U.S. Summer Temperatures and Rainfall

September 3rd, 2014 at 10:55 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Summer temperatures      Summer Rainfalldrought monitor  Click on the images to enlarge.  The first two maps are U.S. temperature difference from average and U.S. rainfall difference from average for the meteorological summer (June 1 – August 31) (from the High Plains Regional Climate Center).  Much of the U.S. east of the Rockies has had average to above average rainfall.  In general, it has been timely.  So, we’re headed toward another great harvest this fall across much of the U.S.  Warm conditions prevailed in the Western U.S. and the drought continues in California.  Since agricultural crops are generally irrigated in the West, crops there are not as bad off as the drought would suggest.  Note that the summer has brought average to above average rainfall to much of Arizona, Nevada and up toward Washington State.  The drought monitor shows the drought in California and the barren and sparsely populated areas of NE Oregon and western Nevada.  The drought has eased a little over parts of the Southern Plains.  Warmer than average surface water temperatures off the West Coast of the U.S. would argue for a mean ridge over that area and a downstream trough over the Central U.S.  Some of the parameters that led to cold and snowy conditions last winter have not changed.  As I have said since spring, the El Nino (warmer than average surface water temperatures along the Equator west of S. America) is and will continue to be weak.  While strong El Ninos usually mean warm winters in the Northern U.S. (Great Lakes), weak El Ninos often bring a fair amount of cold and snow (1977-78) from the N. Plains to the Northeast.  I still think winter comes a little earlier this year.  Your snow shovel should be at the ready by early November.   Check out the current webcam from Barrow, Alaska (thanks, Mary for the heads up on this).  The high temperature yesterday in Barrow was 34.  Currently, they report a west wind at 22 mph and a wind chill factor of 19.

Also, snow falling last night SW of Calgary, Alberta on Hiway 22…The hottest temperature of the year occurred Tuesday in New York City, reaching 92 F…the Tigers have won 8 out of their last 11.

72 Responses to “U.S. Summer Temperatures and Rainfall”

  1. Jen in Middleville says:

    First! ;-)
    This sounds like a great winter forecast! Hopefully once again it will snow on my birthday in late November! Thanks Bill!

  2. Ken says:

    Wait a minute, strong El Ninos bring warm winters, but weak/less strong El Ninos bring extra cold and snow? What do non-El Ninos bring? Seems counter-intuitive (to the weather knowledge-challenged like me) that a less strong El Nino would have an opposite effect of a stronger El Nino.

    Confused in Caledonia

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      A weak El Nino often brings a ridge in the west and a trough in the east with NW flow…lots of cold, Arctic air gets into the Great Lakes. A strong El Nino brings a split jet…one across the southern U.S. where there is above average precipitation and another across southern Canada that blocks Arctic Air from reaching the mainland U.S. for much of the winter.

      1. Ken says:

        I see now. Thank you for explaining!

        Clearer in Caledonia

      2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        It seems like El Nino would not be the only factor in the winter though. Maybe a dominant one but Im sure there are exceptions… just a higher possibility.

  3. CAROL says:

    WELL shovel needed in NOV..is better than needed in SEPT OR OCT..

  4. Paul (Yankee Springs-Barry State Game Area) says:

    Listening to what Bill and Joe Bastardi have been hinting at for the upcoming winter the past month or so, I have extra wood for the stove and been trying to cut back the encroaching woods along the driveway so there is room to plow….not looking forward to it….

    1. Mr.Positive says:

      Yes because they are the weather Gods. They know EXACTLY how this winter is going to turn out *rolls eyes*

      1. matt says:

        @Mr.Positive amen.

  5. GunLakeDeb says:

    It sounds like this might be the “summer that lasted 3 months” and I’m sorry to see it go so fast. The neighbors on either side of my house have already pulled their docks out of the lake :-(

    1. Lisa (Caledonia) says:

      Lots of people I know are closing their pools this week or already have them closed…

  6. Mr.Positive says:

    Typical bill Steffen always talking about the snow and cold even in the spring and summer. I don’t recall him bringing up summer weather at any point last winter. Stop trying to think you’re the weather God. Only time will tell how our winter is going to be.

    1. fixxxer says:

      Ill admit bill is on a serious cold weather kick this year. No idea why. I guess to feed the troll rocky.

    2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      I think around November or December I will demand Bill post numerous threads discussing the upcoming summer ;)

      We’ve been talking about the upcoming winter before summer even officially began.

      1. Bill Steffen says:

        Say, next summer could be on the cool side, too. Remember that the five coolest Julys in G.R. have occurred since 1992. Only one of the top five warmest occurred after the mid 1950s.

        1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          Farmers Almanac is saying a very hot summer 2015.

