The period from Jan. 1 through June 30 delivered no major snowstorms or bitter cold to Spokane. No explosive wind events or record rainfalls. No violent thunderstorms or extreme heat. Even the long-running drought loosened its grip.
Our weather didn’t even come close to the chaotic conditions that other parts of the country experienced: a powerful winter storm in January that paralyzed a region extending from New England to Georgia; the devastating flooding in Yellowstone National Park that destroyed homes, roads and bridges; an unprecedented number of wildfires in Alaska and the Southwest since late April.
Of course, the stifling heat wave engulfing the Pacific Northwest this week is occurring at the start of the second half of 2022. And though temperatures are plenty hot, it’s highly unlikely we’ll approach the record-breaking heat of June 2021, when Spokane reached a high temperature of 109 degrees.
That said, here are some highlights from the first six months of 2022 in Spokane:
• The coldest day was on Jan. 1, when the overnight low dipped to 1 degree.
• Spokane received 5.3 inches of snow on Jan. 6, making it the city’s largest snowfall of 2022 so far.
• On Jan. 7, warming temperatures and blustery winds turned piles of snow into a widescale slushy mess.
• We experienced a spring tease Feb. 9 through 11, when high temperatures ran about 10 degrees warmer than normal. The mercury approached 50 degrees in Spokane and the mid-60s in the Tri-Cities.
• No snow fell during March, which is unusual for that month.
• A total 2.1 inches of snow fell in April, which is uncommon for that month. Also, April 10 through 16 marked seven consecutive days of temperatures that ran at least 10 degrees colder than normal.
• The first half of June was abnormally cool and wet. On June 13, 0.72 inches of rain fell in Spokane and the high temperature only reached 51 degrees – 22 degrees below normal for that date.
• Spokane didn’t see 80-degree weather until June 22. The temperature typically hits 80 degrees in mid-May.
• The hottest day of the six-month period was on June 27, when the high temperature reached 93 degrees.
Overall, Spokane’s high temperatures ran slightly warmer than normal from January through March, then cooler than normal from April to mid-June, and then progressively warmer ever since.
This week, the burgeoning warmth led the Pacific Northwest head-on into the first heatwave of summer.
More scorching heat is on tap for Thursday and Friday. Although slightly cooler weather should move in this weekend, temperatures will remain above normal.
Nic Loyd is a meteorologist in Washington state. Linda Weiford is a writer in Moscow, Idaho, who’s also a weather geek. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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