Waiting on June Heat
Here in early June we are still waiting for our first 90 degree day of the season. Recall how back in mid May the temperature managed to make the upper 80s on several occasions but at least at our two local airports, 90 proved to be a fleeting number.
No question once the ground dries sufficiently, a slew of mercurial 90 degree pool days will treat the kids home for the shortened summer season. But assuming we do not hit 90 this Wednesday, ninety likely won’t occur this year until Father’s Day weekend or beyond.
Oddly, meteorological summer differs from astronomical summer by as much as two weeks.
Astronomical summer (A.S.) occurs when the direct rays of sun wander into the Northern Hemisphere and park over the Tropic of Cancer on June 21st. That leads to our longest day of the year (15 hours of daylight versus a mere 9 hours of darkness).
That is also the single most intense sun of the entire year and a definite red flag for sunburns.
Now compare A.S. with “Meteorological summer” (M.S.) which occurs a full 2 weeks before the stars and heavens say so. That phrase (M.S.) is often misunderstood as a term thrown around by many weather people to describe an early season hot spell. Turns out the term has mathematical significance since the three month period from June 7th to September 7th is the warmest of the year, ON AVERAGE. Hence, we call it meteorological summer.
So to the weatherman, this weekend begins “M.S.”.
One final word, it is true that in dry years, September can be the hottest month of the year. Keep that in mind since I for one have been surprised by the overall normal amount of rain we have measured this spring.
With a less active hurricane season predicted there is one train of thought that our farmers and gardeners will struggle to get their needed summer downpours to support a second straight bumper crop year.
As extension agent Rodney Wallbrown told me last week, “Tony we need one downpour per week of about one inch to sustain a good crop of beans, corn and hay pasture”.
Only time will tell if Mother Nature can come through on that one.