The rest of the country, and the world, had a searing summer, while we remained at average temps. As for fall? Forecasts indicate autumn and winter here will be “neutral” and not influenced by either La Niña or El Niño conditions.
Well, summer’s over, and it was nothing special weather-wise, at least not here in the Puget Sound region.
Though the mean average temperatures for June, July and August were slightly above normal, with some record-breaking hot days, overall it was fairly typical, according to the National Weather Service of Seattle.
“There were a few hot days and a few cool days and everything in the middle was the way it was supposed to be,” said weather-service meteorologist Art Gaebel.
Said another meteorologist: “Sometimes you just get near average summers and that’s what this one was.”
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That contrasts sharply with much of the rest of the country, and even the world, which experienced record heat, drought, deadly floods and other extreme weather disasters.
In Seattle, June’s mean temperature was 2.6 degrees above the normal mean of 60.9, July’s was 1.1 degrees above the normal of 65.7, and August was 2.5 degrees above the mean normal of 66.1.
August was a little drier than average, and precipitation was close to normal in June and July, according to the weather service.
The seven-day forecast for Seattle indicates that while there is a 50 percent chance of rain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 66 on Saturday and a high of near 73 on Sunday.
Monday is expected to warm up to 77 degrees before cooling down a bit the rest of next week.
Gaebel said the long-range forecast indicates the coming fall and winter are going to be “neutral” and not influenced by either La Niña or El Niño conditions. But that doesn’t actually say much, he said.
“Neutral can be average or stormier or rainier,” he said. “We’re not sure what’s going to happen. It’s like throwing darts at a dartboard to see what sticks.”
Twelve U.S. cities had their warmest summers ever, including Las Vegas, New Orleans, Cleveland and Detroit. The globe had its hottest month on record (July) and hottest summer on record. August was the 16th consecutive month Earth set a monthly heat record, according to NOAA.
NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said the records keep showing the planet warming and “since we kind of predicted these things we know what we’re talking about.”
Across the country, there was also something “sneaky” about the summer heat: It didn’t ease at night, said Deke Arndt, climate-monitoring chief at the federal National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, N.C.
He said that when temperatures drop to below 72 degrees at night, it allows the body to recharge, plants to grow and air conditioners to be shut off. But this year that didn’t happen enough.
As a nation, the U.S. set a record for the hottest nighttime temperatures on average this summer, Arndt said. Tallahassee, Fla., for example, went 74 consecutive days where the nighttime temperature didn’t dip below 72.
From May 1 to Sept. 12, nearly 15,000 daily records for warmest nighttime lows were set in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.