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National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
Summit Ridge, Mount Airy, MD
JUNE 2015 GAITHERSBURG 2WNW MD STATION HIGHLIGHTS
June 2015 was wetter and warmer than normal. It was much more extreme on the precipitation side. Three daily precipitation records were set, highlighted by the 3.10" on the 27th which was the third wettest June day ever. Coincidentally it remained mostly in the 60s all day, topping out at 69.6° which rounds to 70°, but still set a daily record low max temperature record for that date. The lawns and gardens in the community are now quite green after a drier than normal spring. Other daily precipitation records were set on the 20th (1.52" – remnants of Tropical Storm Bill) and 23rd (1.43" – mostly from a very intense thunderstorm with a 26.18”/hr max rain rate at 1809 EDT) which also coincidentally was the day of the highest temperature for the month (93°) that tied (with 2010) the daily record high temperature for the date. The minimum temperature of 72° on the 14th also set a daily high min temperature record. This reading occurred during our mid-month hot spell, when we hit 90° a few times, and recorded several 70+ minimum temperatures, tying record high minimum temperature records on three dates (12, 15, 21). Both the beginning (especially) and end of the month were generally cooler than normal. During the month 17 days of measurable rain were recorded, well above normal. The 9.68" monthly precipitation total is now the 3rd largest ever for June.
The average maximum temperature for the month was 81.6° (-1.3°), the average minimum temperature was 65.0°(+3.9°), the second highest average minimum in my 37 year POR (period of record), only topped by the 66.7° recorded in 2010. The resultant mean average temperature for the month was 73.3° (+1.3°). Both the average max and average mean temp values were in the middle of the "POR pack" as to the wormest/coolest ever. The highest temperature recorded during the month was the record-tying 93° on the 23rd. We had a modest 4 days with max temperatures at or above 90° (normal is about 5.4), and an above normal amount of minimum temperatures at or above 70° (10).
The month's total precipitation amount of 9.68" was 5.28" above the normal June amount of 4.40". The 17 days of measurable precipitation during the month was well above the long term average of 11.4 days. This June ties 2006 for second place all-time in my POR, 1998 had 20 days of measurable precipitation for the top spot in that category. The year to date (YTD) precipitation total of 25.10" now puts us 2.56" above the normal YTD average amount for this time of year of 22.54".
There were 6 days with fog (close to long-term averages) and 8 days with thunder (a bit above the long-term average of 6). The peak wind gust during June was a modest 20 MPH (WSW) during a strong thunderstorm on the 23rd. I observed the storm and I believe winds were actually gusting in much more exposed locations to an estimated 35-40 MPH. The current anemometer siting is about 23 feet off the ground in the back of the house, and surrounded by trees and in the middle of our townhouse cluster so the readings are significantly muted at times.
The month of June had a nice cool beginning and ending to the month, with a warm to hot middle. As has been the case the past few years, the warm nights persisted and were the reason for the above normal temperatures. Precipitation was fairly evenly dispersed during the month, with significantly more the last half (7.26") than the first half (2.42") though the number of measurable precipitation days was about even (8 first half, 9 second half). So far in July it appears that this relatively cool and wet pattern will be carrying over, at least through the first part of the month. The details for July will be coming next, in a few short weeks. Have a great summer! I am hoping for a cool, active summer. Let’s see what happens!
