Warmest Summer on Record for some U.S. Northwest Cities

By: Christopher C. Burt , 8:08 PM GMT on September 02, 2014

Share this Blog
8
+

Warmest Summer on Record for some U.S. Northwest Cities

While much, if not most, of the contiguous U.S. had a cooler than normal summer, the Pacific Northwest endured one of its hottest such on record. Here are a few details.



Temperature anomalies for the climatological summer of 2014. The top map shows the average daily maximum departure from normal, the middle map the minimum such, and the bottom map the overall departure from normal. As is apparent, it was the minimum temperature anomalies in the Pacific Northwest that contributed most to the record warmth in the region. There were few days of record-breaking maximum temperatures observed at any location. NCDC information, maps provided by Stu Ostro at TWC.

For the climatological summer of 2014 (June-July-August) it was the warmest on record for Medford, Roseburg, and Salem in Oregon, as well as Mt. Shasta City in California:

Here is a list of the site’s record average temperatures set this past summer and their respective previous warmest summers (June-August):

Medford, OR: 74.9° (old record 73.9° in 1967)

Roseburg, OR: 71.7° (old record 69.1° in 1958)

Salem, OR: 69.4° (old record 68.8° in 1958)

Mt. Shasta City, CA: 69.3° (old record 68.4° in 1960)

For Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon it was the warmest July-August period ever observed with Seattle averaging 69.2° for the two-month period (old record 68.8° in 1967) and Portland 72.5° (old record in 1985). Curiously, Seattle had its 3rd warmest July-August period just last summer (2013) with a 68.7° two-month average.

Spokane, Washington also experienced its warmest July-August on record, along with several other towns in the ‘Inland Empire’ region.



Table from NWS-Spokane

In Washington State the warm and dry summer has resulted in its largest wild fire on record as I blogged about on August 12th. There have also been several large dust storms, including one on August 30th that caused a massive 50-vehicle pileup on I-82 near Kennewick in the southeastern part of Washington. Nine people were hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.



A dust storm closes in on a farm in eastern Washington on August 13th. One does not normally associate such events with the state’s climate. Photographer not identified/AP photo.

While on the topic of summer warmth, the temperature peaked at 104° at Amarillo, Texas on August 31st, the warmest temperature for the entire summer and the latest in the summer such a temperature has ever been observed at the site (POR began in 1892): surpassing by 13 days the former latest-104° reading set on August 18, 1994 (the warmest September temperature ever recorded in Amarillo is 103° on September 5, 1995). Aside from this, temperature-wise it has been a fairly normal summer in the city with an average of 77.0°, 1.5° above average.

In spite of the hot summer in the Northwest, most people in the U.S. will remember this past summer for its lack of any extreme heat. Although I am not aware of any sites recording their coolest summer on record there have been many notable cool waves, especially in July, and some cities (Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo) have yet to see a single 90°+ reading. Chicago has enjoyed only three such days so far, compared to the average of 17 by this time of the year. Linda Lam of The Weather Channel has this great compilation of some of this past summer’s temperature and precipitation highlights.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 23 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

23. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
7:26 PM GMT on September 05, 2014
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
22. htszp
4:20 PM GMT on September 05, 2014
"...and some cities (Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo) have yet to see a single 90°+ reading. Chicago has enjoyed only three such days so far..."

"Enjoy" you say? Go down to Texas, even in a relatively cool summer, and you can enjoy all of the 90+ degrees you could ever hope for.
Member Since: September 21, 2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 12
21. ColoradoBob1
3:55 PM GMT on September 05, 2014


Pakistan’s meteorological office issued a severe weather warning for northeast Punjab and Kashmir, saying more intense rain was expected which could trigger flash flooding.

The NDMA said that the town of Palandri in Kashmir had received more than 30 centimetres (a foot) of rain in the 30 hours up to 2:00pm on Thursday.


Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2714
20. DCSwithunderscores
10:16 PM GMT on September 04, 2014
Quoting 18. BriarCraft:

Oddly enough, where I live in western Washington, we only had one 100+° day and six days with highs in the 90s. Those stats are not exceptional at all and many summers we experience more days 90+° and yet have a much cooler average. Then again, odd weather patterns seem to be the new norm.


Note that in the caption for one of the images it reads "As is apparent, it was the minimum temperature anomalies in the Pacific Northwest that contributed most to the record warmth in the region."
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 148
19. SelenaForcast0
8:48 PM GMT on September 04, 2014
I found this to be really interesting. Are there any more sources on this? I would like to know more about this.
Member Since: September 4, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
18. BriarCraft
8:48 PM GMT on September 04, 2014
Oddly enough, where I live in western Washington, we only had one 100+° day and six days with highs in the 90s. Those stats are not exceptional at all and many summers we experience more days 90+° and yet have a much cooler average. Then again, odd weather patterns seem to be the new norm.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 83 Comments: 4174
17. ColoradoBob1
10:50 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
Old Ship Logs Reveal Adventure, Tragedy And Hints About Climate

What can yesterday's weather tell us about how the climate is changing today? That's what an army of volunteers looking at old ships' logs is trying to answer through the Old Weather project.

