Yes, it was a hot summer

Published 6:52 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2019

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

If this summer seemed hotter than usual, it was. 

Preliminary data from the National Weather Service shows that temperatures for May through August ranged from 1.7 degrees to 7 degrees above normal. 

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The season started off steamy in May, when the thermostat shot up to near 90 degrees during the first week. 

Remember the melting tar on Main Street in Smithfield?{mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

May turned out to be the hottest of the four, with an average daily temperature of 73.7 and the overall average also being the hottest, at 7 degrees above normal. 

The hottest days that month, however, were during Memorial Day weekend, when it reached 96 degrees on May 29-30. 

The month closest to normal was August, where temperatures deviated upwards by 1.7 degrees. June was 1.9 degrees above normal and July was 2.5 degrees above. 

Worldwide, this past July was the warmest on record since the worldwide recordings began 140 years ago, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Overall, the heat was turned up an average of 1.7 degrees above normal. 

Hot spots popped up in Alaska in North America, central Europe, and parts of Australia, southwestern Asia and Africa, among others. The Mid-Atlantic coast was shown to be much warmer than average, according to a map prepared by NOAA. 

And while the amount of rain seemed less — at least compared to last year’s record rainfalls — it was closer to normal than the temperature. 

June was the only month of the four to fall below normal, and that wasn’t much, at .41 inches below the norm. 

Readings from Richmond paint a similar picture, although more rain fell in that area than Tidewater, according to the National Weather Service. 

August was the month when rainfall was higher than normal, at 2.05 inches, recorded in Norfolk. 

The National Weather Service also keeps track of the top 10 warmest and coldest years from 1871 to the present for different localities. 

This year topped the chart for May as the warmest in Norfolk, followed by 2018. August also saw its warmest month in 2018.  {/mprestriction}