Another cool and very wet summer month

By Russell Russ

With 18 of 31 days recording measurable rainfall and only four days that were classified as being mostly clear, it was another cloudy, cool and very wet month. It was Norfolk’s second consecutive summer month with near record cool temperatures and near greatest amounts of rainfall.

The month’s low temperature 46 degrees was observed on July 13. The high temperature of 82 was observed on June 28. The average mean temperature this month was 65.1 degrees, 2.9 degrees below normal. There were no individual days with record temperatures, but it was the fifth coolest month of July in the last 78 years. There was only one day with a high temperature at or above 80 degrees.

The total precipitation recorded for the month was 8.84 inches, 4.59 inches above normal. It was the fourth wettest month of July in the last 78 years. Norfolk’s wettest July on record was in 1996 with 11.47 inches. There were nine thunderstorms observed at the station this month. For the year 2009, through July, the total precipitation amount was 34.82 inches. Through July we are now 4.99 inches above normal.

Our official way of recording rainfall for the National Weather Service is to include monthly rainfall up to 8:00 a.m. on the last day of the month. Taking into account the rain that fell during the late morning to afternoon of July 31 the monthly total for July would have (could have) been 10.41 inches. It would have (could have) been the second wettest July on record, but officially it ended up as the fourth wettest. Don’t even ask why it is recorded this way, it is just how the government requires us to do it.

The summer of 2009 did break one rainfall record, and it doesn’t matter how you total it up, it still was the wettest June and July monthly combination in the last 78 years. With an official combined rainfall total of 18.37 inches it was the wettest June and July combination on record. It surpassed 1945 with 17.91 inches, 1986 with 17.31 inches and 2000 with 16.72 inches. If it is your summer vacation it is obviously not the best record to break.