Driest “Meteorological Summer” on Record — So Far

ORIGINAL POST:  Monday, August 20, 2012, 9:53 a.m.

The heat will be building across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys by the middle of this week after our recent respite with highs only in the 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s.  With that transition to warmer temperatures, a more active weather pattern arrives later in the week and into this upcoming weekend with some welcomed rain. 

That is great news because with just eleven days left in “meteorological summer”, the three hottest months of year (June, July, and August), this is the driest summer on record in the Quad Cities.

So far, only 3.17″ of rain has accumulated at the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Illinois, the official weather observation site for the Quad Cities, since June 1, 2012.  That is 8.41″ below average for the summer months.

July was the driest month this summer with only 0.45″ of rain.  I took this picture July 15, 2012.  The hole that I dug for a shrub shows how moisture-deprived the subsoil was at the time.  And, things haven’t gotten much better, if any.

The driest “meteorological summer” on record was back in 1886 when only 3.59″ of rain fell.

Rain chances will be on the increase across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois beginning  Thursday night as a series of disturbances move in from the west.  We’ll see a chance of rain through, at least, Monday of next week.

Here is the rainfall prediction from NOAA’s Hydrological Prediction Center from Thursday morning through Saturday morning.  This show that 0.25-0.50″ of rain could accumulate.  Keep in mind more rain will fall after this map expires.

After a warmer than average June and a very hot July (temperatures were 5.3° above average in the Quad Cities), August is off to a very cool start.  We are running 2.9° below average.  If this continues through the end of the month (and it should), this will mark only the second month in the past year that we saw below average temperatures.  The last time was September 2011 (-4.0°).

While the official start of autumn is still more than a month away (September 22, 2012), check out this maple tree I found yesterday in my Moline, Illinois, neighborhood.

I was surprised to see reds popping up this early and especially with the drought this summer!

As for fall temperatures, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting more warm weather for “meteorological fall”, September, October, and November.

If you like warm weather, you’ll like this forecast.  However, take it with a grain of salt.  It also predicted above average temperatures for us for August, too.

Anthony

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