Summer on break much of July

Only a flurry of hot weather at the end of the month salvaged a respectable number of days over 90 degrees.

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WALLA WALLA -- Summer laid a light hand on Walla Walla last month.

July delivered relatively mild temperatures and more than a few unseasonably cool days and nights. In fact, there wasn't a single triple-digit day and only eight days when the mercury went to 90 degrees or above.

Overall, the average daytime high of 85.1 degrees was about five degrees cooler than normal. The highest temperature, 94 degrees, came July 6, 24 and Saturday, while the coolest night was on July 1 when the mercury went to 48 degrees.

While July didn't deliver in terms of heat, it didn't deviate when it came to rainfall, or lack thereof.

A historically dry month, July delivered a paltry .23 inches of precipitation, which was exactly one-half inch below normal. There were 28 days of zero or trace precipitation and only three days with measurable rainfall, defined as .01 inch or more. The wettest day was July 12 when a thunderstorm delivered .15 inches as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport.

The scanty rainfall brought the total year-to-date precipitation to 13.71 inches, a mark 1.63 inches above normal. For the water year, which runs from October to September, the total is now 21.01 inches, which is 1.80 inches above normal.

The peak wind gust for the month was 38 mph on July 7.

The outlook for August from the federal Climate Prediction Center calls for near-normal temperatues and near-normal precipitation. Normal highs for August are slightly above 89 degrees while normal lows are 61 degrees. Normal precipitation, based on a 30-year average, is 0.84 inches.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

Historical heat

July is normally one of the hotter and drier months of the year. Here's a comparision between this year's July and the past four:

July 2007 -- 22 days of 90 degrees or hotter, including four days of 100 degrees or higher. Daytime highs averaged 93.4 degrees, 3.5 degrees above normal. Rainfall was 0.29 inches, 0.44 inches below normal.

July 2008 -- 17 days of 90 degrees or hotter, including one day with a high of exactly 100. Daytime highs averaged 89.2 degrees, less than one degree (0.7 degrees) below normal. Rainfall was 0.25 inches total, 0.48 below normal.

July 2009 -- 24 days of 90 degrees or hotter, including nine days of 100 degrees or higher (tops were two days of 104-degree heat). Daytime highs averaged 93.5 degrees, 3.6 degrees above normal. Rainfall was 0.18 inches, 0.55 below normal.

July 2010 -- 17 days of 90 degrees or hotter, including three days of 100 degrees or higher. Daytime highs averaged 89.5 degrees, less than one degree (0.4 degrees) above normal. Rainfall was 0.10 inches, 0.63 inches below normal.

July 2011 -- 8 days of 90 degrees or hotter. Zero days with high of 100 degrees or hotter. Daytime highs averaged 82.7 degrees, 7.2 degrees below normal. Rainfall was 0.23 inches, 0.50 below normal.

(Note: Normal average daytime high in July is 89.9 degrees. Normal average rainfall is 0.73 inches.)

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