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We are in the midst of peak hurricane season and tropical activity left its mark in Texas in September. Tropical Storm Imelda brought very heavy rain, which prompted flash flood emergency conditions in parts of the state last month, according to the National Weather Service.

Southeast Texas had some of the highest rainfall totals with record flooding in some locations as the storm impacted the area starting Sept. 17. Unofficial totals of around 43 inches of rain were reported at Taylors Bayou and Mayhaw Bayou while Pevito Bayou had just under 40 inches as its unofficial total. Official totals topped a foot of rain in Houston, Galveston, Conroe and Beaumont-Port Arthur. 

Farther north, Missouri River flooding caused concern in Nebraska as the second highest crest was noted at Niobrara. The river at that location rose above levels noted earlier this year in March with a crest 5.34 feet above flood stage on Sept. 22. 

September was also notably wet in parts of North Dakota with new monthly records set while annual precipitation records have already been broken in Kennebec, South Dakota. 

We didn’t escape the month of September without record setting heat in some areas as well. Around the middle of the month, the mercury climbed above the century mark three days in a row, and temperatures went hot enough to set new record highs.

Looking globally, ENSO-neutral conditions prevail. That’s expected to remain the case this fall and into winter as well. 

For October, expect temperatures to average above seasonal norms for the entire plains. That trend will remain through December. 

From central Texas into southern Oklahoma, drought conditions will likely linger in the coming months. October’s outlook is not expected to help matters as below normal precipitation amounts are forecast for northern Texas into Oklahoma. That’s expected to change for those areas later in the year. Above average precipitation is expected to prevail from the northern plains through northern Texas for the next three months.

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for next month’s update.

Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.

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