The September just completed was the hottest September in Texas history.
Figures released by Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon, who is a professor at Texas A&M, reveal that the average temperature in Texas throughout the month was 81.5 degrees, .8 degerees warmer than the previous record set in 1911.
“This comes on the heels of the second-warmest August on record, surpassed only by August 2011. In fact, September was warmer than more than one-third of all prior Augusts,” Nielsen-Gammon said.
Nielsen-Gammon told 1200 WOAI news that much of the increasing in the state's average temperature comes from the growth of the major cities. Urban areas create 'heat islands' due to congress and buildings.
"Some of the excess heat is due to the fact that we have such big metropolitan areas in the first place," he said.
Nielsen-Gammon says it is clear that 'global warming' played a role in the September heat.
"given the rainfall conditions, it was going to warm September even without global warming, but you add in an extra one and a half to two degrees, and it become much easier to break a record," he said.
In parts of the state, especially in the Panhandle, heat records were extreme.
Three counties in the Panhandle (Hemphill, Lipscomb, and Moore) exceeded the 20th-century average September temperature by 7.6 degrees.
Nielsen-Gammon expects the rain to return this fall and winter, saying with no signs of an El Nino pattern developing in the south Pacific, there is no reason to expect abnormal weather patterns this fall.