Discussion: Astronomical Fall has officially started and with that is a good time to reminisce back on how summer 2019 shaped up! NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Prediction has released their report of climate statistics for this past summer (June 2019-August 2019). The average summer temperature across the contiguous United States was 72.4°F which was 1.0°F above normal and the average minimum temperature was 59.9°F. The minimum temperatures ranked in the upper third of the climate record (1985-2019), coming in 1.5°F above normal since the records were first taken in 1895. The above normal temperature trend occurred in states across the northeastern United States, on the West coast, and in the South. According to NOAA, this summer as a whole rank in the upper third of the climate record. All of the states all experienced near or above average temperatures this summer. No states were below normal. Alaska’s average temperature this summer was 54.6°F, 4.1°F above normal, which marks this summer as the second warmest since 1895. Anchorage, Alaska experienced its warmest summer. The average temperature was 63.2°F. This temperature was 1.8°F higher than the summer of 2004.
The average total of summertime precipitation this year was 8.83 inches, which was above average by 0.51 inches. Since the records began in 1895, this summer also ranked in the top third of the climate record for wettest summer. From the northern Great Plains to the East Coast, many states experienced above average precipitation. States in parts of the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic region saw much above average precipitation. The opposite could be noted for parts of the western and southern United States. Those regions experienced a summer of below average precipitation. The standout state was Arizona, which experienced its driest summer on record. Other western and southwestern states such as California, New Mexico and Utah all had their tenth driest or lower summer. Utqiagvik, Alaska broke a thirty-year precipitation record. This summer they received 5.43 inches of precipitation breaking the old record of 5.24 inches set in 1989! Now that summer 2019 is in the books, it will be interesting to see how fall shapes up climatologically across the United States.
To check out more climate statistics and interesting facts be sure to click on the following link: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201908
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© 2019 Meteorologist Shannon Scully