September ended up being warm and very dry – the dry part of that combination being a welcome relief from the very wet months of July and August.
The average temperature, which started off summer-like at the beginning of the month, dropped about a degree a week to end up at 17.2 degrees Celsius. That’s down from 20.9 C in the first week, and one degree above the average temperature for September of 16.2 C.
September 2023 was the ninth warmest in the last 55 years of weather recordkeeping at the Ormstown farm, and it might have been warmer yet if it wasn’t for some below-normal temperatures during the nights of the last week of the month.
The warmer temperatures are reflected in the corn heat unit (CHU) count as it continued to slowly rise above normal for the month as well. September accumulated 609 CHU, while normal for the whole month is 559 CHU. Since the May 11 start date for the local heat unit count, the total recorded so far is 3,173 CHU for the 2023 cropping season, which is pretty close to the 10-year average of 3,189… and there’s still a good chunk of October to go yet.
October is forecast to be warmer than normal in the first week of the month; it should then dip back down to seasonal and even cooler temperatures for the remainder of the month. The earliest forecast for a killing frost is the third week of October.
The last week of September had no rain at all, which was a rare occurrence this past summer. The total amount of precipitation was 27 millimetres for the whole month, which is only 30 per cent of normal rainfall. That would ring alarm bells in June or July, but it’s a welcome outcome as the corn silage and soybean harvests are now underway in earnest.