One of those volunteers — or citizen scientists, as the project calls them — is Kathy Wendolkowski of Gaithersburg, Md.

Sitting in her kitchen, she uses her laptop to read from the logbook of the Pioneer, a ship that was out measuring ocean depths near Alaska on July 15, 1925. An image of the Pioneer's log from that day was posted online by the National Archives at the website OldWeather.org. Her task is to transcribe the logs' handwritten notes, from their elegant cursive script to something that can be digested by computers.


Link

More about the old ships logs -

Old Weather: Our Weather’s Past,
the Climate’s Future


Introduction

Help scientists recover Arctic and worldwide weather observations made by United States ships since the mid-19th century by transcribing ships' logs. These transcriptions will contribute to climate model projections and will improve our knowledge of past environmental conditions. Historians will use your work to track past ship movements and tell the stories of the people on board.

39%

OF THE LOGS COMPLETED

Arctic

62,872 PAGES DONE

8VOYAGES DONE
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2714
16. Christopher C. Burt , Weather Historian
6:53 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
You are right. The photo was from eastern Washington for sure. The exact location wasn't identified.

Quoting 12. FlowerKwilter:

Beautiful photo, but are you sure it's western Washington? The flat terrain, and (possibly wheat?) crop would suggest eastern Washington, where dust storms are also common. I lived in Ritzville, heart of wheat country, for two years and experienced such storms, which are memorable!
Member Since: February 15, 2006 Posts: 311 Comments: 293
15. Astrometeor
5:22 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
Thanks Chris!

Quoting 12. FlowerKwilter:

Beautiful photo, but are you sure it's western Washington? The flat terrain, and (possibly wheat?) crop would suggest eastern Washington, where dust storms are also common. I lived in Ritzville, heart of wheat country, for two years and experienced such storms, which are memorable!


According to Google Maps, Kennewick is east of Yakima, and just north of the Oregon border. It is due south of Ritzville along US 395 for about 80 miles.

Not disagreeing with you, so you could very well be correct, especially since you know the area.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10417
14. Neapolitan
5:18 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
Quoting 12. FlowerKwilter:

Beautiful photo, but are you sure it's western Washington? The flat terrain, and (possibly wheat?) crop would suggest eastern Washington, where dust storms are also common. I lived in Ritzville, heart of wheat country, for two years and experienced such storms, which are memorable!


Yeah, it does appear to be eastern Washington: http://www.sott.net/article/283677-Dramatic-dust- storm-blows-through-Eastern-Washington
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13597
13. georgevandenberghe
3:25 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
In the DC area which has had a slightly cooler than normal JJA, I was able to grow broccoli almost all summer. It finally declined to poor quality the last days of August. Normally it declines to unusably bitter and nasty by the second week of July.

The only other year I got summerlong broccoli was the first year I grew it, 1976.

And it appears I will have good garden lettuce continuously from May 1 to Thanksgiving when arctic outbreaks damage or kill it.

Summer this year reminds me of the DC metro area summers of my youth in the 60s and early 70s.


The big cool departures were the last half of July and all of August, masking warm departures in June.
Member Since: February 1, 2012 Posts: 19 Comments: 1930
12. FlowerKwilter
2:28 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
Beautiful photo, but are you sure it's western Washington? The flat terrain, and (possibly wheat?) crop would suggest eastern Washington, where dust storms are also common. I lived in Ritzville, heart of wheat country, for two years and experienced such storms, which are memorable!
Member Since: September 3, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
11. ColoradoBob1
12:49 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
Sioux City, IA (ABC9 News) – The final August monthly rainfall total at the Sioux Gateway Airport was 10.12 inches. This breaks the previous record of 9.07 inches set back in 2007.

The Summer rainfall – including the months of June, July, and August – totals to 30.38 inches of rain at the airport. This breaks the previous Summer seasonal record of 20.13 inches set back in 2010. This summer included 2 of the 4 wettest months ever recorded since data started to be collected back in 1889. June 2014 qualifies as the wettest month ever while August 2014 is the 4th wettest of all time.


Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2714
10. ColoradoBob1
12:46 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
FAIRBANKS — The wettest summer in the history of Fairbanks continues to show no sign of drying out. The opening hours of September 2014 brought about 2.24 inches of rain, the most in any 24-hour period in any September for as long as records have been kept, all the way back to the early 1900s.

Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2714
9. ColoradoBob1
12:41 PM GMT on September 03, 2014
or the vastly expanded polar ice sheets---- yes--- the same ice sheets Al Gore claimed may be gone by this year.

