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A Look Back At Summer 2009

A Look Back At Summer 2009

POSTED: Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 12:50pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 3:29pm

Meteorological Summer 2009 turned out to be a dry and hot one. Let's take a look back at some of the summer statistics in El Paso and the Borderland. A special thanks to meteorologist Dave Novlan from the National Weather Service office in El Paso/Santa Teresa for assembling a majority of this data. June 2009 Somewhat as expected, our monsoon season started with a bang. Climate indicators during the spring showed that June could be a month of above normal precipitation. This turned out to be true when a series of rainstorms hit the El Paso area the last week of the month. There was one particular day (the 28th) in which El Paso International Airport recorded 1.85 inches of rain! This lead to minor flooding across portions of the city. The month's first 100 degree temperature occurred June 14th with many more to come. However June ended up our one summer month near "normal." Thanks to that one wet day, June 2009 turned out to be the 9th wettest June on record, with a total rain amount of 2.26". July 2009 The weather really dried out and warmed up once we hit the month of July. Though June is notorious for being the hottest month of the year, our July took the cake this year. We logged 16 days of 100 degrees or warmer and every single day of the month temperatures hit 91 degrees or hotter. Mother nature provided very little relief from the heat with a paltry 0.49 inches of precipitation. With an average temperature of 86.8 degrees, July 2009 goes down in the books as the second hottest July on record. Even hotter than July 1994! The month also ended as the 19th driest July on record. August 2009 The heat and lack of rain continued through August, despite several promising incursions of monsoon moisture throughout the month. We added another four days of 100+ heat and we finally broke our streak of 90+ weather August 24th when the high temperature only hit 87 degrees. With an average temperature of 84.1 degrees August 2009 was the 8th hottest August on record. Rain total of 0.63 inches puts it at the 30th driest August in history. Other Facts -The June-August rain total only put the summer season as the 51st driest on record. Imagine if we hadn't received the rain in late June? -Things were much worse out in Arizona, where much of the state received less than 90% of normal rain; with many areas seeing less than 50% of normal rain (according to June 8th to September 8th radar estimates), leading to the term Nonsoon; the lack of a monsoon. -The bootheel of New Mexico decided to not follow the crowd, with some radar estimates for the same June 8th to Sept 8th time period showing around 200% of normal precip! -There was a streak of 61 straight days where El Paso logged a high temperature of 90 degrees or hotter. -In fact, only 6 days the entire three month period saw a peak temperature of less than 90 degrees. -It was a hot meteorological summer. So hot that the average June to August temperature of 84.2 makes it the third hottest summer on record. -Only the hot summers of 1980 and 1994 have recorded hotter average temperatures (86.1 degrees in both years). It should be noted that meteorological summer is different than calendar summer, which does not end until September 22nd. Meteorological summer runs from June 1st to August 31st, which is the time period used for most of the information listed above. The monsoon season is still going on and continues until September 30th. Also interesting that though our summer was a hot one, not a single record high was set, though four record max minimums were set. Summer 2009 turned out to be a hot and dry one, which is in contrast of the last several summers here in El Paso and the Borderland. With a developing El Niño we may see a more active weather pattern through the fall and winter months and into 2010; though there is no guarantee that our weather will swing toward a more normal or even wet and cool weather pattern. Mother nature knows no rules and we will continue to try to do our best at predicting the upcoming weather fluctuations.

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