Will this summer be another on the all-time hottest list?

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's been a long, hot summer here in central Virginia, on the heels of the all-time hottest summer just last year. This seems to be a growing trend.

That's really not all that unusual here in central Virginia, our summers are typically hot and humid. But since 2005, more often than not, they've been sizzling at a record pace.

The summer of 2010 was the hottest period from June through august that we've experienced in Richmond since records have been kept -- the average temperature was 81.3°. How can we forget the relentless days of oppressive heat with an unprecedented ten days in the triple digits.

The summer of 2011 has given us just three days of triple digit temperatures.  However, our average temperature from June 1 through August 7 is 81°. This is less than a half-degree below the record shattering summer of 2010.

You could argue that this summer has actually been worse than last year. The stifling humidity has been higher on average thanks to more frequent afternoon and evening storms. The drought of 2010 left our soil bone dry, keeping evaporation rates low, and resulting in more of a desert like heat.

If you look at the top 5 hottest summers in Richmond, three have occurred since 2005. And it would seem inevitable that 2011 will be added to the top 5 list.

Does a record setting summer tell us what we might expect in the upcoming winter? Not necessarily. However, it is interesting to note we followed up the all-time hottest summer of 2010 with a top 10 cold December and a Christmas snowstorm. Some cooling thoughts as we continue to swelter through the dog days of August.

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