Sunday, August 03, 2014

July 2014 Climate Summary for northern and eastern Maine

...3rd Wettest July on Record at Bangor and Caribou...

July 2014 featured significantly warmer than average temperatures across northern and eastern maine, and for the third year out of the last four, much above average rainfall.

Temperatures averaged 1 to 3 degrees above normal across the region for the month. At Caribou, the mean temperature of 68.1 was tied with the 12th warmest July in 1994. The warmest spell of weather this month arrived during the opening three days of the month, with other notable warm spells occurring between the 12th and 15th and The 19th and 23rd.

Rainfall for the month, which was banded across the region, ranged from 115 to 200 percent of normal. For both Caribou and Bangor, this month finished as the 3rd wettest. At Caribou the second wettest July recorded just last year experienced 7.28 inches, and the wettest July set in 2011 received 7.96 inches. At Bangor, only the Julys of 1951 with 7.02 inches and 1983 with 7.25 inches exceeded July of 2014. Interestingly, the intervening july of 2012 was much drier than normal with only 1.73 (0.53) inches recorded at Caribou (Bangor).

The largest contribution to this months rainfall total came with a slow moving cold frontal system on the 4th and post frontal rainfall that followed on the 5th from tropical storm Aurthur. In addition to the heavy rainfall, Aurthur, an unusually early tropical system that tracked over the extreme southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, caused significant wind damage and power outages to southeast Aroostook and southern Penobscot, and especially Washington and Hancock counties. Sharply cooler temperatures accompanied the rainfall of Aurthur during daylight hours of the 5th, with a few locations over northeast Aroostook counties holding in the upper 40s during the afternoon hours.

Other significant to heavy rainfall days across the region also occurred on the 16th...23rd...28th and 29th. Despite the very heavy rainfall this month, the overall feeling was that the month was sunnier with more drying between rain events than last July. Also, many of the heavy rain events of this month occurred at night, with few rain events stretching continuously over more than a day.

Other items of note. The all-time warmest low temperature on record was tied at Caribou on the 2nd.  The low of 71 degrees tied the record previously set on July 31, 1970 and tied on July 18, 1975.

The first thunderstorm of the season was observed at Caribou on the 23rd.  This was unusually late, as on average by the 23rd of July thunderstorms would be observed at Caribou an average of 10 times.

The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for the month of August for our region is indicating no strong climate signals that would point toward an unusually warm (cool) August or an unusually wet (dry) month. Average temperatures begin to slowly fall during the month.  The average high at Caribou (Bangor) drops from 76 (80) on the 1st to 71 (75) by the end of the month.   The average low at Caribou (Bangor) falls from 55 (58) on the 1st to 50 (53) by the end of the month.  Nearly 1 1/2 hours of daylight is lost during the month of August.