The perfect weather morning...22 years ago

CREDIT: 9/11/2001 8:30AM photo courtesy of David Monderer

This morning here in Houston was, finally, a pleasant--even crisp--start to the day! And after the summer we’ve been through we certainly deserved it! Almost ironically, the official low at Bush/IAH was 67°. On September 11, 2001 we had an official low of 68° under a bright, blue sky. I’ve blogged before about how the weather, unfortunately, provided the perfect background for an air attack on America that day. Here is more from that blog and those memories:

Not a cloud in the sky. Crisp temperatures. A lovely day began one of the most horrific in our history.

You might recall that Hurricane Erin spun mightily off the East Coast the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, having barely side-swiped Bermuda. Of course, that 120-mph Cat. 3 storm pulled plenty of moisture off the eastern seaboard leaving a dry, blue ceiling that morning.

The hurricane pulled all the moisture into it, leaving a beautiful sunny morning across the northeast

Here’s the surface map from 9/11/2001 and I’ve circled the big high-pressure dome centered over the Ohio Valley which provided such a pleasant northeast wind to Houston that day. You can see Erin off the northeast coast and a cold front just along the seaboard.

CREDIT: National Weather Service

Today’s map looks eerily similar with High Pressure across the East, a stationary front along the coast and Hurricane Lee in the Atlantic:

CREDIT: National Weather Surface

A look back at the morning temps showed Boston at 64°, JFK airport 63°, Reagan National in Washington at 64°. Really, a remarkable September morning.

Did the weather really make a difference?

We’ll never know the answer to that question for sure, but I did have a Continental airlines pilot declare that the perfect flying weather that morning surely helped give an all-go to those hijackers who only knew how to get a plane up and not down. Certainly, the weather provided optimal flying weather with no airport delays and also fewer traffic accidents so commuters to those airports had no issues. And those going to work at the Twin Towers had an easy walk or train ride into work that day. The weather simply wasn’t a worry.

The Gothamist has photos from that morning as the perfect blue sky turned horribly grey.

CREDIT: The attack courtesy David Monderer
The Fall courtesy David Monderer

Never Forget.


About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.