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DFP-RonSmithCorn-Harvest-Hot-Dusty.jpg Ron Smith

Temperatures didn't drop: September felt like August

The unusual September weather in Missouri had record-setting heat, and October brings new concerns for farmers over possible frost toward the end of the month.

September weather acted like August in Missouri, says Pat Guinan, state climatologist with University of Missouri Extension. Several locations, mostly in southern Missouri, saw record-setting heat.

Daily high temperatures reached into 80- and 90-degree ranges.

Drawing attention are temperatures that didn’t drop to seasonal lows at night. Lowest temperatures at night set record highs.

Preliminary data shows statewide average temperature for September was 74.7 degrees. That’s 6.4 degrees above historic average.

The ranking may change slightly, but Missouri had its second-highest September temperature on record, Guinan says. It was warmest since 1931.

Missouri’s minimum average temperature was 63.8 degrees. That’s 7.4 degrees above average. The low temperatures for the month do set a state record.

Precipitation was more varied across the state in September. Above-average rain fell across northern and west-central counties. Below-average rains were recorded in central, east-central and southern areas.

Radar and ground gauges showed 5 to 7 inches of precipitation in some areas, Guinan says. However, areas in southwestern Missouri showed only 2 inches of precipitation. There were pockets across the south that received only half an inch of rain or less. That’s unusual dryness, he adds.

Overall, the state average rainfall was 3.58 inches, almost half an inch below long-term average.

September was driest month since April.

October brings concerns over first fall frost, Guinan notes.

Climatology shows first light frost of 32 degrees or lower in the northern quarter of Missouri and eastern Ozarks by mid-October, he says.

Central Missouri and western Ozarks expect light frost by Oct. 21. Urban areas stay warm a few days longer.

The Bootheel expects light freeze by the end of October or early November.

But so far this year Missouri hasn’t had normal weather.

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