Thursday, September 10, 2015

This Summer Was Surprisingly Comfortable, but Unusually Hot

Do you feel like this has been a remarkably pleasant summer?  It didn't seem as hot as years past. 

I feel the same way, but the data doesn't support that view, at least if you look at the average temperature.  For the entire summer (June, July, and August), the average temperature was 77.5ºF, making it the 8th warmest on record at the Salt Lake City International Airport.  

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
What gives?  Well, timing is everything.  If you want to have an enjoyable summer with an overall temperature that is unusually warm, it's best to stick the warmth in June, which is a climatologically cooler month than July or August.  That's exactly what happened.  June was easily the hottest on record.  

Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
However, July, which is climatologically hotter, was instead cool relative to the recent past (i.e., since about 1998).  
Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
Similarly, compared to the past decade or so, August was perhaps a shade below the recent average.  
Source: NOAA Regional Climate Centers
So, June really skewed the summer statistics, but heat in that month is not as uncomfortable as July and August.  In fact, if you look at the average for each month this year, they were all right around 77.5ºF, and that is manageably comfortable in Salt Lake City.  

If we had instead put the anomalous warmth in July, our perspectives would be different.  Timing is everything.  

1 comment:

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