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Daryl Ritchison, Published September 30 2012

Weather Talk: Driest September record could stand for long time

As you have likely heard by now, last month was the driest September on record as just 0.12 inch of rain was recorded at Hector International Airport in Fargo. The previous record was 0.13 inch set back in 1974.

Setting monthly records is often a matter of location and timing. Location is especially important when dealing with rain. Spot to spot variation in rainfall can greatly alter a ranking. For example, last month at the WDAY studios, we recorded 0.17 inch of rain. That would have ranked September as the fourth driest. Our state climatologist recorded 0.24 inch last month in his backyard, which would have ranked as the sixth driest. In Harwood, just north of the airport, 0.43 inch was measured; that would have ranked as the 13th driest.

A rain falling arbitrarily on the first day of a month could have just as easily fallen in the previous month. But timing and location matched perfectly this September for a record that may stand for a long time.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com, or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at stormtrack.areavoices.com