

 36.4

29.7

38.2

 48.2

60.9

70.5

82.7

88.1

84.9

74.1

 Average Low (F)*

 50.4

38.4 

 24.3

 13.5

8.5

 13.6

 25.7

 37.0

 45.8

59.2

68.4

63.9

47.3

Average Temperature (F)*

 64.8

54.9

37.5

25.0 

19.1

25.9

 37.0

 49.0

58.2

71.0

78.2

74.4

60.7

  Departure from Normal (F)*

 +1.3

+3.5

+1.7

-0.9 

-3.3

-1.7

0.0 

+0.8 

 -1.0

+1.2

+3.5

+1.8

-2.8

         

Precipitation (inches)

1.02

0.34 

0.93 

0.14 

0.86

0.12

0.90 

3.45

7.53

4.51

4.07

3.72

0.65

 Departure from Normal

 -1.05

 -1.20 

-0.29 

-0.47 

+0.32

-0.49

  -1.15

+1.02

+3.41

+0.58

+0.79

+0.64

 -1.42

           

  Snowfall (inches)

 0.0

 0.0

T 

 1.8

 15.6

4.7

11.7 

T

0.0 

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

 Departure from Normal

 -0.2

 -0.8

-4.8

-4.8 

+10.3

-0.4

 +6.1

 -2.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.2

  Ord (Evelyn Sharp Field Airport) - Sep. 2010 - Sep. 2011
(*Winter precipitiation data may include coop observer obs due to automated airport equipment under-representing snowfall liquid equivalent)

  Sep. 2010 October November December January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

 Average High (F)

-

-

-

-

-

-  

 59.1

68.7

80.4

88.9

86.1

74.5

Average Low (F)

-

-

-

-

-

35.2 

44.9

57.0

67.6

61.4

43.9

Average Temperature (F)

-

-

-

 

-

-

 47.2

56.8

68.7

78.2

73.8

59.2

Departure  from Normal (F)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-1.6

-2.5

-0.5

+3.8

+0.8

-4.4

 

Precipitation (inches)*

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

  2.51

 4.90

4.16

2.23

2.46

0.77

 Departure from Normal

  -

 -

 -

-

-

 -

-0.08

+1.09

+0.04 

-0.74

-0.70

-1.67

 

Snowfall (Coop Observer)

 

 -

-

 -

-

  -

-

 3.0

 0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Departure from Normal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+0.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Smith Center KS (Cooperative Observer)  - Sep. 2010 - Sep. 2011
(*All data from coop observer with daily obs taken around 7 AM. As a result, temperature data may vary slightly from true "calendar day" averages)

 

 Sep. 2010

October

November

 December

January

February

March

April 

May

June

July

August

September

Average High (F)*

82.9

74.6

 54.0

 39.9

34.6

 40.6

52.8

 66.2

73.8

86.9

 95.8

89.5

78.0

 Average Low (F)*

 54.6

42.8

 27.7

 17.6

10.8

 13.5

27.6

 38.1

 47.1

60.4

 69.2

 65.6

49.8

Average Temperature (F)*

 68.8

58.7

40.9

28.8

22.7

 27.1

40.2

 52.1

60.5

73.7

 82.5

77.6

63.9

  Departure from Normal (F)*

 +0.6

+3.9

+0.5

0.0 

-5.0

-4.9 

-1.4 

 -0.4

 -3.3

-0.3

 +2.8

+0.4

 -4.3

         

Precipitation (inches)

1.68

0.12

1.20 

0.25

0.75

0.86 

0.54

 2.30

 9.45

4.82

 5.25

 5.03

0.39

 Departure from Normal

 -0.36

 -1.76 

-0.02

-0.41

+0.26

+0.28 

-1.33 

 +0.03 

+5.53

+1.21

+1.38 

+1.73

-1.65 

     

  Snowfall (inches)

 0.0

 0.0

T 

 2.2

 10.2

 11.2 

3.4

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0 

0.0

0.0

 Departure from Normal

 -0.2

 -0.4

-1.8

-1.0

+6.5

+7.1 

 +0.8

-0.6

0.0

0.0

0.0 

0.0

 -0.2  

 

The following images depicting September Precipitation and Temperatures are courtesy of the High Plains Regional Climate Center:

Please note:
These maps are a "best-approximation" of actual measured values, and data reflected on these maps may not exactly match actual values due to the effects of interpolation and "smoothing" used to create the maps.

Click Images To Enlarge
Nebraska: September 2011 Precipitation (Inches) Kansas: September 2011 Precipitation (Inches)
  

 Nebraska: Sep. 2011 Percent of Normal Precipitation (%) Kansas: Sep. Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
 

   
Nebraska: Sep. 2011 Temperature Departure from Normal (F) Kansas: Sep. 2011 Temperature Departure from Normal (F)

   


 

The following drought status images, current as of Sep. 27, 2011, are courtesy of the U.S. Drought Monitor:

Click Images To Enlarge

 U.S. Drought Monitor Nebraska  U.S. Drought Monitor Kansas
Nebraska U.S. Drought Monitor- as of September 27, 2011 Kansas U.S. Drought Monitor- as of September 27, 2011
 

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For more climate related information, check out the following websites:

This page was composed by the staff at the National Weather Service in Hastings, Nebraska.

 

 



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