Surprise! August was hot and dry

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WALLA WALLA — Although it didn’t feel like it at times, August actually ended up a bit hotter than normal.

While the last full month of summer never hit the 100-degree range, its average temperature was 2.7 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service. The hottest day was 98 degrees on Aug. 6 while the coolest night clocked in a 55 degrees on Aug. 26.

In terms of rainfall, August is the driest month of the year and the last 31 days turned out even drier than normal with only 0.17 inches of precipitation, a mark 0.40 below normal. The heaviest rainfall came on Aug. 1-2 when .12 inches fell. Overall there were only four days with measurable precipitation and 27 days with zero or trace rainfall.

The dry days and nights left the year’s total precipitation at 7.61 inches, a mark 5.47 inches below normal. Since October, precipitation for the water year is now 15.01 inches which is 5.09 inches below normal.

The highest wind gust during the month was 40 mph on Aug. 25 as recorded at Walla Walla Municipal Airport.

The coming month will mark the end of summer with the autumn equinox on Sept. 22. If the past is any guide, the outlook for September is for temperatures to gradually begin to cool and rainfall to start picking up again.

According to the national Climate Prediction Center, normal highs for Walla Walla fall from 83 degrees at the start of the month to 72 degrees at the end. Normal lows fall from 57 degrees to 48 degrees. The 30-year normal precipitation for September is 0.75 inches.

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