August Recap & September Preview
The month of August was a unique one for Delmarva; as temperatures were very warm but rainfall was somewhat lacking across the region. Salisbury experienced its 4th warmest August with a an average of 78.9°; while Georgetown & Wallops were even toastier with average temperatures of at least 79.0°. All 3 climate stations observed temperatures of at least 2.5° warmer than average for August. The month began hot with highs mainly in the 90s and lows in the 70s through the 10th. The change in pattern starts on the 11th and continued for the remaining two-thirds of the month; as highs in the 80s & lows in the 60s became the norm which is considered seasonable on Delmarva.
Rainfall especially in Salisbury was plentiful through May, June & July with each month receiving over 5 inches; however problems began to brew in Sussex County in late July with abnormally dry conditions. Rainfall was most plentiful early in the month of August; before a series of cold fronts brought waves of drier air later in the month. Rainfall events during the month were brought in by random sea breezes; compared to frontal system in months prior. The drought concern for Sussex County became moderate in August; which continued to expand westward and southward as September starts. Rainfall totals for Georgetown, Wallops & Salisbury were between 2-3 inches, which is about 2 inches below average.
The biggest event on Delmarva during the month of August, was the Smith Island tornado on August 4th. The tornado was started as a waterspout that intensified into a tornado; as it entered the island producing EF-1 winds of 110 mph. The storm was responsible for one injury; while destroying a mobile home and ripping the roof off a bed & breakfast. The storm was unique in that no warning was issued from it due to long proximity of a radar; with most of the storm activity that day was focused over northern Delmarva.
The tropics were abnormally quiet for the month of August; with only a potential tropical cyclone impacting northeast Mexico & southern Texas around the weekend of the 20th. This is the 1st August in the 21st century without a named storm during the month; and the last time a nameless August occurred was in 1997. This nameless gap of named storms which started on July 3 after Colin dissipated lasted until September 1st with Danielle; which is 60 days which became the 2nd longest nameless storm stretch on record for the Atlantic Basin.
September starts meteorological fall and this most apparent on our temperatures in Salisbury; as they quickly tumble from 83 on the 1st to 80° on the 15th and 75° by the 30th. The cooler times are enhanced by a noticeable decrease in daylight; the month starts with 13 hours and ends at slightly less than 12 hours. The amount of daily daylight lost in September is at its peak; reaching 2 minutes and 26 seconds during the astronomical equinox on the 22nd. The tropics are at the peak this month with tropical development likely from the coast of Africa to the Caribbean & Gulf; along with every state on each coastline seeing a potential landfall. September is the 3rd wettest month of the year in Salisbury at 4.48″; thanks in part to tropical cyclones but also more potent cold fronts. The nickname for the September full moon is the Corn Moon, due to corn being harvested.