A July for the Record Books
This July was the all-time hottest month on record for 11 major climate sites.
While July is typically the hottest month of the year, July 2020 was an overachiever. This July was the all-time hottest month on record for 11 of the 35 major climate sites - Scranton and Harrisburg, PA; Buffalo, Syracuse, and LaGuardia Airport, NY; Burlington, VT; Baltimore, MD; Portland, ME; Bridgeport, CT; Elkins, WV; and Dulles Airport, VA. The month ranked among the 10 all-time hottest months on record for another 23 of the major climate sites. Average temperatures ranged from 2°F to 6°F above normal across much of the Northeast.
July average temperatures ranged from 2°F to 6°F above normal for most of the Northeast.
July featured an unusually large number of days with a high of at least 90°F for many locations. Seven major climate sites recorded their greatest number of 90°F days for any month on record - Baltimore, MD; Hartford, CT; LaGuardia Airport, NY; Philadelphia and Scranton, PA; Providence, RI; and Washington, D.C. In fact, in Washington, D.C., the temperature soared to 90°F or higher on 28 of 31 days in July, 14 more days than usual. For another 17 major climate sites, the number of 90°F days in July ranked among their 10 greatest for any month on record. Also of note, Buffalo, NY, recorded its longest streak of days with a high of at least 90°F for any month on record as well as its hottest July temperature on record.
Seven major climate sites recorded their greatest number of 90°F days for any month on record.
July precipitation ranged from less than 25% of normal to more than 200% of normal.
July rainfall was hit-or-miss, with some areas seeing less than 25% of normal and other areas seeing more than 200% of normal. One of those excessively wet locations was Newark, NJ, which had its wettest July on record with 235% of normal rainfall. Another eight major climate sites ranked this July among their 20 wettest on record. At the other end of the spectrum, four major climate sites ranked this July among their 20 driest on record. In terms of drought and abnormal dryness, with variable rainfall, some areas saw worsening conditions while other areas saw improvement.
While Newark, NJ, had its wettest July on record, overall, July rainfall was extremely variable.
August is expected to be wetter than normal for an area stretching from West Virginia to southern Maine, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. This is due in part to the potential for heavy rainfall from Hurricane Isaias during the first week of August. Equal chances of below-, near-, or above-normal rainfall were predicted for the rest of the Northeast. There’s an increased likelihood of above-normal temperatures for August for a majority of the region, except southwestern West Virginia where equal chances were forecast.
There’s a tilt towards a wet, warm August for parts of the Northeast. Click to enlarge.