New Observations Confirm Greenland, Antarctica Losing Land Ice Rapidly

A new study just published shows that—using more accurate measurements than ever before—Greenland and Antarctica are together losing ice at incredible rates: Together, over 500 (±107) cubic kilometers of ice are melting from them every year.
That means 450 billion tons of ice are lost every year, melted away into the oceans. That’s staggering.


Link
Member Since: August 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2714
8. Neapolitan
10:48 AM GMT on September 03, 2014
Quoting 1. Svfortuna:

Now are we going to talk about areas in the United States that had the coolest summers on record? There is a constant drum beat by the Global Warming crowd, but not a word about record cool weather around the States, or the vastly expanded polar ice sheets---- yes--- the same ice sheets Al Gore claimed may be gone by this year. It is apparent that many in the so called "scientific community," have a political and social agenda and they absolutely refuse to let the facts get in the way of the truth


It's possible, as Chris says, that some individual stations may have recorded a coolest-ever summer. As of July--the most recent month for which data are available--no US state, region, or division had experienced its "coolest summer on record" (summer here defined as May-July). In fact, only parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas had experienced temperatures much below average. Meanwhile, all of California, most of Oregon and Washington, half of Nevada, and parts of Arizona and Idaho recorded much above average temperatures. And a long stretch of Northern California's coastal area did record the warmest summer ever. And, while this may surprise some who were cool, the nation as a whole was above average. Remember, just because this summer wasn't as blisteringly hot in the US as other recent summers have been, it's all relative; this summer was simply nowhere close to the coolest on record. Artwork:





(So far as the ice sheets being "vastly expanded": that's off-topic in this forum, so I'll just say "wrong".)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13597
7. Christopher C. Burt , Weather Historian
1:34 AM GMT on September 03, 2014
I've checked all the NWS sites for information concerning if there has (yet) been any 'coldest climatological summer' on record reported anywhere in the U.S. I suspected that perhaps some sites in the UP of Michigan and other regions in the central U.S. might have have endured such. However, so far, no reports have confirmed this. As the data comes in over the next week or so, we may indeed find such.


I always attempt to relate significant temperature records worldwide, whether cold or hot, but the fact is that the majority of such records (monthly or seasonal) have been leaning towards the 'warmer' category for the past 10 years or so.


.
Quoting 1. Svfortuna:
for the past decade or so.


Now are we going to talk about areas in the United States that had the coolest summers on record? There is a constant drum beat by the Global Warming crowd, but not a word about record cool weather around the States, or the vastly expanded polar ice sheets---- yes--- the same ice sheets Al Gore claimed may be gone by this year. It is apparent that many in the so called "scientific community," have a political and social agenda and they absolutely refuse to let the facts get in the way of the truth
Member Since: February 15, 2006 Posts: 311 Comments: 293
6. DCSwithunderscores
11:24 PM GMT on September 02, 2014
Quoting 1. Svfortuna:

Now are we going to talk about areas in the United States that had the coolest summers on record? There is a constant drum beat by the Global Warming crowd, but not a word about record cool weather around the States, or the vastly expanded polar ice sheets---- yes--- the same ice sheets Al Gore claimed may be gone by this year. It is apparent that many in the so called "scientific community," have a political and social agenda and they absolutely refuse to let the facts get in the way of the truth


Why are you interested in what a politician (Al Gore) said? Note that if he claimed in 2007 that the arctic sea ice may be gone for part of the year this year, then that would also leave the possibility that it may not be gone this year. Here's what he actually said in 2007:

"One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as seven years. Seven years from now."

Note that he didn't even state then that it would be gone within 22 years, but that it could be.

Note that the trend in the amount of arctic sea ice is downward. Here is a short video that explains a bit about how the trend in arctic sea ice works (and doesn't work):

Link
Member Since: March 29, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 148
5. DonnieBwkGA
11:22 PM GMT on September 02, 2014
Jeez, Mr. Burt had an entry about late June snows in the Baltic states. He plays it straight.
Member Since: June 29, 2013 Posts: 34 Comments: 2334
4. bappit
11:07 PM GMT on September 02, 2014
Beautiful pic of the dust storm.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6089
3. PeabodySherman
10:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2014
>Now are we going to talk about areas in the United States that had the coolest summers on record?

It helps to read before popping off. Makes you look bad: Try http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/ comment.html?entrynum=297
"It was the coldest July on record (average monthly temperature) for portions of the central U.S. including the states of Indiana and Arkansas...."

Yet globally, "July was the 4th warmest such since 1880 according to NOAA and the 11th warmest according to NASA data (the difference in assessments is due to several factors which I’ll discuss in a future blog). "
Member Since: June 6, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 2

Viewing: 23 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

Top of Page

About weatherhistorian

Christopher C. Burt is the author of 'Extreme Weather; A Guide and Record Book'. He studied meteorology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.