September weather sizzled

October 09, 2001 12:00 am

By JAYSON JACOBY

Of the Baker City Herald

Weather thats hot and wet at the same time is supposed to be a phenomenon of the tropics, not of arid Eastern Oregon.

It gets hot here, sure, and occasionally the clouds produce a respectable downpour.

But typically, hot weather in these parts is dry weather, not soggy.

This September, then, deserves to be described as rare.

The month was both much warmer than average and more damp.

The average high temperature at the Baker City Municipal Airport was 81.4 degrees almost six degrees above the long-term average, and the fourth-warmest September on record.

Past Septembers that sizzled more than this one were in 1967 (83.3-degree average), 1990 (82.7) and 1974 (81.8).

On nine days this September the temperature reached 90 degrees the most ever.

Last September there was only one 90-degree day, and the average from 1951-2000 was two days.

To most people this September probably didnt seem especially wet.

Rain fell on just three of the 30 days, but each of the three produced impressive amounts of precipitation (at least by Eastern Oregon standards).

The weather on Sept. 12 in particular was redolent of an equatorial jungle.

That afternoon the temperature climbed to 92. Then, in the evening, with the air still in the mild 70s, a heavy rain started to fall.

The downpour dwindled to drizzle that night, but by the end of Sept. 13 almost three-quarters of an inch had fallen during the storm.