        2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          And for the record, Flint and Saginaw were warmer than average this summer while GR and Detroit were slightly below. Chicago was right about average.

        3. Mike M. says:

          Look out for the wild cards: multiple volcanic eruptions possible in Iceland and New Guinea…


    3. Irish coffee says:

      Bill never claimed to be a wx- GOD, GODDESS or even wx-Nostradamus……time WILL tell our winter tale.
      In your critique of Mr Steffen, you failed to include your forecast/reasoning w./ specific variables & teleconnections + analogs to boost your call

      1. Brian (Grandville) says:


      2. Jack says:

        ANALOG ??? Cue,,,,,Joe Walsh : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEoWaP4skv8. ENJOY Irish !! Stay CUEDD…

      3. Jack says:

        BAD CUE ? Try This Gang ::: Joe Walsh “Analog Man” Guitar Center Sessions on DIRECTV …
        ► 4:02► 4:02
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWZJFy8VQQg. ;-)

  7. INDY says:

    Mr. Positive lets take a guess who u really are?? I can think of 2 bloggers! Anyways tracking winter storms and lk effect snow is better then the summer thunder storms we have in west Michigan….Bill is just getting us ready!! Winter rules Bill Steffens rules!! INDYY!!!!

    1. fixxxer says:

      So your admitting he is you 4th name of shame on here?

    2. matt says:

      Am I the other blogger you’re thinking of?

  8. Ed says:

    What does a weak El Nino mean for California and their ongoing drought? Thanks

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      I’m hoping it means at least average rainfall for the winter season. However, this may flip back to the drier La Nina pattern late next year, which would not be good for California.

  9. fixxxer says:

    Just as i said, schools in and now it gets hot. Laughable, predictible michigan weather.

  10. Mike[kalamazoo county] says:

    we are going to harvest a record corn and bean crop nation wide even in my area where we hurt for rain all of august we still are going to have above avg. yield on corn and beans. some of the reason for the above avg. in my area is the amount of irrigation the other reason being we had abundant rains from 6-1 to 7-6. The only factor trying to push corn and beans higher is the unrest in the Ukraine and the U.S. harvest will more than offset the Ukraine’s problems

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      That’s good to know – Lord knows the farmers needed a bountiful year for a change! I’ve been blown away by how tall the corn is in this area!

  11. GunLakeDeb says:

    Now it’s hazed-over, but earlier today, the sun was fierce!! Felt like it was burning all the way to the bones! Never hurts to get a little extra Vitamin D, since we’re ALL deficient by March/April….LOL!

  12. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Weak El Ninos were seen in the winters of 04-05 and 06-07 as well.

    Those were two of the three LEAST snowiest winters for Michigan Tech in that decade.


    If you go to Detroit, the winter of 06-07 was also one of the LEAST snowiest in the past 14 years. Only 30″ of snow total for the season.


    Similarly, if you look at temperatures of those two previous weak el ninos, they were both much, much warmer than last winter and not exactly “cold.” In fact, December 2006 was the warmest in Detroit since 1923.

    In other words, I wouldn’t be so quick to associate weak el ninos with a lot of snow/cold for Michigan. There are many, many other factors and time will tell what happens.

    1. Irish coffee says:

      Correct me if i am wrong, but Bill NEVER said that weak could NOT go either way….it’s just that based on long-term AVG’S, WEAKER NINO’s verify slightly cooler than avg..

    2. Jacob G. says:

      For those wondering about the ONI values for the last El Nino events, here you go. You are right Travis there is a lot of other factors like teleconnections, SST, low solar, high latitude blocking (volcanic activity in the Artic regions), active re-curving typhoons in the pacific late in the season, early snow cover in CA and Asia that all can drive our winters here in MI. I just peaked at the PDO and it has been positive since start of the year which shows the warmth off the west coast. I think Farmer’s almanac is expecting a La Nina to start next year with droughts, that is why they are calling for “hotter” temps next year. Too early to say if we flip back to La Nina so quickly.

      JJA 1951 – DJF 1951/52 1.2
      DJF 1952/53 – JFM 1954 0.8
      MAM 1957 – JJA 1958 1.8
      OND 1958 – FMA 1959 0.6
      MJJ 1963 – JFM 1964 1.4
      AMJ 1965 – MAM 1966 1.9
      JAS 1968 – DJF 1969/70 1.1
      AMJ 1972 – FMA 1973 2.1
      ASO 1976 – JFM 1977 0.8
      ASO 1977 – JFM 1978 0.8
      AMJ 1982 – MJJ 1983 2.2
      JAS 1986 – JFM 1988 1.6
      AMJ 1991 – MJJ 1992 1.6
      ASO 1994 – FMA 1995 1.2
      AMJ 1997 – MAM 1998 2.4
      AMJ 2002 – JFM 2003 1.3
      JJA 2004 – DJF 2004/05 0.7
      ASO 2006 – DJF 2006/07 1.0
      JJA 2009 – MAM 2010 1.6

  13. INDY says:

    WOW HIGHS IN THE 60′S NEXT WEEK!! Bill is going to have to come and keep warm at night around a hot fire out at thee YARDofBRICKS…….INDYY!!

