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June temperatures and precipitation

Posted on Jul 12, 2014

Having spent time in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut in different parts of June I heard a variety of classifications about the late spring and early summer temperature and precipitation conditions. The Northeast region had varied weather and even more mixed opinions on what it felt like outside during the month. To those back home in Connecticut the weather had been dry and quite cool. This was a “classic” spring, even to people in their 20s, without heat waves, incessant air quality alerts and air conditioning running nonstop. Folks in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania thought it was about average with some days warmer than usual and plenty of water – too much at times!

For the most part these perceptions were accurate. Here are a couple of maps from the Northeast Regional Climate Center.



A few things leap off the page in the first image with the most notable to me being Southern New England’s lack of precipitation in June. My friends were correct when saying their gardens needed more water! My own anecdotal observations on the ground in Connecticut backed this up with low levels of odonate (dragonflies and damselflies) abundance and diversity in many areas with low water levels or dry streams, creeks and pools. This dryness extended further south along the Atlantic Coast as well. Ohio and Western Pennsylvania were much wetter than usual and when looking at the next image of temperature departure we see that same area in Western Pennsylvania was much warmer than usual – this land is basically Allegheny National Forest.

The most fascinating part of the temperature map to me is how average we were overall. Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and New England that have baked in heat in recent years were mostly either less than a degree above or below average temperatures. This nevertheless made it feel very cool to residents like myself who were accustomed to the “new” climate where the end of May heats up the area through August with a lot of days in the 80s, many in the 90s and some cracking 100. This year 100 seems impossible and 90 has been rare making us all remember what a New England summer felt like in previous decades. After a difficult (and expensive for heating!) winter and a run of rough summers this has been a welcome stretch of weather and one that should largely continue for the foreseeable future in July.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator