CARIBOU, Maine — Most people agree that this summer was one of the best Mainers have seen in several years.
So it was a shock to many when rain chased away that shiny late-summer sun last month, and meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Caribou said Monday that September was abnormal in terms of rainfall.
Matt Doody, a meteorologist with the NWS, said that most parts of the state had above-average amounts of precipitation.
“It was certainly a very wet month,” he said Monday. “The biggest thing was that people really noticed because we had such a great summer. We really had a relatively rain-free summer, and it was warm and sunny.”
In Aroostook County, the city of Caribou picked up 5.34 inches of precipitation last month. The normal for a Caribou September is 3.27 inches, so last month’s total was 2.07 inches above normal, according to Doody.
Even more rain fell in Bangor last month, according to Doody. The city picked up 5.73 inches, which is 2.34 inches above the normal of 3.39 inches.
Millinocket also saw 3.14 inches of rain last month, 1.47 inches more than normal.
The above-average precipitation in September puts the region a bit above average as far as total annual rainfall. The region has seen 31 inches of rain this year, according to the NWS, slightly above the average of 28 inches.
While northern and central Maine saw above-average rainfall, parts of southern Maine did not. According to officials with the National Weather Service in Gray, Portland had 2.30 inches of rain in September, which is more than an inch below normal.
Doody said that the rainy weather in northern and central Maine was a result of a weather system that allowed storms to move in and settle over the area for prolonged periods.
“In late summer, there was a block over the state that prevented storms from moving in,” he explained. “There was no block in September. Because there was no block, several storm systems moved in and settled over the area, and a couple of them had tropical connections. Anytime you have a tropical connection, there is the potential for significant rainfall.”
The latest bit of rain fell when Tropical Storm Nicole moved through the state late last week. Along the East Coast, the storm brought down power lines, flooded roads and was blamed for at least five deaths.
There were only about seven days in September when precipitation was not recorded in Caribou, according to the weather service.