Summer ‘09 was just average

Published 9:28 pm Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday officially marked the first day of autumn.

As the new season begins, a look back at the weather history for this summer shows that this past season was nothing if not ordinary.

“You could say it’s pretty close to average overall for the summer,” said Larry Brown, a lead forecaster for the National Weather Service.

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According to the National Weather Service’s report, temperatures this summer were in line with the average temperatures from the past 60 years.

In the city of Norfolk, which is the closest tracked city to Suffolk, the average temperature for the months of June, July and August was 77.5 degrees. This is just .2 of a degree higher than the average from the past 60 years.

Brown said Norfolk was able to keep such average temperatures in part because there was a lack of 90-plus degrees days.

“We had less heat waves than average,” Brown said. “The last few summers we have had more than an average amount of those more-than-90-degrees days, so this year, it felt cool, comparatively.”

While the temperatures were around normal, the precipitation levels were much higher toward the tail end of the season.

In fact, in the past 135 years of data collected, Norfolk experienced its third-wettest August of all time.

Throughout the summer, Norfolk had 37 rain days with more than 21 inches of rain.

In August alone, Norfolk had 17 rain days and 13.22 inches of rain.

“Norfolk got really wet this August,” Brown said. “That’s pretty significant, when you look at how much data there is to compare those figures to.”

While Norfolk stayed the standard this year, Brown did note there were other significant weather occurrences around the country. For example, six states (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa) experienced their coolest July on record and simultaneously, states such as New Mexico, Arizona and Washington were closer to their record high temperatures.