It’s been quite some time since I have written to the good people of this great state. Having a new baby on the way takes up a lot of your time. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped paying attention to the wonderful summer we have had this year, especially the first 13 days of August. We are nearing nearly 5 to 10 degrees below average and have reached or surpassed our average precipitation already this month. Now I have seen a lot of people ask how this will affect our upcoming fall and winter seasons. Our Official Winter Outlook will be out next month, but I will do my best to set you up with some historical information to see where our thoughts are.
First let’s look at the summer thus far. Looking at this summer so far, we have seen more 80s than 90s. Did not hit our first 90 degree reading until around mid-July. We went through a 3 week stretch where it was hot, but not necessarily above average. Overall July was near average for temps as far as summer goes. June was below average as we know with a lot of rain. August has been about as nice as it can be. We have seen rain nearly every day and temps overall in the 70s and 80s with an occasional 90 here and there. More like October, right? This is not the usual summer we have come to know and love. Looking at years past and comparing them to the course of this year thus far, a cooler than normal winter could be in the works. To get this idea, we look at numerical data for the law of averages on temperatures to determine an analog year or years.
To get a summer like this, you won’t have to go too far back. While no 2 years are alike, 2013 was the most recent year where we had a summer this nice. We saw a share of 90-degree days with a few 100 but overall it was below average. As we went into the fall, September saw a warmup but then we headed on a downward trend by the end of the fall. By Thanksgiving week, we were seeing snow flurries and temps nearly 20 below average and that lasted into the winter, where it started early and lasted a while. As you can see, we spent that summer below average and it lasted into the winter months and through most of that spring of 2014. Arkansas saw several arctic intrusions that year with precip in place. One of those being early December when we saw snow and sleet for nearly the entire week. Getting married outside that week, it was cold, I would know. Another analog year is 2011. Looking at the pathway of temps from that summer into the winter months, you can see a trend of cool summers leading to colder winters. That year also saw several rounds of winter precip in-between the warmer days. Taking it a bit further back, the year 2000. Anyone remember those record ice storms? How about the lengthy cold snaps? Anyone remember that summer? COOLER than Average. We also saw a wet year that year as well. So, as I stated while no 2 years are alike, just comparing the previous years to the current summer we are in, we could be in for an interesting winter. Every winter has its warm days, but it’s where we finish that will tell the tale. Below is the chart from the Climate Prediction Center that we can compare temps, look for yourself, and see how the warmer summers are somewhat a killer of winter.
Let’s enjoy the cool while it’s here and get through one last summer heat battle, then get ready for a very colorful fall! What will the winter hold? Winter outlook due out Early September. Have a great rest of your Sunday.
~Chief Forecaster Derek