As mentioned yesterday, the meteorological summer of June 1-Aug 31 has come to an end although we will obviously still be dealing with some very summer-like weather over the next few days. More about that in a moment, but first thought a recap would be in order.
Our summer got off to a very pleasant start with the coolest Jun 1 on record, but before the summer was over we also had the hottest single day ever observed here in Tulsa. July 31 had an all-time record morning low of 88 and the high that afternoon was 112. Now, we have had a few hotter days, but when you compute the average temperature for that day, it comes out to an even 100 degrees and that never even happened back in the dust bowl days.
As far as the average temperature for the summer, fortunately it turned out to be well below last summer but was still hot enough to register as the 6th hottest summer ever recorded here in Tulsa. The summer of 1980 still holds the record as the hottest summer for Tulsa and the summer of 2011 was the second hottest. Statewide, the summer of 2011 was the hottest on record not only for the state of Oklahoma but for any state in the nation. We don't have the statewide numbers as yet for 2012, those should be forthcoming after Labor Day.
Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that when one looks at the hottest summers for Tulsa with data going back to 1905, the pecking order goes like this: 1980, 2011, 1936, 1934, 1954, 2012, 1925, 2010….. Notice that the last 3 summers have all been in the top ten for hottest summers on record. Based on that, we are certainly due for a break so hopefully next summer will at least be closer to normal.
As for precipitation, this past summer was wetter than the summer of 2011, and actually only about 2" below normal with a total precipitation of 8.99". What made the drought so bad was the lack of rain in what is usually our wettest month, the month of May, so we entered the hottest and driest time of the year with a developing drought situation already in place.
As far as how we stand so far this year, we are on pace for the warmest calendar year on record. In fact, we are nearly 2 degrees ahead of the pace of 2006 which was the warmest Jan-Aug period on record till this year. We are also more than 5 inches below normal on precipitation so far this year. Last year our fall rainy season helped a lot and pretty much eliminated the drought situation by the end of the year. Only time will tell if we will be that fortunate this time around.
I will say though that the month of September is certainly getting off to a hot start as we were barely below 100 yesterday and are expecting 100+ each day of the coming week through Wednesday. We do see a significant cool-down arriving in time for the coming weekend though and hopefully some decent rains will accompany that.
In the meantime, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.