ITHACA, N.Y. -- To date, 1998 is running ahead of 1953, the Northeast'swarmest year on record, according to the climatologists at the NortheastRegional Climate Center at Cornell University. If warm temperaturescontinue in the current pattern through the rest of the year, 1998 maysurpass 1953 as the warmest year, says Keith Eggleston, seniorclimatologist at the center.
Eggleston says that the temperature for the Northeast needs to average 1.5degrees above normal for October, November and December in order to beatthe old high-temperature mark of 49.5 degrees Fahrenheit for the year.
For the first nine months of this year, the period of Jan. 1 through Sept.30, 1998 ran second to 1921 as being the warmest such period on record, butonly by a smidgen -- three-tenths of a degree. However, in the sameperiod, the 12-state Northeast region averaged 3.2 degrees warmer thannormal, or 52.6 degrees, and stands second to 1921's 52.9 degrees on thelist of the Northeast's warmest January-September periods. (The normalaverage temperature is based on a 30-year period: 1961 to 1990.)
Eggleston explains that while 1998 is running ahead of 1953 for the Jan.1 to Sept. 30 period, the last three months of 1953 were very warm andpulled the year's average temperature up.
During September, warmer-than-normal conditions dominated. Thearea-weighted average temperature for the region was 2.5 degrees warmerthan the normal 60.3 degrees, and it was the 16th warmest September in 104years of record-keeping. West Virginia averaged 3.5 degrees warmer thanthe normal 64 degrees, while New Hampshire recorded a departure that was 1degree warmer than the 30-year normal of 57 degrees.
Precipitation in September was similar to that of July and August: It wasbelow normal in every state except Vermont. The area-weighted stateaverage for Vermont was 3.92 inches of rain, which is 113 percent ofnormal. Elsewhere, precipitation ranged between 46 percent (1.67 inches)of normal (3.64 inches) in Delaware and 80 percent of normal (3.50 inches)in Maine.
For September, the 12-state region overall averaged 2.55 inches of rain,which was 71 percent of normal, making it the 23rd driest September onrecord.
Materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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