Farewell Spring, Welcome Summer
Now that’s more like it! Today’s golden sunshine in a sapphire setting felt oh so good as West Virginia celebrated its 144th birthday. From Tamarack to Charleston and from the Ohio River to the Greenbrier, you never smelled better West Virginia! That’s because a refreshing feel to the air replaced the awful 97 degree heat of Tuesday. Junior golfers playing in the Bluegrass Invitational at Bellefonte CC in Kentucky too will attest to the perfect TC top 10 weather on the links!
Of course, West Virginia you have looked better thru the years. This spring ends and summer begins with our region in the throes a developing drought. Lawns are brown (dormant, not dead says John Marra), streams have slowed their flow to a trickle with sandbars emerging, flowers are drooping and reports that sycamore trees are already turning yellow are being reported.
Come Thursday morning, air conditioners will be turned off and folks will have grabbed for blankets. Temperatures will range from a luscious 55 at Pullman Square in Huntington and along the Broadway in Paintsville to a crisp and clean with no caffeine 45 in the West Va. High country. Early morning fishermen at Alexandria Point in West Portsmouth will don a sweat shirt as they cast for bass and drum. Wisps of fog will dangle from the Scioto River.
When summer officially arrives at 2:06 Thursday afternoon, temperatures will soar back into the cozy warm but comfy) 80s. Another top 10 day you ask? Well, let's not use them all up. The chance for sunburn on Thursday will be at its absolute highest level of the year, so moms and dads load the kids up with a good old fashioned SPF 30 sun block before they head to the pool or playground.
As for the so-called solstice, at 2:06 the high noon sun will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.5 degrees of north latitude. That’s as far north as the sun ever gets. For the next six months the sun will be migrating to its winter solstice position along the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees of south latitude). The euphemism that Thursday is the longest day of the year is part true. Of course all days are 24 hours long, but on Thursday, the sun will shine for a whopping 14 hours and fifty minutes, some 5 hours longer than it will when winter begins in December.
As for the first weekend of summer, an even better chance for rain and thunderstorms will exist as a front will be stalled close by. Since this last front gave healthy rains to only parts of region, we will be closely monitoring its progress and ability to give relief from the drought.
Campers and landscapers alike, remember the ground is parched and a carelessly lit match can spark a brush fire. So stay with your fire or better yet, wait until we get rain before lighting up. Officially, a special no burn ordinance is in effect within Charleston city limits.
Regardless of our weekend rain prospects, there are signs a punishing heat wave with temperatures of at least 95 will takeover next week. If we manage to miss rains this weekend, we may need a third digit when reporting the high next Wednesday.