September is here, Labor Day has come and gone, and the kids are back in school.
Summer is over, right?
Well, kind of yes, but mostly no.
For the purposes of meteorological record-keeping, summer did end on Aug. 31. However, by astronomical definition, summer doesn’t end until the autumnal equinox, which occurs this year on Sept. 22. Plus, there are a number of reason why we can expect to have plenty more warm, summer weather before we fall too deeply into the depths of the cold season.
First, the average high temperature remains above 70 degrees for about the first half of September. Even at the end of the month, it only falls into the upper 60s. Plus, it’s been as warm as 99 degrees in Milwaukee in September. That occurred Sept. 15, 1939. And, it’s been in the 90s in September as recently as 1990 when on Sept. 4 we hit 92.
Even if we don’t reach the 90s (or 80s) I would argue that September is often the nicest month of the year in Wisconsin. Of course, that’s subjective I guess. Still, with the typical September providing us with many days of comfortable temperatures and low humidity, most people find September pretty agreeable.
Now, October gets a little dicey. It’s no longer officially (or unofficially) summer, and by the end of the month the normal high temperature falls into the mid 50s. Still, most Octobers bring us at least a couple days in the 70s early in the month. Plus, 80s aren’t out of the question. Milwaukee’s warmest October day was Oct. 6, 1963 when we hit 89. It has even hit 80 on Halloween. That was in 1950. More recently, Milwaukee hit 85 on back-to-back days in 2007 on Oct. 7 and 8.
Even if we don’t reach the 70s or 80s in October, I know there are plenty of you who love crisp, fall days with highs in the 60s.
So, sure, we’ve passed a few milestones that sometimes trick us into believing that the best weather of the year is behind us. And yes, it’s closer to Halloween than it is to the Fourth of July. But it’s still going to be a while before we need our heavy coats and snow shovels.
Craig is a meteorologist who was born and raised in Pewaukee. After getting a degree in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he worked over 20 years on TV and radio in Milwaukee, Madison, Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri.
Craig spends most of his time trying to keep up with his bride and their three teenage daughters. Any time left over is spent with his other beloveds, the Packers, Brewers and Badgers.