JULY 2014 MONTHLY SUMMARY - GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MARYLAND
by Kevin Shaw, observer in charge
This July was a fairly comfortable month, cooler and wetter than normal. The average high temperature of 84.5° (-2.3°) was the coolest value since 83.3° was recorded back in 2000. As usual the average min (65.6°) was not comparatively as cool, as it was in fact just 0.1° below normal. Combining these two values resulted in a monthly mean temperature of 75.1°, which was 1.1° below normal. July 2014 was the 12th wettest ever at 4.56" (+0.82") but with a distinct dry second half of the month as only 0.07" of rain fell between the 16th and 31st. The usual hit or miss summer storms were near-misses many times during that last half of the month. One record daily low temperature was set, along with one tied daily record low with a pair of 58's on the 18th and 25th. The coolest temperature of the month on the 30th (54°) did not set or tie a daily record low. And the nicest day of the month with a high temperature of only 73° did not set a daily record low max as a 68° max back in 2001 still remains the record for the date (29th), which turns out was my 64th birthday. The wettest day of the month, 1.40" on the 10th, set the only daily record for calendar day rainfall. The nine days of measurable rainfall this July was 2 days below the long-term average amount of 11. A hot start to the month yielded two straight days of record high min temps of 73 on the 1st and 76 on the 2nd. However, no max
temp records were set this July.There were 5 days with max temps of 90 or greater, which is well below the normal July amount of just under 11. The maximum monthly barometric pressure extreme of 30.27" occurred on July 5, one of the nicest days of the month and the day with the lowest dew point temperature for the month (50°). The lowest value of 29.60" occurred at the end of the month on the 28th, during a cold frontal passage into the beautiful birthday weather on the 29th I so enjoyed. In an evening thunderstorm on the 8th I recorded my highest peak wind gust for July of 27 MPH from the west. The year to date total precipitation through July 31 was 36.20", which was 9.92" above the normal amount at this point in time in the year.
The distribution of 8 sunny, 16 partly cloudy and 7 cloudy days was roughly in alignment with the wetter than normal precipitation amount of 4.56". There were no days with fog that I observed and 6 days with thunder. Fog frequency was well below normal, thunderstorm days were exactly normal. There was no heating degree days and 312 cooling degree days.
My maximum temperature frequencies included 5 days of 90 or above, 22 days from 80-89, and 4 days from 70-79. On the minimum temperature frequency side of things, there were 7 days between 50-59, 14 days between 60-69, and 10 days with 70° or above.
The diurnal range average was below normal (18.9° vs the normal 21.1°). The max daily range of 28.3° on the 6th occurred during our highest barometric pressure readings of the month, predictably dry as a result and a good cooling opportunity. A rather unremarkable 12.4° lowest daily temperature range on the 21st and 28th occurred on generally cloudy days but with no rain. There were 5 days total with diurnal ranges lower than 15°. There were 4 days with ranges of 25°or more. Mid-summer is not usually the time period that features diurnal temp range extremes.
July 2014 was a generally nice month with early rains and relatively pleasant temperatures. I hope we can keep up the pace of low amounts of 90 or greater the rest of the summer.
JUNE 2014 GAITHERSBURG 2WNW MD STATION HIGHLIGHTS
June 2014 was drier and warmer than normal. As has been the pattern over most months the past few years, the average maximum temperature was a bit below normal (-0.5°) but more than balanced off by the average minimum temperature being above normal (+2.9°) resulting in an above normal average mean temperature (+1.2°). The 75° minimum temperature on the 18th not only set a daily record but it also broke the old monthly record of 74° set several times on several days in the past. The 92° max temp on that same day was the hottest temp of the month but failed to set or tie a record high for the date. One other record high minimum and one tied record minimum temperature occurred on two other days during the month. No other temperature records were set. There were only 2 days with maximum temperature values of 90 or greater, significantly below the long term average of about 5. The 1.05" of rain that fell on the 11th was the greatest daily rainfall amount for the month, and set a daily record. No other rainfall records were set during the month. There were 10 days with measurable rain during the month, only slightly below the long-term average of 11. The total rainfall for the month of 3.25" was 1.15" below the normal of 4.40"
The monthly barometric pressure extremes of 30.36" and 29.59" occurred at the beginning of the month, only 5 days apart. June normally is the start of the summer season low pressure variations and this month fit that pattern. With the lack of severe storms and pressure variations, the month's highest peak wind gust of 20 MPH from the N on the 19th was associated with a cold frontal system with little rain, but the lowering of our hottest temperatures of the month during the previous two days.
Actual June 2014 statistics shows an average maximum temperature of 82.4° (- 0.5°) with the average minimum temperature of 64.0°(+ 2.9°) resulting in a mean monthly temperature average of 73.2°(+ 1.2°). The monthly precipitation total of 3.25" was 1.15" below the normal amount of 4.40". The year to date total precipitation through June 30 was 31.64" (+9.10")
The distribution of 14 sunny, 11 partly cloudy and 5 cloudy days was in alignment with the drier than normal 3.25” precipitation amount.
