Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No 100-degree days in August: not as uncommon as you might think

Today after my Noon weathercast, Kim Setty and I chatted briefly about the lack of 100 degree temperatures in Wichita this month. That got me thinking: does this happen often? Thanks to records on the Wichita NWS web page, I found that surprisingly it has happened twice since 1997. In that year and 2002, Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport recorded no 100 degree temperatures in the month of August.

I'm into weather stats (I think I've mentioned that in previous posts!) so I did a little more investigating. Comparing the last time this happened (2002) to this month, I found 2002 had 8 100 degree days (all in July). So far this year, we've had 4 days: 1 in June, 3 in July.

I also took a look at the monthly rainfall totals in both of these years. 2002 stacked up this way:

May: 5.7"
June: 5.37"
July: 1.96"
Aug: 4.90"
TOTAL: 17.93"

2009:
May:2.94"
June: 4.51"
July: 3.55"
Aug (through 24th): 3.81"
TOTAL: 14.81

The reason I'm looking at the rain totals is that wet ground doesn't heat up as quickly as dry ground. We've definitely had timely (and at times excessive!) rain here in Wichita thanks to a predominately northwest flow in the atmosphere and repeated cold fronts/storm systems moving through.

This begs yet another question: will Ross' prediction of no more 100 degree days in Wichita this year come true? Possibly. As it stands right now, we have no 100 degree temperatures in the Wichita forecast through next Tuesday (9/1). The last time Wichita recorded a 100 degree day in September was in 2000. During that hot summer, we had 23 days of 100 degree temps in August and 6 in September (including 16 days in a row from August 19 through September 3).

As I often like to say: "Stay tuned!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I welcome the summer rain and cooler temps. Makes it easier to keep the yard and flowers alive! I wish every year could be like this! :)