The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Bob Valen 

Can you spell hot July!

Weather Watcher


Hot indeed, July was, to quote Yoda. I’ve been looking over the records for the month of July at the “official weather station” here in the Grand Coulee area (Coulee Dam 1 SW [451767]). As expected, there are fluctuations from year to year. Some examples: From 1935-41 July had maximum temperatures over the 100°F mark. The next such run of years for July was 1944-47 and then 1958-62 and so on. Well, you get the picture; it varies. The most recent grouping of years for July with maximum temperatures above 100°F was 2002-07. So, maybe we’ll see a new trend for July with 100°F and above starting this year.

Here at the home weather station, July proved to be dry and hot. We measured just 0.30 inches of precipitation, occurring on the 22nd and 23rd. Average for July is 0.47 inches, putting us behind by almost 0.20 inches. In 1993 we recorded a high of 2.94 inches. So far this year, I’ve recorded 6.66 inches of precipitation. That’s more than half our annual average of 10.55 inches.

Well, we already touched on the heat and here is what I got at the home weather station: seven days of 100°F or above. There were no new records here, though elsewhere there are. The hottest day was the 16th at 103.8°F. The last four days of July all came in above 100°F. Our coldest overnight low temperature was 50.1°F. We were well above our mean temperature of 73.0°F at 78.6°F.

As I write this column, smoke has been enveloping the Coulee for the past few days. I hope you’re taking precautions and not exposing yourself to the smoke; it’s unhealthy.

Taking a look at August and the months leading us into the fall season, here is what the Washington State Climatologist stated in the Aug. 5 report: “The Climate Prediction Center seasonal outlook for August is indicating increased chances of above normal temperatures statewide. For precipitation, there are equal chances (“EC”) of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation statewide. The three-month August-September-October (ASO) outlook is very similar to the August outlook. There are increased chances of warmer than normal temperatures throughout the entire state (exceeding at least a 40% chance for most of the state using the three-tiered outlook system). For precipitation, there are equal chances of below, equal to, or above normal precipitation.”

I’d like to make users of smart phones and other devices aware that some “local” weather readings you get from some app or application are likely not too accurate. There is a question of accuracy based on the placement of the “local” weather station. I understand that one app uses readings from the middle school. I use this app, too, and have noticed the temperature readings this summer are generally higher than reality by about 4-6°F. So, see some of the weather data as only general, not detailed.


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