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2020 brings Earths warmest September on record

A sizzling September breaks records worldwide

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Climate takes center stage globally for the month of September.

According to scientists at the National Centers for Environmental Information, September 2020 was the warmest globally since 1880. This sets 2020 up to rank amongst the top three warmest years on record globally. 

Climate Breakdown

September's average global temperatures calculated out to 60.75° F. The average 20th-century temperature for September is 59.0° F. That puts September 2020 1.75° above-average. 

The past record years for September temperatures were in 2015 and 2016, at 60.71° F. Making September 2020 0.04° F above the previous record holder. 

The top 10 warmest Septembers have all taken place since 2005. Seven of the top ten years have occurred in the last seven years.

Global Impacts

As of October 7th, the United States has tied the record for billion-dollar natural disaster events. Including one wildfire event, one drought event, three hurricane events, and 11 severe storm events.  

According to NOAA, Hurricane Laura is ranked at the top for costly damage with just over 14.1 billion dollars of damage. The derecho that moved through the midwest created eight billion dollars of damage. Ranking third is Hurricane Sally at five billion dollars. 

  1. Hurricane Laura, Aug. 27-29: $14 billion 
  2. Severe weather (derecho), Midwest, Aug. 8-12: $8 billion
  3. Hurricane Sally, Southeast, Sep. 11-18: $5 billion
  4. Hurricane Isaias, Eastern, Aug. 2-4: $5 billion
  5. Wildfire (CZU Complex Fire), California, Aug. 17-Sep. 22: $3.5 billion
  6. Severe weather, Midwest through Mid-Atlantic, Apr. 10-14: $3.45 billion
  7. Severe weather, Midwest through Mid-Atlantic, Apr. 6-9: $3.0 billion
  8. Severe weather, Central and Eastern U.S., Mar. 27-30: $2.9 billion
  9. Severe weather/Nashville tornado, Mar. 2-5: $2.4 billion
  10. Severe weather, Rockies, Plains, and Midwest U.S., May 20-24: $1.65 billion
  11. Severe weather, Texas, May 27-28: $1.55 billion
  12. Severe weather, Central and Eastern U.S., Feb. 3-8: $1.5 billion
  13. Severe weather, Plains through the Midwest U.S., May 4-5: $1.5 billion
  14. Severe weather, Plains and the mid-Atlantic U.S., Apr. 21-24: $1.45 billion
  15. Severe weather, Central and Eastern U.S., Jan. 10-12: $1.28 billion
  16.  Drought, U.S., Jan.-Sep: $1.0 billion 


A 2020 article complied with over 300 peer-reviewed studies looking at the connection between human-influenced climate change and extreme weather events. Results show overwhelming evidence that links human activity to increased extreme weather. With warming temperatures leading in the link between humans and extreme weather events.

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