August is a funny month. It’s still summer, but for many as soon as the calendar turns they start lamenting about the end of the warmest season.
August isn’t the end of summer, it’s just the final month of meteorological summer. August is to summer what February is to winter. By February the days are longer, it’s not generally as cold as January and there are signs of spring, especially by the end of the month. August brings shorter amounts of daylight, it’s not generally as hot as July and there are signs of fall, by the end of the month.
These facts don’t mean it’s not still summer. Camp doesn’t end for a couple of more weeks, most schools don’t begin for over 3 more weeks and you can actually still plant plenty of things in the garden. Check out my Growing Wisdom blog for more about gardening.
The perception of many of you this summer, based on the unscientific method of your tweets, is this summer hasn’t been very hot. As a matter of fact, the average temperature for both June and July was 7/10ths of a degree above normal. Rainfall in June was about an inch below normal and in July over an inch above. Put another way, this summer has been very typical.
Last summer, especially July was very hot averaging one of the hottest on record. For those of you who like heat and humidity 2013 was a great summer. This year we have enjoyed much cooler nights and somewhat cooler days as well. The lack of humidity has been noticeable and as an added bonus we haven’t needed air conditioning as much this summer.
The upper Midwest has seen a much cooler summer than average. Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s average July temperature was 3.6 degrees below normal. They never hit 90, which is very unusual and the overnight temperatures for July averaged under 60F! For folks out there this has been a cool summer.
So what will the rest of August bring. I think we will end up just over average in terms of temperature and about average precipitation. The long range forecast map as of this morning shows a continued cool pool of air centered over the Midwest, with the northeast forecast to be slightly warmer than average.
Remember, the average won’t give a good feeling for how you remember the month. If we have a few hot days way above normal, but most of the month is average or slightly cooler it can still average out on the plus side. I feel confident that any heat we do see this month will not be prolonged and replaced by cooler drier air frequently.
If you are on vacation this week, there are showers in the forecast, but as is typical it won’t rain most of the time. Today will see some sunny breaks especially off-Cape. A shower might occur, but the highest risk is over southeastern areas.
Tomorrow is likely a dry day with a mix of clouds and sunshine, but I can’t take out the risk of a thunderstorm. Tuesday is similar, but a few degrees warmer. Highs will be 80-85 inland during this time and upper 70s at the coast. Wednesday brings a cold front and the highest risk this week of afternoon storms. Finally, on Thursday the air should become drier and less humid with sunshine.
Tropical storm Bertha continues to move through the Caribbean. It gave Puerto Rico a windy rainstorm yesterday and will not head for the Dominican Republic. The strength of the storm has fluctuated and it’s not a very strong system. Over the next few days it will begin to curve north perhaps becoming a hurricane, but staying out over the ocean east of the United States.
I’ll be updating the forecast @growingwisdom on Twitter.