As you may know, meteorologists like to look at the seasons a little differently than others. Since the “astronomical” seasons do not start and end on the same dates every year, we use “meteorological” seasons for the purpose of tidy record-keeping. There is also climatology to consider; the meteorological seasons line up nicely with the 3 hottest/coolest months of the year. So, “meteorological summer” is June, July and August.
Under that premise, let’s do a quick review of summer 2016.
You may remember that we issued a summer forecast around Memorial Day. Have a look at it here.
That forecast called for the warmest summer since 2012, with a near-average amount of 90-degree days. It worked out pretty well! We are at 6 90+ days so far and I think there is a chance we squeeze out 1 or 2 more next week.
Here’s what happened:
Not bad. The core of the warmth was centered over our region and not New England but overall I would give this forecast, not only for us but the whole lower 48, an A-/B+.
How did 2016 compare to recent history? It ended up being our hottest since 1995:
August was particularly hot….the 6th warmest on record in Youngstown.
On the precipitation-side, the summer of 2016 is an interesting one as well. Of course most had brown lawns for a good chunk of the season. The season will have a reputation as a dry one. Buttttt, the “official” numbers will tell a different story. Would you believe that summer 2016 will go in the record books as WETTER than average in Youngstown?? The airport (where the official observations are) logged a little over 13″ of rain, compared to the historical average, roughly 11.5″. It was our 5th consecutive wetter-than-average summer.
But the airport was practically the wettest spot in our viewing area. Look at the rain anomalies and notice how the airport location stands out. Other areas were MUCH drier.
We did make up some ground in August, especially north of 224.
So Meteorological Fall is here. A transitional season in which we lose daylight rapidly and average high (and low) temperatures plummet quickly, especially during the second half of the season.
We are expecting a warmer-than-average September. The season as a whole? Mild and probably on the dry side.