Weather Blog

Weather Blog

Date: 8/5/2013

Title: Cool Summer for Many

For you folk in the Far West, Great Basin, Pacific Northwest and areas of New England you have had a lot of hot weather this summer. However, the rest of the nation has been much cooler and in some areas downright cooler, especially when compared to the hot and dry weather most of the lower 48 states experienced in 2012.
 July 2013 was much cooler than in previous years and August 2013 is showing signs that most of the nation east of the Rockies will experience a cooler than normal August. Especially for the Northern Plains, Midwest and Corn Belt.
 The last Julys that were as cool as this past July were in 2004 and 2009. Sometimes it is useful to look back at previous years that were similar. We sometimes find that looking back at previous years that were similar can give us clues as to what may be in our future.
 Let’s take a look at what we experienced in the summers of 2004 and 2009 which resemble what we have seen so far during the summer of 2013. 

 Those two years look very similar to this past July. Cool in the Northern Plains, Midwest and Northern Rockies.
 What happened in August 2004 and 2009? In both of those years, the cooler than normal temperatures in the nation’s mid section persisted through August while it remained very warm temperatures persisted in the far west and southwest.
 With growing degree accumulations still far behind normal in many areas of the Northern Plains and Midwest there may be growing concern of an early frost/freeze. However, does a cool July/August mean an early frost/freeze?
 Interestingly enough, at least in the similar years of 2004 and 2009 September ended up being a fairly mild month in both years and an early frost/freeze did not materialize. So, despite August looking very cool for many of you it does not necessarily mean an early frost/freeze.
 If we continue to examine 2004 and 2009 we can find, however, some pretty harsh winter conditions across many areas of the USA, especially in the central and eastern states during December and January of those seasons.
 Of interest is how cold the Arctic summer has been this year. No worries about the North Pole melting. The Arctic is on track to be the coldest since 1958. Could this mean some very cold winter weather for some areas of the northern hemisphere? The answer is yes, but the hard question to answer this far out is where.
 Graph below shows 2013 so far (red line), the average temperature (green line). Normally the high Arctic has about 90 days above freezing. This year there has been less than half that.

 Time will tell if the colder Arctic Summer will impact this winter or not….stay tuned!

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-Bob McCan, Texas