LocalSYR

Our Race to the Top....(8-6-12)

<B>(5:45 PM Monday August 6th)</B>As of today. Syracuse was on pace to break the record for most 90 degree days in one year. What does the recent past tell us about our chances for late season heat and actually breaking that record?
Over the weekend we ended up with two more 90 degree days for the year.  That puts us near the top of the heap when it comes to total number of 90 degree days in one year.  Here is where we stand through today:

YearTotal 90 Degree Days90 Degree Days Thru Aug. 6th
19552821
20022615
19882520
19492418
20122222



So we have made it into the upper echelon of hot summers (at least measured by 90 degree days) and we are ahead of the pace set by the years ahead of us but what are our odds of breaking the record of 28 days?  First, and foremost, every time we get close to 90 degrees here on out we need to hit 90.  No 88 F or 89 F will do.  So for the sake of argument let’s say we hit our forecasted high of 92 F on Wednesday and we get to 23 days. After that day our chances of 90 degree heat into early next week are low.  That leaves us five days short of the record.  Since we’ve never had 90 degree warmth in the month of October, our window to get those five days becomes short; only about six weeks between the middle of August and the end of September.  

Given that time frame I decided to look back over the last 30 years to see how common late season heat is in Syracuse.  Going from August 15th through September the average number of 90 degree days in a given year is only about one.  However, if you look at all the individual years that make up that average it really is feast or famine.  18 of the 30 years had NO 90 degree days after August 15th while another 9 years had two or more.

When I looked specifically at the hottest years within the 30 years within the sample (1981-2010) I did find that a majority of those hot years did tend to have late season heat.

Year90 F+ After August 15th90 F + After September 1
201054
200500
200263
199932
199520



The way our temperatures are going this year, it certainly looks like 2012 is going to join the years above as one of the hottest summers.  If that is the case, then odds of us hitting 90 degrees again after August 15th are good and it is not out of the question we get to 28 F 90 degrees days. That’s strictly by what past summers tell us.  Looking at some clues from the computer models into mid and late next week it looks like our temperatures will go back above normal.  Here is the official 8 to 14 day forecast from the National Weather Service averaged from August 14th to August 20th.



It’s still too early to say with any certainty whether this above normal area will translate into 90 degree weather for us. Our normal high temperature next week is down to 80 F.

Also, I will caution that we’ve come tantalizingly close to weather records before only to end up short. Just last month we hit 101 degrees which was just one degree off the all-time record high temperature. You might also recall that during the winter of 2000-01, after receiving 191.9” of snow, we came up .2” of the all time record seasonal snowfall!
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