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Football weather. Let’s go Lions!

  14. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    There has been some discussion as to what to expect in a weak el Niño years well here is a list of el Nino years and their reported strength

    And here is a list of the general winter GR had in the weak events back to 1952

    52-53 warmer less snow
    53-54 warmer near average snow fall
    58-59 colder and much above average snowfall
    69-70 colder and above average snow fall
    76-77 much colder then average near average snowfall
    77-78 much colder then average above average snow fall
    04-05 near average temps and above average snowfall
    06-07 very cold and snowy February the other months were less cold and snowy

    It seems two winters were warmer one near average and four were colder and one was up and down. So the odds are for a colder winter but no sure bet for a colder then average winter only time will tell.

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      Thanks for the info slim.

  15. Jacob G. says:

    Nice research Slim!

  16. Forget about this upcoming winter, what about the great weather outside right now!! Haha it is fantastic outside. I could take this all year!

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:


    2. DF (EGR) says:

      Seriously! Vacation in South Haven was awesome!!!!

  17. Paul m says:

    Getting the kids out of school eat dinner then to Grand Haven State Park for paddle boarding and swimming.
    Water temp is 74 today

    1. Jack says:

      Have Fun , Be Safe . We Will Look for Ya, Don’t Forget To Wave!!!, LOL…. http://www.surfgrandhaven.com/. Stay CUEDD, for BEACH MUSIC!!!

  18. Roxy (North Holland) says:

    Please, not another winter like this last one. Do not want to go through another round of home repairs.

  19. Me :-) says:

    What about October Bill? Will that be warmer than average? Let’s make a deal: the snow lovers can have November, let me have October ( I want it to be warm ) :-)

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      I agree, warm through fall is just fine with me.

  20. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    It was colder than average this summer? NO? Who would have thought? How is this possible because Travis said this summer has been above average! He ignores the facts that are right in front of his face – that is called delusion! Who knew?

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      It was warmer than average this summer…just not in west Michigan. :-)

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Ya right and what have you been smoking today?

        1. Jack says:

          CUE : Boston-Smokin – YouTube
          Stay CUEDD,,,,puff,puff….PASS…. ;-)

        2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          You can’t be serious. Look at the graphics above. smh

  21. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    This is starting to look INCREDIBLE! Bring it! We will set a snowfall record this winter!

    1. Tom says:

      How was school today-go get your homework done!

      1. fixxxer says:


      2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Yes I actually had a busy day at work. Retirement is one year closer! Imagine that!

        1. matt says:

          How was school for you, did you spread those fake golf trips all over the playground kid?

    2. fixxxer says:

      What looks incredible?

        1. matt says:

          Is that what you say when you mommy says your peanut butter and jelly sandwich is ready? Just the facts thanks for listening :D

  22. Uncle Sparkee says:

    This year the green monsters will do well but not excellent. Needed a little more tropical type of weather for the green. But come the end of the month thier will be enough smoke coming out of lake county it will make the California wild fires look like sparklers! Your ol uncle sparkee loves this time of year.

    1. Tom says:

      Spare us please! There are stoner blogs where you can share your stories!

      1. Uncle Sparkee says:

        Weather and crops go hand in hand pal.

      2. Jack says:

        DON’T LIke it TOM…Don’t Read It ! We Love Ya Uncle Sparkee, Keep US Informed on This Years CROP!! Oh, BTW Uncle S. WE Missed U @ Thee KISStheBRICKS at INDYS. BILL was there and He asked about YOU! Your Niece Michelle K. Wants to Take a Road Trip ( with BILL). So Ya may Have To Call off THE DOGS!!LOL…Stay CUEDD…..UNCLE S. ;-)

  23. fixxxer says:

    Its a safe bet this fall and winter wont be anywhere near as bad as last.

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Maybe in your dreams! Keep telling yourself that! We will be getting absolutely hammered with SNOW this winter! We will be ROCKING and ROLLING all winter long! I love it!

      1. matt says:

        The only thing you’ll be doing is sitting in the basement dreaming up new lies about those ski trips you take while everyone here knows you’re a kid who is a habitual liar :D

  24. Geneo Grenville says:

    Our Weather will be what mother nature give us. no one know. we hope we can try to forecast it right.

  25. Kevin (Marshall) says:

    Pretty impressive…St. Cloud, MN had .90 inches of rain in 6 minutes. That is a rainfall rate of 9 inches per hour!

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