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Beyond The Forecast: Summer unofficially began this weekend

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Happy Monday! Many consider Memorial Day weekend to be the unofficial start to summer. Well for meteorologists, summer starts about one week later: June 1. Meteorological summer is defined as the three hottest months of the year: June, July and August.

In southwest Virginia, highs in the 80s and 90s are prevalent throughout the summer season. We’ve even hit the triple digits on quite a few occasions! The average high is 80 degrees on June 1, rises to 87 through the entire month of July, then falls to 84 degrees by the end of August.

Last week, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center issued its outlook for meteorological summer in the United States. Fans of the heat, you are going to be very happy with this forecast! It calls for above-average temperatures for most of the country, including a 50-60% chance in our area. Therefore, we should be watching for high temperatures to reach the 90s on more days than we’d see during a typical summer.

Now what about rainfall? Summer is typically our wettest season, with nearly 11.5″ of rain on average each year. The Climate Prediction Center is giving our corner of the Commonwealth 40-50% chances of above-average rainfall during the upcoming summer season, so that could mean more chances for thunderstorms and also higher humidity locally.

In case you’re wondering, it’s been the 11th warmest and 3rd wettest year-to-date in Roanoke, so this summer outlook is basically a continuation of what we’ve already been experiencing in 2020.


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