Hot Summer Across the USA; Not Here

September 8, 2011

The official 3 month numbers are in; this summer (June-August) was the 2nd warmest on record when the entire contiguous USA is averaged together.  Obviously our chilly June and July made for a different result here; in fact Oregon and Washington were the only two states with a below average summer temperature.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it was the 2nd cool summer in a row.

You can click on either image for a better view of course.  The general trend is uphill, but lots of ups and downs; check out all those cool summers from around 1940 to 1960.  And you can clearly see did NOT end up a “green tomato summer” like 1993 and 1954-1955.

In other “warm” news, the race is on up in the arctic to see if it’ll be the lowest or 2nd lowest summer minimum sea ice extent.  The minimum usually occurs within the next week or two as it starts to freeze up again in the arctic.  Here’s the graph; you can see the clear downward trend since the satellites first started recording sea ice area in 1979.  Always keep that in mind when you hear “lowest ice extent ever”.

You can read more about it at the National Snow & Ice Data Center website.

We cooled down a few notches today, taking the edge off the heat, BUT we did hit a record!  It was a record warm overnight low…only 62 degrees here in Portland; highly unusual for September.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen