It’s kind of cool living here in the Northwest

Does it seem like we’re experiencing a much cooler-than-normal summer so far in the Northwest? If you said yes, you’d be right on target, according to statistics collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Northwest has gone through the sixth-coolest May-July period on record. (Click to enlarge)

In fact, looking at records going back to 1895, the Northwest experienced the sixth-coolest period from May through July.

If you have friends and relatives in other parts of the country, you know they are not sharing the mild weather.

In fact, the May-July period was the warmest on record for the Northeast and Southeast, while it was the ninth-warmest for the Central region. During this same period, states breaking the record for average high temperatures were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Last month was the hottest July on record for Delaware and Rhode Island. Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., recorded an average temperature of 83.1 degrees in July, which tied July 1993 as the warmest for any calendar month in 116 years.

Several Eastern states were breaking records for the May-July period. (Click to enlarge)

Across the nation, precipitation for May through July was much above normal. Wisconsin experienced the wettest May-July period in history. It was second-wettest for Illinois and Iowa, third wettest for Michigan and fifth-wettest for us here in Washington state.

If you’ve never played around with the data tools available through NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, you may want to start by creating various Temperature and Precipitation Maps by shifting through different periods of time and different regions of the country.

While on the subject of climate, NOAA recently released its annual State of the Climate report for 2009. The report lists 10 indicators for a warming world — and all of them point to an ongoing warming trend.

Seven indicators are rising: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, air temperature over oceans, sea level, ocean heat, humidity and tropospheric temperature. Three indicators are declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers and spring snow cover in the Northern hemisphere. None are bucking the warming trend, but I’m not sure why the report ignores ice and snow in the Southern Hemisphere.

“More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years,” states a news release accompanying the report.

Download the latest report from State of the Climate in 2009. Previous reports can be found at State of the Climate Report.

Chosen climate indicators point toward a warming world.
State of the Climate Report 2009

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