It still feels like summer, but Sept. 1 was the start of fall, according to the number crunchers at the National Weather Service.
They call it “meteorological fall” (the rest of us observe astronomical fall, which won’t get here until Sept. 23).
The earlier date is fine with us because that means we reached the end of meteorological summer. Let’s say goodbye with a look back at some of those numbers the weather service collects.
In summer 2015, we sweltered through 13 100-degree days, the first time in eight years we had fewer than the average of 18 triple-digit days, said Matt Stalley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
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Back in 2007, there were only five 100-degree days, he said.
Nevertheless, August was warmer and drier than normal with an average high temperature of 97.8. The normal average high is 96.1.
“The average temperature is typically in the mid 90s for a large stretch of the summer, so if you have many days in the upper 90s, those would all be above average,” Stalley said.
Why do you observe a “meteorological fall”?
“It makes record-keeping easier,” said Jason Dunn, another weather service meteorologist in Fort Worth.
Meteorologists divide the year into four tidy three-month segments starting on the first day of September, December, March and June.
“For our record-keeping purposes, fall will always start on Sept. 1. Because the start of astronomical fall varies from year to year, it would make it hard for record-keeping purposes,” he said.
Thankfully, there are no more 100-degree days in our future, the weather service says. High temperatures will be in mid-90s the rest of the week.
“We should be pretty steady, at least through the rest of the week, even into early next week, staying between 95 and 97 degrees,” Dunn said. “That's a little bit above normal.”
But, he said, “It starts dropping pretty fast” once October approaches. And by then, it really will be fall.
Staff writer Ryan Osborne contributed to this report.