Summer Of 2010 Hottest In 56 Years

Even though the first official day of fall is still 3 weeks away, meteorological fall started today. The reason the meteorological seasons start a little early is because it corresponds better to when the seasonal weather patterns change, also it gives Meteorologists an easy way to calculate weather and climate data since each season begins at the beginning of the month.

Since meteorological fall has begun, we can now officially calculate the summer statistics. I don’t think it is a surprise that the summer of 2010 will go down as a hot one, but the extreme statistics even surprised myself. The average summer temperature in Fort Smith was 85.1 degrees. This ties the year 1954 for the 3rd hottest summer ever recorded. The only two years that were hotter since records began in 1882 were during the dust bowl. 1934 was the hottest on record with an average temperature of 86.9 degrees. 1936 was the second hottest summer ever recorded with an average temperature of 85.7 degrees.

Fayetteville had an average temperature of 79.9 degrees. Comparing this summer with the longest recording observation site in Fayetteville puts the summer of 2010 at the 8th hottest since records began in 1892. The two hottest years on the record books over the past 118 years were also in 1934 and in 1936. As a whole the summer of 2010 was the hottest in 12 years in Northwest Arkansas.

The rainfall statistics may surprise you as well. For all practical purposes, rainfall was more or less average. Fort Smith picked up on 10.10″ which is 0.07″ above average. Fayetteville received 11.94″ which is 0.54″ above average. The most interesting thing to note in Fayetteville was that roughly 75% of the season’s rain came within a 10 day period in the middle of July. Since then less than a quarter of an inch has fallen and this is why drought conditions have developed.

On a side note, 2010 will likely become one of the more extreme years on record. As you may recall, the winter season was the harshest in more than 20 years with cold and snowy conditions. Now 2010 is towards the top of the records for summer heat with developing drought conditions.

Ross Ellet

Follow us on twitter “4029weather”


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