There were only 2 days with fog and 3 days with thunder. There was no heating degree days and 247 cooling degree days.
My maximum temperature frequencies included 2 days of 90 or above, 21 days from 80-89, and 7 days from 70-79. On the minimum temperature frequency side of things, there were 6 days between 50-59, 20 days between 60-69, and 4 days 70 or above.
The diurnal range average was below normal (18.4° vs the normal 21.8°). The max daily range of 28.7° on the 16th occurred at the beginning of our hottest period of the month while the 5.7°lowest daily temperature range on the 21st occurred on a cloudy, cool, occasionally rainy day that was actually the coolest day of the month. There were 2 days total with diurnal ranges lower than 10°. The 4 days with ranges of 25°or more which all occurred during the first half of the month.
June 2014 was a fairly unremarkable start to the summer of 2014. I hope we can keep up the pace of low 90 or greater maximum temperatures, and less thunderstorm days. We always need the rain, but with my local neighborhood's propensity for losing power easily during intense convective activity, I definitely favor the more gentle rain patterns we desperately need.
Arthur may just be the beginning of a memorable hurricane season along the East Coast. Maryland is due for a Hurricane Hazel type event--a hurricane that makes landfall further south but retains hurricane force winds through central or eastern Maryland. This event has happened eight times since 1667. The current 60 years interval is the longest in at least the past 400 years. Read more on my website, www.midatlantichurricanes.com, and click on the "Press Page".
April 2014 Station Highlights – Gaithersburg 2 WNW Maryland
April 2014 was relatively dry and seasonable for the first 27 days of the month (1.99"), but the last 3 days changed that in a big way with long-time monthly and daily records falling by the wayside. The 4.15" of rain that fell on the last day of the month not only set a daily record for the 30th, but also set an all-time daily April record for any day, surpassing the old record of 4.08" set back on April 22, 2006. On the day before, the 1.32" that fell also set a daily record for the 29th. Combined with the 0.20" that fell on the 28th and 0.18" on the 1st of May, the four day total of 5.85" was also an event record breaker for April (5.67" for Apr 28-30). This late "rally" put my monthly total well above normal, and in fact set a new April monthly record of 7.66", surpassing the old monthly record of 7.50" set back in 1983. Flooding was quite widespread for several days in the region. A few daily temperature records were set, The 85 high temp on the 13th set a daily record, the 50 max tempe on the rainy 29th set a low max temp record for the date, and the 64 min temp on the 14th set a high min temp daily record. A trace of sleet at the end of the storm (15th) also set a daily record for snow/sleet on the date.
Temperatures were quite seasonable, as the average max temp for the month was 65.7°(-0.5°) The average min temp was 43.1°(+1.4°). The resulting mean average temp was 54.4°(+0.4°). The monthly precip total was 7.66"(+4.00"). The monthly snow total was a T(- 0.4").
Barometer readings varied significantly, though not as wild as March. The 30.61" highest reading on the 17th at the outset of our longest dry spell of the month (6 days - from April 16 through April 21) followed the lowest reading of 29.47" on the 8th, during our first significant rain of the month. . On the mid-month rainstorm of over an inch, I hit my rather meager peak wind gust for the month of 25 MPH (N). The distribution of 11 sunny, 11 partly cloudy and 8 cloudy days was reasonably well distributed. There was 1 day with at least a trace of snow, 4 days with fog, 1 day with sleet, 2 days with thunder and but no days with glaze. There was 16 cooling degree days and 335 heating degree days. My max temp frequencies included 2 days of 80 or above, 7 days of 70-79,13 days from 60-69, 7 days from 50-59, and 1 day from 40-49. On the min temp frequency side of things, there were 3 days of 32 or less, 7 days between 33-39, 14 days between 40-49, 4 days between 50-59, and 2 days between 60-69. The diurnal range average was a bit below normal (22.6° vs the normal 24.5°). The max daily range of 36.6° on the 8th occurred in the middle of our longest dry spell of the month, and also the day of the lowest humidity value for the month (18%) while the 3.3° lowest daily temperature range on the 29th occurred on our 2nd wettest day of the month (1.32"), and when under the cool, cloudy stable air prior to the warm frontal passage on the 30th. There were 3 days total with diurnal ranges lower than 10.0°, two days near the beginning and this lowest value at the end of the month. Conversely, the 6 days with ranges of 30° or more mostly occurred in the early part of the month - all of those 6 days were on or before April 21. An analysis of my past 35 years of snowfall records places the winter of 2013-2014 at 56.6", the fourth snowiest of all time, with only the winters of 2009-2010 (80.7"), 1995-96 (63.2") and 2003-2004 (59.0") having more.
