How did the summer months overall average temperature (June, July, August, and September) this year compare against average summer months in the past? With all the record setting daily highs, I'd be surprised if August and September weren't the hottest on record.
Posted November 6, 2007 9:21 a.m. EST
MIKE MOSS SAYS: Jamie, This was indeed a much above normal summer. Summer is typically defined in climate records as the months of June, July and August. The "normal" summer temperature at RDU is 76.9 degrees, and this year we ended the summer with a value of 79.7, or 2.8 degrees above normal.
Month by month, we were 1.8 degrees above normal for June, July came in at .2 degrees below normal, and then we had that amazing August with 30 out of 31 days at 90 or above, and a temperature 6.9 degrees above normal!
September was plenty warm as well, and we came in at 3.8 degrees above normal for the month with a mean of 75.0, which was second warmest on record for RDU (going back to the mid 1940s) behind 2005, when September averaged 76.0 degrees.
As opposed to constraining our seasonal analyses to fixed calendar dates defining "summer," one can also choose a sliding window of 90 days length and check the average temperature over that period. This type analysis shows the 90 day stretch from June 17th to September 14th of this year was the warmest on record for the airport, with a mean temperature of 80.9 degrees.