Fall 2009 Was A Tad Warmer Than Normal

OSWEGO, NY – The fall of 2009 was warm, but not as warm as expected.

The winter solstice is Monday.

The above average warmth this fall made for some pleasant days to fish in the Oswego River in September and October as well.
The above average warmth this fall made for some pleasant days to fish in the Oswego River in September and October as well.

However, for the purpose of his reports, Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service, breaks the seasons into four three-month blocks.

“I use the calendar months, not lunar,” he explained.

Therefore, the fall is September, October and November.

The average temperature for this past fall was 52 degrees. That’s just 0.8-degree warmer than normal.

“I thought it was going to be a lot warmer than that,” Gregway said.

The warmest temperature was 78 degrees on Sept. 23. The lowest was 29 degrees on Nov. 7.

There was just a trace of snow for the fall. That is 9.5 inches below average.

The total precipitation (8.82 inches) was also way down.

“We were 3.59 inches below average,” Gregway said. “It was a very dry fall.”

The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.25 inches on Sept. 27.

The number of cloudy days, 47, was average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 32, was 7 above average.

The number of clear days, 12, was 7 below average.

The area saw 30 percent of the possible amount of sunshine. That is just 1 percentage above average.

“That’s about right. This is usually some of our darkest days,” Gregway said.

There were 2 thunderstorms, which is 2 below average.

And, there was 1 foggy day, which is 1 below average.

“We had precipitation on 41 days and no precipitation fell on 50 days,” Gregway said. “That’s the exact reverse of what we had for the fall of 2008.”

The highest barometric pressure was 30.51 on Nov. 11. The lowest was 29.27 on Sept. 28.

There were no records set during the fall months; but we did tie the record low (31 degrees) on Oct. 16, according to Gregway.

“We didn’t have a lot of wind this fall,” he said. “Our strongest winds were during a storm on Oct. 7. We had gusts up to 56 mph,” he said. “Out at the college they had sustained winds at 44 mph.”

The most snow for a fall is 38 inches in 1976. The least amount is zero in 1966 (the only time that has happened).

There has been just a trace for 1948, 1960 and 2009.

“That’s pretty good,” Gregway said. “In more than 100 years we’ve only been without snow 4 times during the fall.”

Since the first of the year, total precipitation stands at 33.94 inches. That’s 5.19 inches below average.

For the fall of 2008, we were about 5 inches above average, Gregway pointed out.

October 19 was the date of the first hard frost this fall. It marked the end of a 184-day growing season. The average is 182 days.

“Last year, the growing season was only 170-something days long,” Gregway said.

Total precipitation last fall was 3.41 inches above average, and there was 29.3 inches of snow.

“We had a white Thanksgiving last year,” Gregway added.

The fall of 2007 was 3 degrees warmer than average.

“I’ll have to check my notes. That may be our warmest fall on record,” he said.