Summer 2011 Was Warmer, A Tad Wetter Than Average

OSWEGO, NY – If you liked last summer – you liked this summer.

The autumnal equinox begins at 5:05 a.m. on Friday, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

Summer 2011 was the perfect time to enjoy being outside - as reflected in this photo from Harrison Wilde.
Summer 2011 was the perfect time to enjoy being outside - as reflected in this photo from Harrison Wilde.

For purposes of his record keeping, Gregway breaks the seasons into three-month blocks with the summer being June, July and August.

The average temperature for the summer came in at 70.8 degrees. That is 2.3 degrees warmer than average.

“Interestingly enough, last summer was exactly the same, 70.8 degrees,” Gregway pointed out. “When you get right down to it, the summer of 2010 was pretty darn close to this summer.”

Looking back, June was 2 degrees warmer than average, July 3.2 degrees warmer and August 1.6 degrees warmer, Gregway noted.

The highest temperature for the summer was 95 degrees on July 21. The lowest was 49 degrees on July 2 and 3.

Summer saw 4 readings in the 90s and 33 times where it was 80 degrees or higher.

The overnight low was stuck in the 70s 10 times, Gregway added.

One high temperature record was tied (91 degrees on June 8). July set a pair of high temperature records (93 degrees on the 11th and 95 degrees on the 21st).

Total precipitation for the summer stands at 10.90 inches. That is 0.65-inch wetter than usual.

The number of cloudy days, 24, was 1 below average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 52, was 17 above average.

The number of clear days, 16, was 16 below average.

Summer 2011 saw 63 percent of the possible amount of sunshine for the area. That’s 8 percentages below where it should be.

There were 13 thunderstorm days during the summer, which is 3 below average. There were no foggy days, which is 1 below average.

“We had precipitation on 36 days and none on 56 days,” Gregway said. “So, we were on the good side there.”

The greatest amount of precipitation in a 24-hour period was 2.26 inches on Aug. 11. That was followed by 1.56 inches on Aug. 21.

“The rain came at us in big batches, heavy storms, even though over all we were quite close to normal,” Gregway pointed out.

August was the 3rd wettest in the last 43 years, he added. Without August, the summer would have been much drier, he said.

Precipitation for the year was 32.69 inches at the end of the summer. That is 5.97 inches above average.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.23 on Aug. 31 and the lowest was 29.37 on Aug. 28.

“It was a rather windy summer,” Gregway noted. “We either got a lot of wind or no wind at all most days.”

The highest winds were recorded on Aug. 28 from the north-northeast at 40 mph with higher gusts.

“That was the tail of Tropical Storm Irene,” he added. “We also got some strong winds, westerly at 35 mph or higher, on Aug. 10 and July 26, westerly at 35 mph. There were some big winds this summer.”

The summer of 2011 tied with the summer of 2010 for 7th warmest since 1855.

The warmest is 73.0 degrees in 2005.

Last summer was pretty close to this summer. The temperature was the same. It was wetter last summer (5.81 inches above normal). But everything else was pretty similar,” Gregway said.

Is that a trend that will continue? Maybe so. The pundits are calling for average temperatures and average precipitation for the fall, according to Gregway, who added the caveat, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”