April 30, 2014 - Flooding, record-setting rains - Central Maryland Report from Gaithersburg
Wednesday April 30, 2014 was a spectacular end to the month of April. Heavy, flooding rain fell from time to time most of the day, occasionally with thunder, especially in the early evening - Also had some fog earlier in the day - temperatures started cool but a warm front approached and passed our area eventually with the temperatures warming all day, with also increasing dew point temperatures that got us in humid conditions by evening. We reached our high temp for the day around 10 PM (64.9°). Flood watches and warnings were posted all day, with text alerts on my phone going off several times. Several water rescues for stranded motorists were made in a few of the particularly badly flooded locations in the area, but none in my Bennington neighborhood that I know of. The 4.15" of rain that fell into my rain gauge on Wednesday set a new monthly daily record, surpassing the old record of 4.08" set back on April 22, 2006. And the monthly total of 7.66" also set a new monthly total precipitation record, surpassing the old record of 7.50" set back in April 1983.
The total storm total this week from Monday, April 28 through Thursday, May 1 was 5.85" of rain. I don't keep records of multi-day rainfall events per se, so I don't know for sure how this stacks up in the annals of April rainfall history (at least my records, which go back to 1979). However, a quick check of my April records show that 4.39" fell from April 21 through April 23 in 2006, and 3.82" fell on April 20-21, 2008. So this week's storm total of 5.85" far surpassed that, even if you limit it to days in April as the period of April 28-30 showed 5.67" of rain.
May 15-16, 2014 - Flooding rains - Central Maryland report from Gaithersburg
Well we had another spring deluge here in my Bennington neighborhood in NW Gaithersburg/central Maryland and the surrounding metro area starting late on Thursday, May 15 and extending through mid-morning of Friday, May 16. Flood watches turned to flood warnings throughout the region. Friday morning traffic on the way into my office from Bennington was heavy but luckily my route was not blocked by flooded roads like it generally was in the more rural parts of Montgomery County. The MARC commuter train that normally runs regularly on the eastern extremity of Bennington to and from Washington D.C. did not run on Friday, as the tracks to my NW around Point of Rocks MD bordering up to West Virginia near Harpers Ferry were flooded out from the Potomac and its tributaries. According to my Vantage Pro 2 datalogger which logs data for every 5 minute period, the heaviest rainfall amounts fell between 4:30 AM and 6:50 AM early Friday morning, during which 2.63" of rain fell. The maximum instantaneous rainfall rate my weather station recorded was 5.88"/hour at 4:41 AM. I was asleep during this heaviest action so I did not observe it, but my Vantage Pro 2 weather station does a great job logging the rainfall amounts while I am sleeping or otherwise occupied.
Both Thursday's total of 1.06" and Friday's total of 2.67" eclipsed old daily records for greatest 24 hour rainfalls on those days (old records were 0.93" on Thursday 5/15 and 2.30" on Friday 5/16). The 2 day event total was 3.73" was probably not a record for a 2 day rain in May, but I don't keep those kinds of records conveniently which would require doing a lot of research that I don't have time for right now. The month of May has received 5.44" of rain so far which isn't close to the monthly record yet, but we still have 2+ weeks to go through to add to that total. Right now if the month ended today this May would already be the 12th wettest of all time (35 years of records - going back to 1979). Our spring total rainfall (April and May) already is over 10 inches at 13.10" - a full spring precipitation analysis will be forthcoming in a few weeks with my May monthly summary.
