Climatologist recalculated the data from last year and declared Oklahoma had the hottest summer ever recorded in U.S. history. Before the recalculation Texas had that title. While we normally want to beat Texas, I’m not sure this is a record we wanted.
The new tally by the National Climate Data Center says Oklahoma’s average temperature last summer was 86.9 degrees, while Texas’ average temperature was 86.7. The previous record was also held by Oklahoma, an average of 85.2 degrees in 1934.
Oklahoma has beaten even more records this week, according to Mesonet, Oklahoma just finished the warmest spring, climatological spring runs from March through May, in Oklahoma history. The average statewide temperature was 65.1 degrees, 6 degrees above normal. The previous record was 62.9 degrees in 2006. This May ranked the fifth warmest on record, March was the warmest on record, and April was the tenth warmest. January- May also tops the record books, statewide average was 56.3 degrees, which is 5.2 degrees above normal.
And the warm weather didn’t start last summer, we have been having warmer than normal temperatures for awhile now.
“The recent warmth is a continuation of what the state has experienced since early 2010. Of the last 26 months, starting with April 2010, 21 have been warmer than normal. Three of the last 11 months (July and August, 2011, and March 2012) and two out of the last four seasons (summer 2011 and spring 2012) eclipsed their respective all-time heat records as well. June 2011 barely missed that months top mark, settling for the rank of second warmest. Oklahoma?s July and summer statewide average temperatures in 2011 were record marks for the United States as well. There were blasts of wintry revenge during that period, of course. Oklahoma saw its all-time lowest minimum temperature and 24-hour snowfall records fall in February 2011. Just prior to the string of warm months, the winter of 2009-10 finished as the eighth coldest ? and one of the snowiest ? on record at more than 4 degrees below normal.”- Mesonet
We barely missed out on having the driest May on record thanks to the heavy rainfall felt around the state the end of the month. Oklahoma still finished with May ranked the forth driest. While some areas got as much as 6 inches of rain, some got as little as 0.01 inches. We ended May with the statewide rainfall being 3.4 inches below normal. A large part of the state is currently experiencing abnormally dry conditions, a pre-cursor to a drought. The Panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma are already experiencing drought conditions, some are even labeled as extreme. And it wasn’t just rain we were lacking in May, it was also a very quite month for tornadoes. Preliminary numbers of tornadoes from the National Weather Service stand at three, that number may rise but not by much. The average number of tornadoes for May is 22.
It’s also looking like this won’t be the end of the warm weather. The National Weather Service, Climate Prediction Center is predicting June through August have an increased chance to have above normal temperatures in Oklahoma.
Are you ready for more hot weather this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.
Photo Credit: Theodore Scott
About the Author
Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and freelance writer. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.