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July was both wetter and hotter than average in Richmond

WetRIC

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – It comes as no surprise that July 2013 was wetter than average in Richmond. It rained 16 out of 31 days in the month at Richmond International Airport. That’s half the month with rain days.

The airport measured 5.88 inches in July, which is 1.37 inches above the 30-year average for the month. It is worth nothing that July is, climatologically speaking, our wettest month of the year. Based on the long-term average (data 1872 to the present), Richmond receives 4.80 inches in July. Here are the top ten wettest and driest Julys on record (with the average monthly rainfall highlighted in yellow):

JulyRICwettestanddriest

Not all of Virginia was wetter-than-average for the month, though. You can see on the state view some pockets of below-average July rain (in yellow and orange hues):

July2013VAdeprain

Notice the purple shades on the state map? Those coincide with a number of July rainfall records in that part of the state. Here is the report from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, VA:

...RAINFALL TOTALS AND RECORDS SET IN JULY 2013...

ROANOKE VIRGINIA RECEIVED 12.73 INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH MADE JULY
2013 THE WETTEST JULY EVER RECORDED. THE OLD JULY RAINFALL RECORD
WAS 10.09 INCHES FROM 1989. IT WAS ALSO THE SECOND WETTEST MONTH
OF ALL TIME IN RECORDED HISTORY. THE CURRENT ALL TIME WETTEST
MONTH RECORD IS 16.71 INCHES FROM AUGUST 1940. RECORDS FOR ROANOKE
DATE BACK TO 1912.

DANVILLE VIRGINIA RECEIVED 11.50 INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH MADE JULY
2013 THE WETTEST JULY EVER RECORDED. THE OLD JULY RAINFALL RECORD
WAS 8.81 INCHES FROM 1965. IT WAS ALSO THE FOURTH WETTEST MONTH OF
ALL TIME IN RECORDED HISTORY. THE CURRENT ALL TIME WETTEST MONTH
RECORD IS 14.64 INCHES FROM SEPTEMBER 1996. RECORDS FOR DANVILLE
DATE BACK TO 1948.

BLACKSBURG VIRGINIA RECEIVED 7.78 INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH MADE JULY
2013 THE THIRD WETTEST JULY EVER RECORDED. THE CURRENT JULY
RAINFALL RECORD IS 9.35 INCHES FROM 1992. RECORDS FOR BLACKSBURG
DATE BACK TO 1952.

BLUEFIELD WEST VIRGINIA RECEIVED JUST 4.12 INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH
WAS WELL SHORT OF THE CURRENT JULY RAINFALL RECORD OF 10.24 INCHES
FROM 1980. BLUEFIELD ACTUALLY FINISHED BARELY BELOW THE 1981-2010
NORMAL FOR RAINFALL IN JULY...WHICH IS 4.17 INCHES. RECORDS FOR
BLUEFIELD DATE BACK TO 1959.

FINALLY...LYNCHBURG VIRGINIA RECEIVED ONLY 3.41 INCHES OF
RAIN...WHICH WAS FAR BEHIND THE CURRENT JULY RAINFALL RECORD OF
10.30 INCHES FROM 1984. LYNCHBURG FINISHED BELOW THE 1981-2010
NORMAL FOR RAINFALL IN JULY...WHICH IS 4.36 INCHES. RECORDS FOR
LYNCHBURG DATE BACK TO 1893.

August is our second wettest month of the year, on average (often aided by tropical systems or their remnants tracking through the Commonwealth), and based on climate outlooks, we’ll continue our wetter-than-average trend through the end of Summer into early Fall in our region.

off01_prcp

As for July’s temperature, despite all the rain and cloud-cover many days, we were hotter-than-average for the month. The average temperature (factoring both the daily highs and lows) was 80.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That is 1.2 degrees F above the 30-year average.

We were spared any triple-digit days in July 2013. However, it felt like we were hotter than a hundred many days because of how humid we were. The hottest air temperature reported at RIC was 96 degrees on July 16 and 17, with half the month at least 90 degrees or hotter (16 out of 31 days). Overnight low temperatures remained several degrees warmer-than-average for the month, which also contributed to the overall average temperature being hotter-than-average.

The temperature outlook into early Fall does not show our region at risk for extreme temperatures in either direction. So, you can expect (generally) a typical transition from Summer to Fall in the Mid-Atlantic this year.

off01_temp

In the western U.S., though, as drought continues, temperatures will likely remain hotter-than-average. This also means that region will remain at a higher risk of wildfires through the rest of Summer into early Fall.

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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