September 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

Published: 8:52 PM GMT on October 22, 2014

September 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

September was globally the warmest such on record according to NASA and NOAA. Deadly flooding affected the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan as well as in southern France, China, and Serbia. Record heat occurred in Jakarta, Indonesia and south-central Canada. It was the driest September on record for the U.K.

Below are some of the month’s highlights.


It was a warmer than average month for the contiguous U.S. (ranked 26th warmest out of the past 120 years) and precipitation was, nationwide, average although the Southwest experienced one of its wettest Septembers on record and the Northeast one of its driest.

State-by state temperature ranks (top map) and precipitation ranks (bottom map) for September. NOAA/NCDC maps.

Tropical moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Norbert swept over Arizona and southern Nevada on September 7-8 bringing an all-time calendar day rainfall of 3.30” (83.8 mm) to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona on September 8th (the 24-hour record of 4.98”/126.5 mm set on July 1-2, 1911 still stands). Other sites in the Phoenix metro area picked up as much as 6” (152 mm) of precipitation. The consequent flooding resulted in one fatality.

Cars rest submerged on the I-10 freeway in Phoenix following the calendar day record rainfall of September 8th. Photo by Michael Chow, AP.

A late September heat wave brought record high temperatures to Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Manitoba, Canada. On September 25th temperatures peaked at 98°F (36.7°C) at Terry, Montana and 97°F (36.1°C) at Miles City, Montana and Williston, North Dakota. Both values were the warmest temperatures ever observed so late in the year. Rapid City, South Dakota hit 95°F (35.0°C), on September 26th, just 15 days after experiencing its earliest measureable snowfall on record when 1.6” of snow fell on September 11th. More amazing was the 35.1°C (95.2°F) reading measured at Swan River, Manitoba on September 26th. Located at 52° 07’ N latitude, this was the hottest temperature ever observed so far north so late in the year for any location in the northern hemisphere!

The exceptional drought in California continued as a large wildfire (the ‘King Fire’) burned 97,000 acres and destroyed 12 homes in the central Sierra Nevada.

The hottest temperature measured in the U.S. during September was 119°F (48.3°C) at Death Valley, California on September 17th and the coldest 0°F (-17.8°C) at Nutter’s Ranch, Utah on September 19th (NCDC also reports a very dubious 0°F reading from Friday Harbor, Washington on September 15th).

Hurricane Odile, which formed in the Eastern Pacific, made a direct strike on Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico on September 15th as a CAT 3 storm with 125 mph winds. It was the strongest hurricane in modern records (tied with Hurricane Olivia in 1967) to strike the Baja Peninsula. Damage to the resort town of Cabo San Lucas was extensive but few casualties were reported (five fatalities in all) thanks to excellent forecasting and preparations made prior to the storm making landfall.

Powerful CAT 3 Hurricane Odile bears down on Baja, Mexico the night of September 14-15. The eye of the storm passed directly over the resort city of Cabo San Lucas just after midnight on September 15th. NOAA enhanced color imagery satellite image.

The Earth Wind Map for midnight September 15th (PT) shows Hurricane Odile just coming ashore at Cabo San Lucas while Hurricane Edouard churns over the Atlantic Ocean.

The coldest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere in September was -36.2°C (-33.2°F) at Summit GEO site in Greenland on September 26th.


Coro, in Falcon State, Venezuela observed a temperature of 41.1°C (106.0°F) on September 29th, just 0.9°C short of Venezuela’s all-time national record high of 42.0°C (107.6°F) set at Machiques, Zulia State in February 1983.


Two incredible rainstorms pounded the southern French Languedoc and Herlaut regions on September 16-18 and again on September 29-30 (more storms hit the region again in October). The rainstorm of September 16-18 brought as much as 377 mm (14.84”) to Cayler, Herault Department and the storm of September 29-30 deluged Montpelier an all-time 24-hour precipitation record rainfall of 299 mm (11.77”). Of this, 184 mm (7.24”) fell in just a two-hour period on September 29th. This may have been a new French national record for short-duration precipitation intensity. More about this event may be found in this blog.

On September 12-15 extreme flooding also occurred in the Balkans where two died in Slovenia and extensive damage occurred in Serbia and Croatia.

At the other end of the precipitation spectrum, the U.K. experienced its driest September on record (since 1910) with just 23% of average precipitation nation-wide for the month. It was the driest single month since August 1995.

