BOSTON (CBS) – It has been a record-breaking summer in the Boston area. Meteorologically speaking, summer wrapped up Wednesday and would you be surprised to know that it was one of the warmest and driest periods in our recorded history?
First the drought.
Water restrictions and bans have become commonplace in just about every town in Massachusetts and with each passing week, the areas of “severe” and “extreme” drought expand as our drought deepens.
Ever since our winter from hell ended back in early 2015, it hasn’t just been quiet here, it’s been a weather snoozefest. Sixteen of the last 20 months have had below average precipitation, including the last 6 in a row.
This summer alone we are nearly 7 inches below normal, good enough for the number one spot on the list of driest summers ever recorded in Boston. With just 3.92 inches of rain since June 1, we finished .05 of an inch drier than the prior record for driest summer back in 1957.
Hermine will play a major role in the drought status in the next several days. While I am sure none of you on vacation are rooting for a washout to end the holiday weekend, it sure would be beneficial.
Check: Hermine Tracking Maps
It appears that Hermine will stall out in the open ocean to our south for several days beginning on Sunday. If its spiral rain bands are able to push into southern New England, tropical downpours like these could easily produce several inches of rainfall. That would go a long way to denting our drought.
However, if Hermine’s rain stays to our south, we could be stuck watching the tropics for another few weeks, waiting to see where our next drops may come from.
Now the heat.
While not quite as impressive as our drought, the heat has also been a significant story here as of late. Each and every month since May has had above average temperatures. However, no month was as anomalous as August as we finished a record 4.3 degrees above the average. As record monthly temperatures go, this wasn’t even close. The average temperature in August of 2016 was 76.4 degrees, shattering the old record in 1988 by nearly a full degree.
Only 3 of the 31 days finished below average (August 1-3) and even those days were far from “cool.”
As far as 90 degree days go, a common measure of how hot a summer is in Boston, we currently stand at 20.
This is the most since 2010 when we finished with 25 (average is 13 per year).
The long range forecasts for September and October look warm in the northeast. The odds certainly favor above average temperatures through the fall, although not necessarily record-breaking warmth. As for winter, it’s way too early to go there. A warm and dry summer doesn’t always correlate to a similar winter, with too many other atmospheric factors at play.
Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