July ended a bit below average

Highs for the month of July. Gold days had highs in the 70s, orange in the 80s, red in the 90s and fuchsia in the 100s.
Highs for the month of July. Gold days had highs in the 70s, orange in the 80s, red in the 90s and fuchsia in the 100s.

The month of July wasn’t quite as hot as we’ve endured over the last several years. Highs for much of the month were rather pleasant with 19 days having highs below 90°. A bit of comparison to the last few years on highs below 90° for the last 5 years:

  • 2014 – 19 days
  • 2013 – 15 days
  • 2012 – 1 day
  • 2011 – 4 days
  • 2010 – 13 days

These numbers were recorded at Billard Airport in Topeka. Similar readings were found across much of Northeast Kansas. Perhaps the bigger story is a return to some very dry weather conditions, with July nearly 3″ below average for rainfall for many locations. The reduced heat has helped us from having as substantial of a drying trend as we’ve seen in the past few years, but we still have not fully climbed out of the drought just yet.

Now the big question I get asked more often than I can count…”does that mean we are going to have a harsh winter?” Here’s where the forecasting gets nearly impossible. As much as I’d like to have a smoking gun that I can look at and say with certainty what the next few seasons will bring us, weather just doesn’t work that way. In fact, there is really no correlation between hot/cool summers and what to expect on the following winter. For every mild summer, we have had both warmer and colder winters following them.

Other factors can come into play, like whether or not the El Niño pattern in the Pacific fully develops. That can often give us a milder, but slightly wetter winter. As we get closer to the winter season, I’ll try to see what other factors seems to be lining up to give us an idea of what we can expect.

- Storm Track Chief Meteorologist Matt Miller

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