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Northeast Overview - August 2013

Monthly Summary

PLEASE NOTE: Data is preliminary and subject to change.

Following three months of above-normal temperatures, the Northeast was cooler than normal in August. With an average temperature of 67.2 degrees F (19.6 degrees C), it was 1.2 degrees F (0.7 degrees C) below normal. The lone warm state was Vermont with a departure of +0.1 degrees F (+0.1 degrees C). Departures for the rest of the states ranged from -0.3 degrees F (-0.2 degrees C) in Maine to -1.9 degrees F (-1.1 degrees C) in Maryland. As for summer, the Northeast's average temperature of 68.6 degrees F (20.3 degrees C) was 0.7 degrees F (0.4 degrees C) above normal. West Virginia ended summer at normal, while all other states were warmer than normal. In fact, seven of the region's twelve states ranked this summer among their top 20 warmest. Departures ranged from +0.2 degrees F (+0.1 degrees C) in Maryland to +1.8 degrees F (+1.00 degree C) in Massachusetts.

For the fourth month in a row, the Northeast was wetter than normal. During August the region received 4.23 inches (107.44 mm) of precipitation, 108 percent of normal. While overall the region was wetter than normal, the individual states were split. West Virginia led the six wet states with 146 percent of normal, making it the state's 12th wettest August. Departures for the other wet states ranged from 129 percent of normal in Maine to 103 percent of normal in Pennsylvania. As for the six dry states, departures ranged from 97 percent of normal in New York to 71 percent of normal in Vermont. Looking at summer, the Northeast received 16.56 inches (420.62 mm) of rain, 134 percent of normal, making it the wettest summer since recordkeeping began. All states ranked this summer among their top 11 wettest, with New York seeing its wettest summer on record at 137 percent of normal precipitation. Departures for the rest of the states ranged from 119 percent of normal in Pennsylvania to 171 percent of normal in Delaware. In addition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, had its wettest summer on record with 29.71 inches (754.63 mm) of precipitation, beating the old record of 24.58 inches (624.33 mm) set in 2011.

While August started with no areas of dryness in the Northeast, an area of abnormal dryness was introduced in north central Pennsylvania in the U.S. Drought Monitor released on August 29 due to precipitation deficits over the past 90 days.

Thunderstorms in western and central Pennsylvania on the 7th produced multiple funnel clouds and wind gusts up to 90 mph (40 m/s). The storms downed trees and power lines, blew roofs off barns, and dropped hail up to 1.00 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter. Repeated thunderstorms over the same areas in central New York caused significant flash flooding on the 8th. In Tompkins County, 1.25 inches (31.75 mm) of rain fell in a 20-minute period with 24-hour rain totals of around 5.00 inches (127.00 mm) in that county and surrounding counties. In Cortland County, over a hundred people were evacuated. The heavy rains washed out roads and flooded homes and businesses. According to Press and Sun Bulletin, preliminary estimates place damage in parts of Tompkins County at around $1 million. Storms also caused flooding in parts of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts on the 8th and 9th. On the 11th, three waterspouts were spotted on Lake Erie southwest of Erie, Pennsylvania. An EF-0 tornado and straight-line winds damaged trees in Harford County, Maryland, on the 13th. On the same day, an EF-0 tornado touched down in Ocean County, New Jersey. The tornado downed trees and power lines and damaged several churches. The storms that produced the tornadoes also caused flash flooding in southeastern Pennsylvania, northern Delaware, and southern New Jersey. More flash flooding occurred in New Jersey on the 22nd. Several lanes of Interstate 295 were blocked by water causing a 10-mile backup in Burlington County. On the 24th three waterspouts were spotted on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.