I’m Ready for Summer to Be Over, Are You?

14 September 2012

It’s time to get geeky and sciency this Friday afternoon and talk about this summer that has seemed to never end. So really, were we all just wusses or was this summer actually one of the hottest on record and we can continue to bitch and moan.

Last month I made a video about how we set the record for warmest July ever here in 2012. However, August was a bit of a change as we only topped out at the 16th warmest August on record. You may have differing opinions on how warm you really thought it was based on where you lived in the country though, as those of us in the western US and extreme northeast, still experienced one of the top 5 warmest August’s ever, while many in the southeast were well below average.

The real concern comes from the drought that has been continuing since early last year. Right now 63% of the continental US is currently experiencing drought conditions, with 55% having conditions considered moderate to extreme. Because of this, every state but Maine and Florida are currently experiencing at least minimal drought conditions. Adding this all of this up, the current drought of 2011-2012 is currently only weaker than those experienced in the 1933-1940 and 1954-1959, and 10th most severe in history. At this point, everyone should be hoping for a very wet winter.

That leads me to the final question that everyone seems to be asking lately, what does this winter look like. Honestly seasonal forecasts are a shot in the dark (see: snow in CO last year) and should be taken with a grain of salt. This winter is shaping up to be a weak El Nino which could mean a dozen different things depending on where you are in the country. However, long-range models are slowly hinting more consistently at a warmer autumn and start to winter (Sep-Dec). Does that mean we won’t get an early snowstorm, of course not. Seasonal models are just the average over the time period. Now let’s just hope I can put away my shorts eventually.

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