Meteorological Summer is Over… But Summer-Like Weather Continues

Blue skies on full display from my yard 🙂 (9/1/20)

Although “traditional” or astronomical summer doesn’t end until September 22 (when fall begins), meteorological summer has officially ended. Meteorological summer spans the months of June through August.

Meteorological seasons were created to help aid in keeping consistent climatological data that could accurately be compared from year to year (there’s some variation in astronomical seasons). More can be read on this topic here.

Below is a snapshot of temperatures for the months of June through August. The highest temperature recorded for the summer at Paine Field occurred on August 16, with a temperature reaching 100 degrees! This was only the second time a triple-digit temperature has been recorded at Paine Field, with the first coming on July 29, 2009. August 16 was also when we had some thunderstorms in the area 🙂 ⛈ Two high temperature records were broken: June 23 with 77 degrees and August 16 with 100 degrees.

Figure 1: Temperature snapshot for meteorological summer at KPAE (2020)
Figure 2: Accumulated precipitation for June through August at KPAE

In terms of precipitation (shown above), we ended just slightly below average, with 3.55 inches compared to the average 4.05 inches. 2020 actually ended at number 10 in terms of the most precipitation during a meteorological summer! I’m not complaining ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

For fall lovers like me, the goal is in sight… but we aren’t quite there yet. We still have a stretch of summer-like weather to contend with.

Figure 3: GFS Ensemble temperature forecast for KPAE

The GFS ensemble members average near 80 degrees for the next several days at KPAE (ensemble averages tend to be more skillful than individual members). After that, it shows a spike in temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday of next week, with high temperatures in the mid-to-upper-80s. This still has time to change as it is still a ways away, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

However, other models like the Euro do not go as warm as the GFS does. Take a peak at the Euro ensemble daily high/low temperature forecast:

Figure 4: Euro daily high/low temperature for KPAE

This still shows a spike in temperatures next Tuesday through Thursday, but not nearly as warm as the GFS.

But regardless of exactly how high temperatures get in the greater Everett area, it will still be warm. A ridge of high pressure setting up shop over the area will help contribute to the heat.

It is also possible that a thermal trough develops, which is responsible for most of our heat waves.

The great Cliff Mass describes this phenomenon in an old blog post found here. Here is an excerpt from it:

A lobe of high pressure extends inland of us, forcing offshore flow.   This offshore (easterly) flow starts over the heated interior of the continent and then gets even warmer when it sinks down the western slopes of the Cascades.   The result is that a tongue of warm air extends northwestward out of the southwest–generally northward from the interior valley of CA or the intermountain West—towards our region.   Each day it moves farther northward and strengthens.  And since warm air is less dense, a pressure trough (area of low pressure) extends northward with the warm air. 

As already mentioned, models disagree on exactly how warm it will get over the next several days. But I think it’s safe to say that it’ll still feel like summer for awhile–in terms of both temperature and dryness.

Figure 5: GFS ensemble for 24 hour precipitation at KPAE

None of the GFS ensemble members show a drop of rain until late next week, and even then, it’s a small amount. The Euro shows a mostly dry next several days, as well. Good news for those who never want summer to end. Take advantage of it while you can! It won’t last forever 😉

4 thoughts on “Meteorological Summer is Over… But Summer-Like Weather Continues

    1. I appreciate your support! I’m trying to figure out a routine for more active writing 😁 with our storm season starting up soon, I should have no shortage of what to write! I do more frequent updates on social media so you can like my page on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter 🙂

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  1. Catherine

    I appreciate that you’re located in Lynnwood/Everett. Cliff, though wonderful, seem to focus more on Seattle. I’ve moved here recently and am interested in bearing more about the “convergence zone” and also why it seems to be about 10 degrees cooler than in Seattle (Wallingford). Hope you post a lot here as I’m not on FB.

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