Summer-like September: Is this normal?

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va – Another hot stretch of days is in the books here in the Mountain State.

Temperatures this week are expected to be in the 80s with some spots expected to be approaching 90 or greater in the southern and western sections of north-central West Virginia over the next seven days.

In the middle of September, temperatures are expected to be in the low-to-middle 70s in Clarksburg. However this week, those temperatures will land anywhere from five-to-fifteen degrees above average.

Recent studies of the Earth’s climate, though, say that this could be the new normal.

According to scientists, we are seeing hotter summers across the country, the Mountain State, and here in north-central West Virginia.

Average summer temperatures, specifically in Clarksburg, have increased 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970. According to Climate Central, summer temperatures have risen 2.0°F on average in the contiguous United States over in the past half-century.

These hotter summers mean that the summer season is lasting longer, and that we will have longer heat waves and more extremely hot days. 

We have seen evidence of an increase of hot and sweaty days throughout north-central West Virginia.

According to Climate Central, we have seen an average of 6.7 more days above 90 degrees in Clarksburg as time has progressed over the past 50 years.

This year, we have seen way above that average number in Harrison County. In 2019, the weather station at North Central West Virginia airport in Clarksburg reported 25 days at 90 degrees or greater. Over the past 30 years, Clarksburg on average has seen 11 days at 90 degrees or greater, according to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Charleston, W.Va.

In Elkins, things have been more “normal.” Over the past 30 years, Elkins has seen an average of three days of 90 degrees or greater. In 2019, the National Weather Service reported that Elkins has seen five days of 90 degrees or greater.

Warming trends are expected to continue across the region into October.

According to the Climate Prediction Center, there is a 60-percent probability of above-average temperatures through the next two weeks.

Make sure to keep the T-shirts and shorts out. It’s looking like a hot to start to Fall across the Mountain State.

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