Thursday, September 16, 2010
How Bad Has It Been?
Another round of rain struck today and the grumbling has increased...
"The worst summer I can remember"
"I thought Septembers were good around here"
and other comments that cannot be repeated on a family friendly blog.
Looking at the temperature versus normal for the past four weeks, tells the recent tale (see below). Except for a few brief warm periods, most days have been below normal.
Today was particularly noteworthy: the temperatures hardly fell last night and the humidity was palpable.
Dewpoints were in the low to mid 60s today...which is very, very unusual around here. It felt like the East Coast during the summer! Here is a plot of dewpoint for the past six months (click to expand). Remember, dewpoint is a measure of the amount of moisture in the air...the temperature to which you have to cool it to get saturation. Yesterday, was the highest dewpoint in SIX MONTHS.
I asked UW staff member Neal Johnson to plot up the number of days equal to or greater than 70F from January 1 through September 15th for this year and all other years since 1948 (see below). The results?
and in fact this has been the worst year by this measure since 1980! Yes, the worst summer for three decades! No one younger than 35 can remember anything worse! 1980 was comparable, and then you would have to go back to 1954 and 1955, which were even cooler, believe it not.
Tomorrow (Friday's) forecast? Rain coming in during the afternoon. You don't want to know about the weekend--even eastern WA will get wet.
One final thing...I will be giving a talk in Bellingham on the fascinating, and often extreme, weather of Northwest Washington on October 2 at 7 PM. See details in the upper right hand corner of this blog.
Posted by Cliff Mass at 8:36 PM