What a difference a year makes

By Russell Russ

June was close to average weather-wise. No records were set for either temperature or precipitation. It was a great month for fruit and vegetable growing. Many plants were nearly two weeks ahead of schedule. Compared to last year, this June was a real gem for growers.

The month’s low temperature of 43 degrees was observed on June 9 and the high temperature of 86 degrees was observed on June 24. The average mean temperature was 65.8 degrees, 2.5 degrees above normal and 4.1 degrees above last June’s average. In June 2009, we reached 80 degrees just once. This year we topped 80 degrees ten times and reached 79 degrees five times.

The total precipitation for the month was 4.32 inches, 0.38 inch below normal. There were seven thunderstorms observed at the weather station this month. None were severe in strength. Through June this year, the total precipitation amount was 26.16 inches, 0.58 inch above normal. Just about average.

July, on the other hand, was a record setter for warmth. There were no individual daily records, but as a month it was the third warmest July in the last 79 years. Only July 1955 with an average temperature of 72.1 degrees and July in the years 1935 and 2006, with average temperatures of 71.7 degrees, were warmer. Nearly half of July experienced typical hazy, hot and humid weather. Comparing again to last year, this July was much warmer. Last July was the fifth coolest on record with just one day at or above 80 degrees. This year there were 21 days at or above 80 degrees, including two days above 90 degrees. Another two days reached 79 degrees.

The month’s low temperature of 51 degrees was observed on July 1, 2, 3 and on the 31st. The high temperature of 92 degrees was observed on July 6 and 7. The average mean temperature was 71.5 degrees, 3.5 degrees above normal and 6.4 degrees above last July’s average.

The total precipitation was 3.73 inches, 0.52 inch below normal. There were six thunderstorms. A few packed a punch, but caused no severe damage locally. During the afternoon of July 21, Norfolk was just to the north of a strong storm cell that produced confirmed tornados in numerous towns from Sharon to Bristol. Through July, the total precipitation for the year was 29.89 inches, just 0.06 inch above normal.