Summer 2006 Was Near Normal

Summer 2006 
 Close to normal,but cooler and wetter than last year
 
As September begins, thoughts begin to turn towards cooler temperatures and the return of shorter days and longer nights. Meteorological summer, defined as the period between June 1 and August 31, has come to an end. When it is all said and done, the numbers for the summer of 2006 reflect a summer that was very near normal in terms of temperatures and rainfall. While areas to our west across the Plains baked in one of the hottest and driest summers ever, abundant rainfall in Indiana during the spring and early summer left the ground wetter than normal. A wetter than normal ground usually ensures that it will be hard for temperatures to reach very hot levels, and indeed while we did reach the lower 90s, highs never climbed to any warmer than 93 degrees.
 
Here is a summary of the conditions that we experienced this summer in Central Indiana.
 
Temperature
 
Temperatures this summer were very close to normal. The summer average temperature for Indianapolis was 74.0 degrees. Normal for summer in Indianapolis is 73.5 degrees. This means that summer of 2006 was above normal by 0.5 degrees.
 
As a result, Summer 2006 was much cooler than the summer of last year. Temperatures remained mostly in the 80s for highs, and only 10 days were recorded this past summer with a high temperature of 90 degrees or higher. A normal summer would experience 18 days with high temperatures in the 90s. For comparison, last year saw 21 days with high temperatures in the 90s. There were no record temperatures set this summer.
 
 
This year (2006)
Normal
Difference from Normal
Last Year
June Temperature
70.4
71.7
-1.3
74.8
July Temperature
76.6
75.4
+1.2
76.4
August Temperature
75.0
73.5
+1.5
76.6
Summer Temperature
74.0
73.5
+0.5
75.9
Highs in the 90s
10
18
-8
21
Hottest Temperature
93
95
-2
95
Monthly and summer temperatures refer to the average temperature for that period, and normal refers to values during the reference period 1971-2000.
 
  
 
 
 
Precipitation
 
Rainfall in Indianapolis was also close to normal for the summer season. However, most of the rainfall came during the month of June. With 5.63 inches of rain measured at Indianapolis during the month of June, it was the wettest June since 1998. July and August were both much drier than the month of June. Since June was so wet, it balanced out the drier months and left the overall summer rainfall value slightly above normal. Summer 2006 saw a total of 12.62 inches of rainfall, which is above the normal value of 12.37 by a mere 0.25 inches of rain. In comparison to last year, this summer was much wetter. July 11 set a daily record rainfall when 2.49 inches fell on that day.
 
 
 
 
 
This Year (2006)
Normal
Difference from Normal
Last Year
June Precipitation
5.63
4.13
+ 1.50
3.59
July Precipitation
3.98
4.42
- 0.44
2.98
August Precipitation
3.01
3.82
-0.81
4.20
Summer Precipitation
12.62
12.37
+0.25
10.77
Rainiest Day
2.49
2.22
+0.27
3.04
Days with 1 inch of rain or more
1
 
4
 
-3
2
All rainfall amounts are in inches.
 
 
Year to Date
 
2006 has so far been a warm and wet year. The yearly average temperature through the end of August is 57.0 degrees. This makes 2006 the 11th warmest year on record to this point. Most of this is due to the extreme warmth in January. A few months of below normal temperatures in the spring and early summer were not nearly enough to balance out the warm winter. Rainfall to date is above normal as well. The yearly total currently stands at 32.57 inches, which is above normal by 3.90 inches. This value makes 2006 the 24th wettest year to this point.
 
 
What Will Fall Bring?
 
The outlook for the fall season of 2006 indicates that there is an enhanced likelihood for both warmer than normal and drier than normal conditions in central Indiana. Current signs are that a weak El Nino is beginning to develop. This feature is expected to remain weak, and so it should not have a tremendous impact on the weather this fall.
 
Residents of the area should keep in mind that fall is one of the most variable and changeable seasons of the year. Temperatures in the early part of fall can still feel downright summer-like at times, with highs in the 90s still possible through early October. On the flip side of this coin is the fact that fall always brings the first frost of the season to the area, and can even bring snowfall during its last few weeks!

So no matter how this fall ends up, one thing that residents can count on is that fall will bring hot and cold, wet and dry, and everything in between.
 
For current seasonal and monthly outlooks, visit the Climate Prediction Center.
 
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Data Prepared by Climate Services Focal Point, Logan Johnson
 


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