We are at the end of meteorological summer (June-August) which means it is time to take stock of our weather over the last three months here in central New York.
There was certainly rain and that seemed to be the big headline grabber. The big weather events included the flooding from Oneida and Madison counties east on June 28th. Additional flooding took places a few weeks ago with areas around Cortland and Ithaca hard hit. We always talk about heavy rainfall during the summer as hard to pinpoint and the numbers back that up. It was wet in Syracuse and much of central New York in June; Syracuse was more than three inches above normal. The total for the summer came out to more than 12” of rain, almost twice as much as last summer However, that stands in contrast to other rain totals across Onondaga County. Here are some of the numbers through Thursday:
The DeWitt location is probably less than 10 miles away from the airport and they ended up with about four and a half inches more rain! The rain totals south and east of Syracuse were even more impressive.
By looking at some of these co-op observer totals from the National Weather Service, you see that the airport numbers are really the exception, not the rule.
If you focus on just this point (the airport) and look at total rain I think you miss the flavor of the summer. A better way to look at rainfall is to focus on the days where there was measurable rainfall. Normally during June-August, about a third of the 92 days have at least .01” of rain. After the rain from this past Saturday, we ended up with 41 out of the 92 ‘summer days’ being wet.That comes out to about an extra week of wet weather this summer.
There are some that think we had no summer, partly because of the rain but also because of the perception of cool weather but the numbers really say otherwise. We ended up with 11 days of 90 degree heat which is a couple more days than we normal. This included a stretch of 6 straight days of 90 degree weather, the first time that has happened in more than 20 years. While not as warm as last July, this past July was still +3.2 degrees above normal. Even when you look at 80 degree warmth, the numbers say we have behaved like a typical summer. Our summer total this year did reach 50 days and normally between June and August that number is 46.
July was certainly the warmest (and most humid) month of the summer while June and August followed their own similar meteorological arcs temperature-wise. Both of those months started off on the cool side. There were 8 days in the first half of June where the temperature only reached into the 60s and in the first half of August there were only three days at 80 or better. However, warm ups during the last half of those months brought the monthly averages closer to normal (June was +.1 F and August +.2F). So when all is said and done, the Summer of 2013 did not have a single month with below normal temperatures.
A few years ago I compiled some expanded temperatures numbers for some summers that truly didn’t have much summer-like weather over the last 20 years. Take a look at how they stack up against this summer.
I think you’ll agree that put into that kind of perspective it is very tough to say we had ‘no’ summer this year.