As of February 22, 2014, I have received 35.7" of snow at my Montgomery County Maryland station in Gaithersburg. Other stations nearby in the more elevated/more northern Clarksburg/Damascus area have received over 50 inches of snow this season so far. Anyone else out there in the state of Maryland have any seasonal to date snowfall amounts?
Please post them!
GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MARYLAND - JANUARY 2014 STATION HIGHLIGHTS by Kevin Shaw, observer in charge. (Part 2 of 2)
The distribution of 10 sunny, 11 partly cloudy and 10 cloudy days was in concert with the number of measurable precipitation days (9), and the slightly below normal monthly precipitation values.
There were 6 days with fog, including two straight days on 14th and 15th. There was no cooling degree days and 1142 heating degree days. My peak wind gust was a modest 23 MPH on the frigid 7th of the month. My monthly minimum wind chill temperature of -6.3° was also reached early on that same day.
My maximum temperature frequencies included 5 days of 50 or above, 7 days from 40-49, 11 days 30-39, 5 days 20-29, and 3 days 10-19, including ten days that stayed at or below freezing all day. On the minimum temperature frequency side of things, there were 10 days between 0-9, 5 days between 10-19, 11 days between 20-29, and 5 days between 30-39, including 28 days having minimums of 32 or less.
The diurnal range average was exactly normal (17.8°) which hasn't happened in quite some time. The max daily range of 35.7° was on the 6th as we plunged into the throws of our first arctic outbreak of the month. The 5.1° lowest daily temperature range on the 10th occurred during our biggest 2-day storm period of the month. There were only 3 days total with diurnal ranges lower than 10° on the 2nd, 10th and 28th. Conversely, there were 10 days with ranges of 20° or more (and 2 of 30° or more), which were dispersed throughout the month.
January 2014 really was just seasonably cold statistically but because of the rash of mild Januarys generally of late it felt colder. And we certainly did have a few really cold, record-breaking days too. And so far in February we have continued a cold and somewhat snowy pattern, with one bad ice storm which I hope will not occur again this winter. Will this pattern hold for the remaining weeks of this winter? The Ground Hog just said six more weeks of winter, stay tuned to see if that rodent turns out to be a good prophet or not.
GAITHERSBURG 2 WNW MARYLAND - JANUARY 2014 STATION HIGHLIGHTS by Kevin Shaw, observer in charge. (Part 1 of 2)
Finally a respectable winter-like month! I didn't set any long-time records, but I had a number of daily records set and the rankings for this month were quite respectable and in the top echelon in several categories. It was the 7th snowiest January all-time. It was the coldest January since 2004 and the 9th coldest January of all time (mean temp). The coldest minimum temperature of 3° on the 7th broke a daily record and was the coldest minimum temperature I have had in January since 2009 when 3° was also reached (a colder min of 1° was reached back in 2004). The 7° minimum on the 30th also set a daily record. I had 10 days with minimum temperatures in the single digits, the most since 2004. Snowfalls of 3.5" on the 2nd and 7.8" on the 21st set daily records. The 17° maximum temperature on the 7th and the 18° max on both the 22nd and 28th set daily records. The 10 days with minimum temperatures was the most I have had since the very cold January of 1994. Also the 10 days with maximum temperatures of 32 or less and 28 days with minimum temperatures of 32 or less were above normal and near the top ranking in my 36 year period of record. Local ice formation, a good indication of a real cold month around here, was the most extensive/thickest in 20 years!
Actual statistics for January 2014 shows an average maximum temperature of 37.1° (- 3.7°) and an average minimum temperature of 19.3°(- 3.7°) resulting in a mean monthly temperature average of 28.2°(- 3.7°). The monthly precipitation total of 2.65" was 0.40" below the normal amount of 3.05". The monthly snowfall total of 12.2" was 3.6" above the normal amount of 8.6". The highest barometric pressure reading for the month of 30.68" occurred on the 9th at the end of the month's first big cold snap, as HIGH pressure moved over then off the coast. As what often happens during a highly amplified pattern period, our biggest storm of the month rushed in, resulting in our lowest pressure reading of the season only two days later on the 11th with 29.41" when we also had our biggest calendar day rain of the month (0.74") and the greatest storm amount of 1.24" on the 10th and 11th combined. (Continued on part 2 of 2)
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