In case you missed it…the summer is over. Labor Day has come and gone, all the kiddies are back in school and we’re now in week 3 of football season. As a matter of fact, on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 4:44 p.m. the autumnal equinox arrives. The transition from summer to meteorological fall has been somewhat seamless with nights gradually getting cooler and less humid days. This transition of seasons has been especially pleasant considering that in comparison to the last few years, summer 2013 was relatively uneventful. The Washington, DC Metropolitan Area experienced no hurricanes or earthquakes, a comparably mild derecho (in contrast to June 29, 2012), and a few minor EF-0 tornadoes. Overall, this summer can be characterized as hot in June and July, having had multiple heat waves but cool by August; and wet, having had a fair share of thunderstorms and rain showers early on. Let’s take a look back at summer 2013.
According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC), June was warmer-than-average. This past June was the 18th warmest and the 3rd wettest for the state of Maryland. In June, Maryland actually received 198 percent of its normal rainfall. Around mid-month severe thunderstorms caused four EF-0 tornadoes in Maryland and Delaware. Another round of severe storms generated three EF-0 tornadoes in Maryland. On June 30th a funnel cloud and water spout were also observed in Maryland (NRCC, 2013). According to the Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC), in Virginia, rainfall totals were 3 inches above average with temperatures coming in at 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit above (SERCC, 2013).
July 2013 ranked among the top 20 warmest in Maryland. Warm waters contributed to an overgrowth of bacteria and a lack of oxygen in the waters of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore (NRCC, 2013). Precipitation totals were slightly above normal as well (SERCC, 2013). For the month of July, Virginia had average temperatures almost one degree above average and rainfall totals more than 2 inches above average.
After above average temperatures in June and July, Maryland observed temperatures 1.9 degrees below normal during the month of August 2013. However, overall, the summer was above normal for the state. Rainfall totals were slightly above average again for the month. In mid-August, severe weather brought an EF-0 tornado to Maryland and later in the moth three water spouts were spotted on the Chesapeake Bay (NRCC, 2013). In Virginia temperatures were only slightly below average while precipitation totals were slightly above (SERCC, 2013).
For the period of June 1, 2013 – August 31, 2013, the immediate Washington, DC metropolitan region averaged temperatures approximately 0.5 degrees below normal and rainfall totals slightly above normal making for an overall cool and wet summer 2013 (NRCC, 2013). According to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), for the entire U.S., summer 2013 temperatures were above average with a departure of 1.2 degrees. Precipitation totals were also above average by 1.28 inches (NCDC, 2013).
If you are looking to get a very early head start on your plans for summer 2014, you should look to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. An almanac, “records and predicts astronomical events (the rising of the Sun, for instance), tides, weather, and other phenomena with respect to time.” According to the Almanac, June and August 2014 temperatures are expected to be 1 – 3 degrees above normal with average precipitation totals. July 2014, on the other hand, is expected to have precipitation totals up to 2 inches above normal and temperatures to remain average. (Note: The Old Farmer’s Almanac does not use meteorological or climate models to produce its weather outlooks.)