|Widespread, very wet conditions developed across the region during the month of May and continued through the month of June. Through the first half of July, the rainfall was becoming more spotty, but many areas still received some decent rainfall. From mid July through the end of August, beneficial rainfall had become a rarity.
Summer 2004 will also be characterized as unusually cool. Madison's truax field did not reach the 90 degree mark in 2004. Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport only reached the 90 degree mark once in 2004. That was June 8th and a high temperature of 91 was reported.
In contrast to the previous Summer of 2003, there were ten days with highs of 90 degrees or greater in Milwaukee and nine days in Madison.
Based on the normal period of 1971 through 2000, Milwaukee averages nine days with highs of 90 degrees or greater per year, while madison sees twelve on average.
Look here for detailed climate statistics for the period June 1, 2004 through August 31, 2004
Click for larger image
|It Was A Cool
Click for larger image
NOAA scientists report that the average temperature for the contiguous United States for June-August (based on preliminary data) was 71.1 degrees F (21.7 degrees C), which was 1.0 degree F (0.6 degrees C) below the 1895-2003 mean, and the 16th coolest summer on record. The mean temperature in 30 states was significantly below average, with only three states (Nevada, Washington and Oregon) averaging much warmer than the long-term mean. Alaska had a record warm May, June and July and though final numbers are not yet available, August and the summer was very warm across the state.
Nationwide, June - August 2004 was the 10th wettest summer, with dryness remaining in parts of the Southwest and northern Plains, but the southern region (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas) had its wettest summer on record. Seven states in the contiguous U.S. had much wetter-than-average conditions for the summer, with Texas and Pennsylvania having their second and fourth wettest summers on record, respectively.
Below average summer precipitation occurred in many areas of the West, where drought has persisted for much of the past four to five years. The drier-than-average conditions, along with warmer-than-normal temperatures in the West, exacerbated the long-term drought conditions in some locations. Reservoir levels also remained below average in many areas. At the end of the summer, 69 percent of the western United States was in moderate-to-extreme drought, compared with 76 percent at this time last year, based on a widely used measure of drought, the Palmer Drought Index.