Historical Fall & Winter Weather After a Hot Summer (11/11/2011)

By: NWS Wichita

What Are Fall & Winter Generally Like After an Historically Hot Summer?

As has been widely adverstised, the summer of 2011 went down in the record books as one of the four hottest on record across Central, South-Central and Southeast Kansas.  In fact, the seasonal average of 85.2 degrees recorded in Wichita this summer is only exceeded by the 85.3 degree average recorded during the summers of 1934 and 1936; a mere 0.1 degree differential, and matched the 85.2 degree mark recorded during the historic summer of 1980.

So what can we expect for this fall and winter?  Will the scorching heat from a few months ago result in a warm fall and/or winter?  How about fall/winter precipitation and snowfall?   

The table below shows subsequent average fall/winter temperature/precipitation anomalies (departures from normal), corresponding to the top-10 hottest summers on record for 4 sites across central, south-central and southeast Kansas.  Only sites with a long climatological record exceeding 100 years were chosen.  

THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL LONG-RANGE FORECAST!  The results shown below simply indicate subsequent observed average fall/winter temperature and precipitation anomalies corresponding to the top-10 hottest summers on record.  Many different factors are taken into account when compiling an official long-range forecast, and will not be discussed in this article.  For the latest official long-range outlooks (available in 3-month increments) from the Climate Prediction Center, click HERE.

In the table below, "+" means "above normal", and "-" means "below normal".  Note: percentages below may not add up to 100% due to rounding.


Subsequent Fall/Winter Anomalies After Corresponding Top-10 Hottest Summers
   Fall Temperatures (Degrees F)
 Fall Precipitation (Inches)
Winter Temperatures (Degrees F)
Winter Precipitation  (Inches)
 Winter Snowfalls (Inches)
Wichita +1.7 -1.97
+0.8 -0.86
McPherson +1.6 -1.70 +1.7 -0.13 -2.3
Lincoln +1.1 -1.75 +1.9 -0.14 -6.3
Independence +0.7 -0.61 +0.9 +0.45 -1.1
Average Anomaly +1.3
-1.50 +1.3 -0.17 -3.8
Above Normal Seasons 58% 20% 63%
Below Normal Seasons 8%
Near Normal Seasons 35%


Again, while this is NOT an official long-range forecast, the above table suggests that after a top-10 hottest summer, the probabilities of a WARMER and DRIER than normal fall and winter tend to increase.

Below are the latest official fall and winter long range outlooks issued by the Climate Prediction Center.


Official Fall Temperature Outlook (Click to Enlarge)
Official Fall Precipitation Outlook (Click to Enlarge)


Official Winter Temperature Outlook (Click to Enlarge)
Official Winter Precipitation Outlook (Click to Enlarge)


This story was brought to you by the National Weather Service - Wichita, Kansas.

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