SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV)
My look back at the Summer 2019 is going to build off something that happened to me nearly three months ago..
Back in mid June, a full week before the official start to Summer in Syracuse, a very-to-the-point email came into the weather office from a viewer with just two simple sentences:
“Last time I remember a summer like this it was 1992. I’m about right on that one.”
This was a real head scratcher. While the weather leading up to that e-mail was cool and wet, we were just two weeks into the 12 week stretch of what we typically think of as the summer months (June, July, August). I thought to myself, “Are central New Yorkers that cynical?” They’re not going to throw in the towel on summer a week before the longest day of the year even arrives, are they?
Luckily, we turned the corner shortly after that email came into the office. As September gets started we’ve had nine days in the 90s which is typical for a Syracuse summer. The Summer of ‘92 we failed to reach 90 degrees.
There is another number I found that shows 2019 was far from similar to the Summer of 1992.
The number of days in the 80s was double this summer compared to that cool summer:
Wow, quite a difference! In fact, not only was the Summer of 2019 double the Summer of 1992 but we had 10 more 80 degrees compared to what is normal.
When you calculate and compare this June, July and August it comes out as just the 30th warmest summer on record in Syracuse. We ended up about a half a degree cooler than last summer.
While we may have missed out on extreme heat this summer we had what I would call consistent warmth. On June 17th our high was 77 in Syracuse and from that day forward we had a high temperature of at least 70 degrees right up to today (September 3rd). That is 78 straight days which makes it the 10th longest such streak in our recorded weather history
What about rain? We did end up with more rain than a typical summer at a hair under 13” (12.99”) and about half an inch more than the Summer of 1992. So maybe my pessimistic e-mailer was on to something?
To me, however, trying to get your arms around summer rainfall is tough. You get those scattered showers and storms and rainfall totals can really vary across central New York. I remember one night a couple of weeks ago where the Syracuse airport had a quarter of an inch but we had a total of 2.50” mere miles away in East Syracuse! Heavy rain on one or two of the 92 summer days can affect your perception of the summer on the whole.
To me, a more meaningful way to measure the impact of rainfall in the summer is to look at the days when there is measurable rain (.01” or more). The normal number of days this happens in June, July and August is 34 days which comes out to about one out of three days. 2019 we ended up with 38 days with rain but far short of some other recent summers:
2009 44 Days
2013 44 Days
2008 43 Days
2004 42 Days
2015 42 Days
2019 38 Days
If you ask me, any of those rainy summers listed above were worse than this summer and closer to what we went through in 1992. By the way, the Summer of 1992 had 40 days with rain.
It is just a reminder to let the seasons play out before judging or ranking them. Now that we are in September, how do remember this year’s summer months in central New York?