Astronomical Summer doesn’t begin for a few more weeks, but in meteorological circles, we define seasons a bit differently. Partly because we like nice, tidy records. The astronomical seasons do not begin and end on exactly the same dates every year so that “muddies” the records for those seasons slightly. Meteorological seasons begin and end on the same dates every year.
Meteorological Summer is, of course, June, July and August. The average highs for our region:
One of the things most people like about Summer, especially early Summer? The long days. We’ve come a longggg way since the dark days of Winter:
Over the last 20 years, we have had hot Summers, dry ones, cool ones and wet ones. Last year? Very warm and fairly wet (especially in July and August. June was drier-than-average).
Notice that the last 5 Summers have been wetter-than-average.
The season will start on a very cool note, especially in the first week of June. While temperatures will moderate as we head toward mid-month, odds still favor June 2017 shaking out as a cool one compared to average.
Will the whole season be this way? Unlikely. A somewhat warmer-than-average July and August should tilt the season into the “warm” category for eastern Ohio and western PA. Just NOT as warm as last year.
Seasonal precipitation forecasts are TOUGH. Especially in the warm season where one or two big thunderstorm days can really skew the numbers. “Persistence” forecasting methods would suggest that we just keep predicting wet Summers until the atmosphere proves it can produce a dry one. We’ve had 5 in a row. That said, I don’t see anything in the data that gives me a high degree of confidence so for now we’ll call for an “average” season in the rain department.