Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
A year ago today, there was some remarkable weather in Southwest Virginia.
Not the derecho — that was a year ago Saturday. Not extreme heat — that didn’t start until a year ago Friday.
Deeply lost in many Southwest Virginians’ weather memories, June 26-27, 2012, were extraordinarily cool late June mornings, part of what until that point had been a cool start to summer.
Blacksburg’s lows those mornings were 49 and 47, respectively, just a few degrees above records for those dates, and there were even cooler readings in some outlying areas. Roanoke dipped to 54 on the morning of the 27th, more than 10 degrees below normal.
Even the first morning of the heat wave, June 28, started at 52 in Blacksburg and 59 in Roanoke — before vaulting to 90 and 97, respectively.
But summer 2012 will always be marked by what happened principally on June 29, and secondarily from June 28 to July 9.
June 29 was Roanoke’s hottest day in 29 years at 104 degrees — tying for the hottest June day on record — and then, of course, came the 81 mph wind gust in the evening that made “derecho” a household word.
And June 28 to July 9 was the torrid hot spell, with many people lacking air conditioning after the June 29 power outages. Roanoke’s high hit at least 97 on 10 of those 12 days, and went above 100 four times.
Because of the extreme heat early in the month and warm, humid mornings throughout the month, July 2012 was Roanoke’s hottest July on record, averaging 80.8 degrees, dating all the way back to 1912.
But summer as a whole — June to August — was not even among the 10 hottest summers on record. It was not nearly as hot, on the whole, as the two preceding summers, that rank as first and second warmest.
June and August each ended up with temperatures very close to normal in 2012, so the summer as a whole averaged warmer than normal, not blistering hot.
But if your air conditioning was out for most of the hottest 12-day stretch since the Great Depression, you can certainly be excused for remembering the hot summer of 2012, despite the season average.
We are almost one-third through meteorological summer a year later.
So far, the theme of summer 2013 is wet. Blacksburg is more than 3 inches above normal in rainfall for June, and Roanoke more than 2 inches.
Temperatures, meanwhile, are running close to normal for June, about a half-degree above normal through Monday.
There is still plenty of time for the character of the summer as a whole to change, either through a wholesale pattern change, or, as 2012 shows, an extreme period that overshadows the rest of summer.
Nothing like that is on the horizon. The extreme heat is setting up much farther west than it did last year, and that will lead to a cooling trend for us as we move toward the Fourth of July.
More showery weather is likely in store. Summer 2013, for now, will keep moving down the track on which it has been running.
Weather Journal runs on Wednesdays.
Weather JournalPossible scrape with snow Tues