September was driest on record for St. Thomas
Published: October 3, 2012
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St. Thomas experienced its driest September ever recorded this year, accumulating only 0.92 inches of precipitation in its official rain gauge at King Airport for the entire month, according to the National Weather Service.
St. Thomas' previous low-rainfall record for September, set in 1986, was for 1.08 inches, said Brian Seeley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Juan.
The Weather Service has been keeping V.I. records since 1956, Seeley said.
Situated at the height of hurricane season, September typically brings significant rainfall to the territory.
St. Croix, while experiencing a drier than average September this year, was nowhere near its record low rainfall amount, Seeley said.
St. Croix saw 3.74 inches of rain last month, about 1.12 inches below the average, Seeley said. The island's driest recorded September occurred in 1981, when St. Croix saw 1.07 inches of rainfall, he said.
The drier weather territorywide this September may be related to the sharp turn northward into the open Atlantic that a number of tropical systems took last month, he said.
Those tropical systems may have brought rain had they ventured closer to the territory, he said.
"We didn't have a lot of tropical wave action in September," Seeley said.
On Tuesday evening, officials at the National Hurricane Center were keeping an eye on another tropical disturbance out in the Atlantic, about 950 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. The Hurricane Center was giving that tropical wave an 80 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.
However, as other storms have done this season, the disturbance is expected to turn fairly quickly and move off far to the north, Seeley said. It is not expected to affect the territory.
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