Hot and dry; it must be July

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— The heat is on.

After a too-cool June, both the start of this month and July have produced the first triple-digit days since 2010. July was also the month that marked the start of the dry season with only six days of measurable rainfall.

July’s hottest day came early when the mercury peaked at 104 degrees on July 8. The next day was the second-hottest with 102 degrees. Sunday brought the first three-digit day of August with a high of 101 degrees as measured by Walla Walla Regional Airport.

Overall July’s average temperature, about 75 degrees, was only slightly warmer than normal. While there were two 100-plus degrees days, the highs exceeded 90 degrees on 14 days, according to the National Weather Service. The coolest temperature, 46 degrees, measured on the night of July 4, Independence Day.

After one of the wettest Junes on record, July delivered only one-half inch of precipitation, an amount .09 inches below normal. Nearly half the month’s total fell on one day, July 15, when .23 inches was measured at the airport.

The scanty rainfall brought the total precipitation this year to exactly 16 inches, which is 3.49 inches above normal. The total for the water year, which runs from October through September, is now 19.59 inches, which is .06 inches above normal.

The highest wind gust during the month was on July 8 when a gust of 40 mph was recorded at the airport.

Hot and mostly dry days will remain in the forecast with the long-range outlook calling for near to above-normal temperatures during this month and near to below normal precipitation.

The normal highs for Walla Walla in August are about 88 degrees and normal lows are slightly above 60 degrees. The 30-year normal precipitation is .57 inches.

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