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2016 will feature the warmest start to fall in six years

Fall color (Photo: Karen Darwin, Scottsboro)

Fall color (Photo: Karen Darwin, Scottsboro)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – I am not going to make a big deal about the first day of fall this year for one simple reason: it is going to be way too hot!

Despite what the calendar says and the sun’s position in the sky, it will feel a lot more like mid-June than late September when fall begins Thursday.

Fall begins the moment the sun’s rays cross the celestial equator moving south. It is also commonly referred to as the autumnal equinox. This happens every year and usually takes place on September 22, 23 or 24.

Temperatures are expected to reach the low 90s on the first afternoon of fall this year. If we get warmer than 89 degrees, it will be the warmest start to fall since 2010. On September 22, 2010, it got up to 95 degrees in Huntsville.

Climate data for Huntsville shows it has been at or above 90 degrees 8 times on the first day of fall since 1960.

Official climate data shows it has been hotter than 100 degrees on the first day of fall twice. That happened in 1931 and 1925, though it is hard to judge how accurate those readings truly were.

The high temperature has been as cool as the 60s on five occasions in Huntsville’s climate history. The coolest first day of fall happened in 1975 – it was only 63 degrees!

Cooler (and then colder) weather will eventually arrive, but you will want to keep the summer clothes handy in the meantime.