September 4, 2008 in Voices

Past three months warmer, drier than average

 

Fall officially begins in less than three weeks and many people are asking, Where did the summer go? The general consensus was that summer was very short and many are not ready for fall and winter.

Last winter was the second snowiest at Spokane International Airport in history. In Coeur d’Alene, and other parts of the Inland Northwest, record snows were also observed, making life tough for area residents.

Snowflakes fell in early June across the region, extending the chilly winter and spring season. It was also one of the coldest early June periods in history.

Conditions finally turned drier and warmer toward the middle of June. Overall, temperatures for June through August time-frame were actually warmer than normal at the airport. The average or mean temperature for June was 60.8 degrees, which was 0.8 degrees below normal. July was much warmer with a mean temperature of 70.3 degrees, 1.7 degrees above average. August’s mean temperature was 68.7 degrees, only 0.1 degrees above normal. Last year, June and August were near normal, but July was 7 degrees above average.

The last three months were also drier than normal. One inch of moisture was gauged in June, which was .18 inches below normal. Only a trace of rain fell at the airport in July. The normal precipitation for July is .76 inches. In August, 0.57 inches of moisture was observed, 0.11 inches below normal.

Since Jan. 1, the airport has received 9.74 inches of precipitation. Despite the wet weather in the early part of the year, we’re about seven-tenths of an inch below normal, but we’re ahead of last year’s 7.17 inches.

Many of the showers and thunderstorms that missed the Spokane area did hit the Spokane Valley, Coeur d’Alene and other regions in North Idaho. Since Aug. 20, 1.49 inches of rain has fallen in Coeur d’Alene, bringing their seasonal total to 19.60 inches, more than double the airport’s total for the 2008 precipitation season.

Weather patterns this fall will fluctuate widely as the currently weak El Niño in the Pacific waters slowly gains strength. There should still be see some warm days this month, but the overall weather pattern should start turning much cooler and wetter toward the end of this month.

I’ll provide a detailed winter outlook in the coming weeks. As of early September, I’m predicting far less snow in the Inland Northwest.

Contact Randy Mann at randy@longrangeweather.com.


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