By: Eric Schminke
WAS SUMMER 2009 REALLY THAT COOL AND WET?
Summer 2009 ended on September 22nd at 4:18 PM CDT for Central and
Southeast Kansas. However, from a meteorological standpoint, Summer ended
on August 31st, and for most of Central and Southeast Kansas, it was
fairly cool and wet. Let's see how cool and wet this past summer was from
a historical perspective.
Temperature and rainfall data from Summer 2009 will be examined for three cities: Wichita, Salina and Chanute. First, these summer data will be compared to normal. Second, the data from Summer 2009 will be compared to it's coolest and wettest predecessors.
The Air Capital averaged 77.8 degrees
during Summer 2009; an even 1 degree below normal. (See Image 1) A review
of the graph clearly shows that Wichita experienced a warm start to the
summer by averaging an even 79.0 degrees during the month of June; 3.5
degrees above normal. This was the 15th warmest June on record. It
would be the warmest month for the Summer of 2009, as average
temperatures fell to 78.2 degrees in July and to 76.3 degrees in
August, the 15th coolest August on record. (To compare 2009 to the 10
coolest summers on record, see Image 2.) These averages were 2.8 degrees
and 3.5 degrees below normal, respectively. However, the 77.8 degree
average only enabled 2009 to finish in 4-way tie for 41st coolest on
record. No doubt June prevented 2009 from soaring through the ranks.
Like Wichita, Salina had a warm start to
Summer 2009, averaging 1.8 degrees above normal during the month of June.
(Image 5) Then the weather REALLY COOLED OFF. The 76.6 degree average for
July was a staggering 4.7 degrees below normal, enabling 2009 to finish
in a tie for 6th coolest July on record. The 76.4 degree average also
enabled Summer 2009 to tie 1982 for 6th coolest on record. (Image 6)
Chanute also experienced a warm start to
the summer by averaging a lucky 77.7 degrees during the month of June;
3.4 degrees above normal. This tied 1922 for the 14th warmest June on
record. However, just as it appeared air conditioners were going to get
prolonged workouts, much cooler weather arrived with July averaging 3.6
degrees below normal and August 3.2 degrees below normal. (Image 9) The
75.9 degree average in July made 2009 the 6th coolest July on record,
while the 74.8 degree average in August was the 7th coolest on record.
However, like Wichita and Salina, June prevented 2009 from soaring
through the ranks of the coolest summers on record, as the 76.1 degree
average ranked 16th all-time. (Image 10 compares 2009 to the 10 coolest
summers in Chanute's climate history.)
|In summation, Summer 2009 was certainly cooler and wetter than normal across the Wichita County Warning Area. However, with the exception of parts of Central Kansas, namely Salina, Summer 2009 was by no means historic, but one must keep in mind that the Autumn months have been known to produce some "gully washers", as the colossal rainfalls of last September and during Halloween 1998 clearly demonstrate, so keep those umbrellas handy and be alert for road closures during flooding situations.|