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Hotter-than-usual Inland Northwest summer expected

After a long winter and cool and wet early spring, the Inland Northwest finally received some nice and warm weather in late May and early June.

The warmest reading thus far for 2009 was 88 degrees on June 4 at Spokane International Airport. Two days later, temperatures dropped by as much as 20 degrees. The clash between the warm and cool air also triggered several funnel clouds in Lincoln County last Saturday. Fortunately, there were no reports of damage or injuries.

I still envision a much warmer and a bit drier-than-normal mid-June through mid-September. There should be at least 20-25 afternoons during the 90-day period with readings of 90 degrees or above. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a couple of afternoons flirt with the century mark, especially in early to mid-July during the full-moon cycle.

The warmest average temperature (including both the high and low) for June, July and August occurred in 1922 with a reading of 71.3 degrees. More recently, 1998 was the seventh-warmest with a summer mean temperature of 69.9 degrees. The normal is 66.3 degrees.

The peak of Earth’s temperature occurred in 1998 with an average reading of 59.3 degrees. During that time, there were 38 days at or above 90 degrees in Spokane, second only to 39 days in 1958. We also sweltered through four days at or above 100 degrees in 1998. Last year, we only had 17 days at or above 90 degrees, with one day at or above the century mark. That occurred on Aug. 17 with a high of 103.

In 2007, the average high in July was 89.8 degrees. That month had 16 days at or above 90 degrees with two days at or above the century mark. The hottest month occurred in July 1960, with an average high of 91.5 degrees, at Spokane International Airport.

On another note, I plan to teach a new climate and weather course this fall at North Idaho College. The class will be offered Tuesday and Thursday mornings beginning in late August. It’s an entry-level course that will feature a fundamental introduction (no formulas) to local weather and global climate.

Contact Randy Mann at randy@longrange, or go to www.longrangeweather. com for additional information.

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