Although the calendar will not say that summer is over till later this month, meteorologically speaking summer is considered to be the months of June, July, and August. With that in mind, here is a look back at this past summer which has been notable in several respects. The summers of 2010, 2011, & 2012 were all much hotter than normal and 2011/2012 were also much drier. But, this past summer turned out to be cooler than normal; in fact 0.6 degrees cooler than normal. Not only that, but so far this calendar year, only the months of Jan & Jun have been warmer than normal. That is quite a turnaround from the last couple of years.
By the way, the summers of 2008 & 2009 were also cooler than normal and the summer of 2004 was one of the coolest summers on record. So, it has not been all that long ago that we had some milder summer conditions; just that the extreme heat of the last several summers provided a very dramatic contrast to how this past summer was perceived.
Having said all that, we still have some hot weather ahead of us but the trend is definitely downward as our normal daytime highs drop from near 90 at the beginning of the month to the upper 70s by the end of the month. Keep in mind that we can still have some triple digits days during September as well. So far this warm season, we have only had 7 triple digit days which is less than half the long term average of 15.
Despite that wet period in the middle of August, the summer of 2013 turned out to be drier than normal, but it was still much better than the flash droughts that developed in the summers of 2011 & 2012. However, we have not received any good, soaking, widespread rainfall since the middle of August and the outlook for the first two weeks of September is not very promising. Notice the two maps on the right which take us into the middle of September. The climate signal certainly suggests warmer and drier than normal conditions for us through at least the middle of the month.
As things continue to dry out for the next week or two and with ridging aloft pretty much in place, temperatures will also be warming up with above normal temperatures by the end of this week and through much of the following week. That leaves open the possibility we may be pushing triple digit temperatures at some point in time…..not going to forecast that just yet, but don't like the warm, dry signal that I am now seeing.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.