CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With the summer about half over now, let's review what summer 2015 looks like. Just about everyone thinks it has been hot and dry this year and they would be correct.
June was brutal and July was only slightly cooler. Looking at the past 77 years, July 2015 has been the 10th warmest so far. But dating back to June 1, we are currently enduring the 3rd warmest stretch since 1939. We haven't hit 100° in July yet, but we hit 99° twice and today should mark the 12th straight day of 90° heat or higher.
Thankfully this past week has seen a downward trend in high temperatures as the accompanying pictures depict. But we still haven't managed to see a day below 90° recently. Nevertheless, that might look pleasant compared to June when we hit 100° five times in nine days, and we went 17 straight days with 90° heat or higher.
Along the way our rainfall has been coming up short too. We are now five inches below average for the year according to the official rain gauge at the Charlotte Airport. Of course some areas have been luckier and have picked up more rain, while other areas are in even worse shape. But on balance everyone in the Piedmont of North and South Carolina is way behind on rainfall and we have been under a Moderate Drought condition for the past two weeks as a result. Again, see accompanying picture.
Making up rainfall during the summer is hard with only hit and miss showers typically dotting the area. It gets even harder when we have heat waves because the moisture evaporates out of the ground even faster making it that much tougher on farmers. This may surprise you but we depend on tropical rainfall for 25% of our annual rainfall. And with the outlook of a very quiet hurricane season, we shouldn't get our hopes up for seeing much tropical rainfall.
Of course anytime you're hoping for tropical storm systems to affect the Carolinas, you better be careful what you wish for!