Kansas City: Summer of 2012
What many will remember as the hottest and driest summer of their lives came to an end yesterday and for quite a few the numbers support that claim. Kansas City finished out the meteorological summer (June 1 – August 31) with the 6th direst and 16th warmest on the record books. It could have been much worse, but some August rain and cool spells provided a quick drop to those rankings which were both in the top 10. In fact, the last day of August was able to tally up an additional 0.89 inches of rain which took Summer 2012 from 5th to 6th. I’ve posted a scatterplot of precipitation vs temperature in the past and figured it is a good way to show just how warm and dry it was:
In the scatterplot above, 2012 is red to help it stand out from the others. We definitely weren’t the extreme in temperatures that many probably thought it felt like on those hot afternoons and a look into the numbers shows some interesting information. The average high temperature this summer in Kansas City was a warm 92.68 degrees, the average low temperature this summer was 66.96 degrees. While those numbers alone may not mean much, their rankings show the story. The average high of 92.68 degrees ranks 5th warmest on record behind 1936, 1934, 1954 and 1901. The average low of 66.96 degrees ranks only 75th warmest on record! The dry conditions that we had this summer allowed overnight lows to drop significantly when combined with calm winds and clear skies.
Take a look at this table below which shows the largest spreads between average high and low temperatures during the summer months:
Only 1936 had a larger differential between the high and low temperatures than 2012, also of note is that 1936 was the warmest summer in terms of average highs and despite the differential was 3rd warmest in terms of average lows! Another little stat for you, this summer featured 61 days with a high of 90 degrees or warmer which ties for fifth most all-time behind 1936 (73), 1934 (70), 1901 (65), 1988 (62) and tied with 1954.
In the end, if you remember the Summer of 2012 in Kansas City as hot and dry, the numbers certainly back up your statement.