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You didn't imagine it -- last month was one of the warmest, wettest Septembers on record in Metro Detroit.

The region's end-of-summer heat wave helped last month tie for the fifth warmest September on record, the National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday. At the same time, the Detroit area recorded its fourth-highest rainfall for a September.

Temperatures over the 30 days averaged 68.9 degrees, as they did in September 2002, meteorologist Bryan Tilley said.

The mean temperatures for the top four Septembers were: 72.2 in 1881, 69.8 in 1931, 69.5 in 1921 and 69.3 in 2015, according to weather service data. The normal average temperature for the month is 64.4.

According to weather service data, 6.46 inches of rain fell last month — more than 3 inches above average. That ranked it behind just three other Septembers: 1986 (7.52 inches), 2000 (6.71) and 1902 (6.50), according to NWS. 

Last month's numbers outline why it ranked as so historically hot. The mercury peaked at or above 90 on five days, while six saw highs in the 80s. The lowest reading was 45.

"We were well above normal there to start the month, and then when we did drop back down, we didn’t drop much," Tilley said. "We were able to maintain pretty healthy above-normal average temperatures for the whole month."

The unusually warm September followed a hot summer, which equaled the region's fifth hottest in more than 140 years.

"We're just on the warmer side of average in general," Tilley said.

Summer-like conditions are returning to southeast Michigan, as well.

On Wednesday, Detroit Metro Airport notched a high of 77 degrees — 10 above average for the date but 12 below the record set in 1953, the weather service said.

There is a slight risk for severe thunderstorms between midnight and 7 a.m. as a cold front approaches, according to the agency.

The thermometer should top out in the 60s Thursday and Friday before rebounding near 80 on Saturday and hovering in the 70s through early next week. 

Tilley noted the change is typical of early autumn.

"Summer is trying to hold on and fall is trying to gain some traction," he said. "This is the perfect month for a battleground between these two seasons."

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