One would like to hope that this summer was a once in a lifetime summer. The climatological summer includes June, July and August.
The June record book included 14 days where the high temperature was tied or broken. There were 3 days where the high low temperature was tied or broken. 27 of the 30 days had temperatures at or above normal. The temperature reached at least 100 degrees on 9 days, and the temperature reached at least 90 degrees on all but one day (June 11 – 89 degrees). The average temperature of 82.9 degrees ranked number one beating out 81.7 degrees in 1994.
Conditions became ridiculous in July. 12 high temperature records were tied or broken. 7 high low temperature records were tied or broken. 30 of the 31 days saw the temperature reach at least 100 degrees and it reached at least 110 degrees on 4 days. The temperature fell below 70 degrees on only one day (July 5 – 69 degrees). Every day of the month saw the average temperature at or above normal. The high temperature of 112 degrees on the 9th was the warmest July temperature of record. At the time, it would tie for the highest all time. The average temperature was an astounding 90.3 degrees which beat the previous high of 87.3 degrees set in 1998.
Not to be outdone came August. The first 6 days of the month saw the high temperature reach at least 110 degrees. The highest temperature ever recorded in Okarche was 113 degrees which occurred on the 2nd and 5th. The high temperature record was tied or broken on 16 days. The high low temperature record was tied or broken on 8 days. The average temperature was above normal on 26 days. 23 days saw the temperature reach at least 100 degrees and it reached at least 110 degrees on 8 days. A high temperature of 82 degrees on the 11th and a low temperature of 59 degrees on the 26th helped pull the average temperature down to 87.9 degrees which fell short of the August record by 1/10th of a degree.
June, July and August combined to form the hottest summer of record with an average temperature of 87.0 degrees. This destroyed the previous record of 84.0 degrees set in 1998. So far, 62 days have seen the temperature reach 100 degrees. The previous record for a year was 50 days set in 1998. 11 of the 17 hottest temperatures ever recorded occurred this summer. We are all but guaranteed to reach 100 degrees on the first three days of September which will bring our total to 65 days. One of the stronger cold fronts we have seen in months is due in on the 4th which will likely end up bringing our temperature down to below normal.
Help on the way…
Model data for the past several days has strongly suggested that a cold front will be pushing through Oklahoma this coming weekend. It now appears that this is actually going to happen! A strong trough of low pressure will be moving from southwest Canada toward the Great Lakes… which will push a cold front southeastward. The upper high which has caused us our grief over the past few months will work westward and settle into Arizona/New Mexico where I hope it stays for a few days. Also of interest… we will be monitoring a developing tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico.
The cold front will move into northwest Oklahoma by late Saturday afternoon. By Sunday afternoon… the front will have made it through most of the state. A very pleasant looking ridge of high pressure will extend from the northern plains to southwest Texas. Today, Friday and Saturday will all be quite warm with temperatures pushing above 100 degrees. These are likely to be the last 100 degree days for most of the upcoming week. Another surge of cool air will push into the state at mid-week… reinforcing our nice weather. It appears that 50’s for lows and 80’s for highs will be common.
Last 100 degree temperatures?
Unfortunately, not likely. The September record book shows that temperatures above 100 degrees have occurred on the last day of the month. On October 3, 2000 – the temperature reached 98 degrees. Basically, we are still several weeks away before we get past the “potential” to get hot. Given the fact that no significant rain is expected in west Texas/Oklahoma during our cool down – extreme drought conditions will continue. This means that when the pattern does shift again, we are probably going to warm up quick. At least we can enjoy the upcoming week.