I cannot tell you how many times someone has walked up to me in the past several weeks talking about our ‘lousy’ summer. And every time, I throw my head to the side like a confused puppy. Maybe it’s a cynical world…maybe we just got used to blazing drought-ridden summers in the past couple years, or whatever. But if you think this summer wasn’t any good, you’re crazy. And here’s why.
It Actually Rained
Wasn’t it nice to not have thousands of trees die off this summer? Or turn the landscape into a burnt hayfield? Or have strict watering bans in the gardens? We received a typical amount of rain this summer and it was spread out pretty evenly. It was actually STILL a little drier than normal, but not by a wide mark, in many towns. Boston’s rainfall will end up within a tenth of an inch of average! Right on the dot. Lawns for the most part stayed green, golf courses didn’t run through 5 years’ worth of watering bills, and keeping the garden going was a much less stressful endeavor. It wasn’t *too* wet to produce any mold or rot issues. Perfect.
Lack of Damaging Storms
While we’re not in tornado alley here in southern New England, we can certainly see damaging thunderstorms and even some tornadoes. This summer generally featured neither. We got some decent boomers here and there but very little wind damage or widespread downed tree events. There wasn’t a single tornado this summer in Massachusetts (the only one so far this year came in February, oddly enough!). Big hail storms didn’t rake the area. Overall, a quiet warm season for storm damage.
Temperatures Didn’t Bake Us
The last couple of summers were two of the hottest ever recorded in Boston, with last August crushing the mark for warmest August on record to boot. You might like hot weather (I do) but from a wider perspective it probably would not be great for us to be setting new heat records every summer. Having a typical season is a nice relief, and we got it in 2017. Temperatures ended up almost exactly average in the region…just slightly warmer versus the 30-year climatology. We had a few hot and humid streaks but it was always fleeting. Many comfortable sleeping nights. No prolonged swampy stretches. Just a nice balance.
Days over 80F in Boston = 50 of them. Average is 45.
Days over 90F in Boston = 12 of them. Average is 15.
Crops Are Rocking Out
If you know of a problem in the garden or orchard, let me know of it. Because I haven’t seen a single complaint. The combo of well-timed rain and no excessive heat has made for a great growing season. Apples are on pace to have a phenomenal year. No blight for tomatoes. Peaches were delicious after losing the entire crop last year. No floods, no major windstorms, no ill-timed frosts.
To me, these are ingredients for a great summer. Our family vacation to the Cape was full of nice weather and good times. Trees and plants are happy. There weren’t any big extremes. And now we’re embarking on one of the best times of the whole year.
No real reason to complain…