Precipitation anomaly map for the U.K. in September. It was the driest such on record. Map courtesy of the U.K. Met Office, Crown copyright.

The warmest temperature observed in the U.K. during September was 26.3°C (79.3°F) at Wiggonholt, West Sussex on September 18th and the coldest -0.1°C (31.8°F) at Katesbridge, County Down on September 8th (this was warmer than the August low for the U.K.!). The greatest 24-hour rainfall measured was 47.8 mm (1.88”) at Linkenholt, Hampshire on September 18-19.


It was the warmest September on record for much of northern Africa, especially Algeria and Tunisia.

The hottest temperature measured in the southern hemisphere during the month was 41.6°C (106.9°F) at Mitunzini, South Africa on September 18th.


The biggest story (weather-wise) in Asia during September was the catastrophic flooding in the Kashmir/Jammu regions of northern India and Pakistan. Torrential monsoon rains on September 3-7 caused flooding that killed 648 people and damage of at least $18 billion. Globally this has been the costliest and deadliest natural disaster so far this year.

The city of Srinagar, India was inundated by floodwaters in early September. Some 200,000 were evacuated from the area. Photo by Abid Bhat.

Flooding also affected southwestern China (Sichuan and Guizhou Provinces) on September 10-17 killing 50 and causing $1.4 billion in damage.

Typhoon Kalmaegi hit the Philippines, China, and Vietnam September 10-16 killing 31 and causing $3 billion in damage. See Jeff Master’s blog post for more details about the above natural disasters in Asia this past September. Typhoon Fung-Wong hit the northern Philippines in late September killing 13 and brought up to 24” (610 mm) of rainfall to Taiwan, where one fatality was reported. As a result of the typhoons, Manila had a near-record September monthly precipitation total of 786 mm (30.94”). The all-time September monthly record is 888 mm/34.96” set in 1914.

Typhoon Kalmaegi pounds Haikou City, on China’s Hainan Island September 16th with pounding surf and winds of 90 mph. Photo by Guo Cheng, Xinhua.

A record heat wave hit parts of Mongolia and Siberia on September 2-3 with Ulan Bator, Mongolia measuring its hottest September temperature on record when a 31.7°C (89.1°F) reading on September 3rd was observed. Sainshand, Mongolia hit 34.5°C (94.1°F) the same day. After this warm start to the month, far eastern Siberia was struck by a cold wave and snowstorm on September 30th. Vladivostok recorded its coldest September temperature on record with a 1.3°C (34.3°F) reading (previous record was 2.2°C/36.0°F in September 1964) and earliest measureable snowfall on record (previous earliest snowfall was on October 4, 1963).

Jakarta, Indonesia measured its hottest temperature on record (for any month) when a 37.0°C (98.6°F) reading on September 24th.

The hottest temperature measured in the northern hemisphere and in the world during the month was 49.6°C (121.3°F) at Mitribah, Kuwait on September 3rd.


It was a warm and generally dry month for Australia and the 2nd warmest September on record for Western Australia. Perth measured 34.2°C (93.6°F) on September 20th, its warmest September day ever observed.

Temperature (top map) and precipitation (bottom map) deciles for Australia during September. Maps courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The hottest temperature observed in Australia during the month was 41.1°C (106.0°F) at Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia on September 29th and the coldest -8.3°C (17.1°F) at Thredbo, New South Wales on September 3rd. The greatest calendar day rainfall was 80.6 mm (3.17”) at Yaamba, Queensland on September 23rd.


The main feature of New Zealand weather through mid-September was a long dry spell on the South Island. Until September 11th Wanaka and Timaru had no rain for 31 days. Milford Sound and Hokitika had no rain for 22 days. The average rainfall for Milford Sound in August and September is 463mm and 551mm respectively. Queenstown record its sunniest September on record, (POR 1930, 246hrs/161% average), as it had also in August (186hrs/155% average).

The highest temperature measured in New Zealand during September was 24.1°C (75.4°F) at Leeston, South Island on September 11th and the coldest -6.9°C (19.6°F) at Middlemarch, South Island on September 28th. The greatest calendar day rainfall was 113.6 mm (4.47”) at Lake Moeraki, South Island on September 12th.


The coldest temperature in the southern hemisphere and in the world during September was –78.0°C (-108.4°F) recorded at Concordia on September 5th and 6th.

KUDOS Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for global temperature extremes data and Jeremy Budd and NIWA for New Zealand data.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

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About The Author
Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.

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