Richmond officially records hottest summer

By Andrew Freiden - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It has been a year for the record books.  This summer's extreme heat coming after an exceptional winter. Deep snow and deep freezes seem welcoming after the summer that seemed like it would never end.

But it has!  Even though your calendar still says it's summer until September 23, for meteorologists and climatologists, summer began on June 1 and lasted through the end of August.

And the final numbers are flat out hot and dry.

Richmond had an average temperature of 81.3 degrees Fahrenheit this summer -- that's almost 1/2 a degree warmer than the previous warmest summer on record:  79.6 degrees in 1900.

And the records keep coming.  Our 10 days with a temperature of 100 degrees or more set a record.

Also, we had a record-setting 37 days with a 95 degree or higher reading. And a remarkable 71 days with a high temperature of 90 degrees or above.

At the same time it got hot and a severe drought formed.  June and July were the driest on record and the summer as a whole was the third driest on record.

While the drought is a mainly local story, we weren't alone when it comes to heat.  Washington D.C. and New York suffered through a record hot summer.

While we scorched, so did Russia and much of the globe, with this summer coming in as the warmest on record for the earth as a whole.

But there were a few cool spots.  The United States West Coast was cool, and the Antarctic temperatures were much cooler than average.

So  what's next?  We are entering a La Nina cycle. If that holds through winter, we could end up warmer and drier than average.

That would be bad news since we may need those winter storms to replenish soil left dry by a summer to remember.

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