After a mild winter and early spring, is a hot summer on the way?

  • Kevin Cross of Abingdon and Kelly Brookshire of Rosedale sunbathe at Miami Beach Park.
Kevin Cross of Abingdon and Kelly Brookshire of Rosedale sunbathe… (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun )
March 15, 2012|By Scott Dance

I saw a tweet recently noting that based on this week’s temperatures, summer highs should be about 133 degrees. Just a joke (I hope), but seriously, some readers have asked: Are mild winters correlated with hot summers? 

Yes and no.

Baltimore summers average 74.9 degrees. Of Baltimore’s 10 mildest winters, above-average summer heat followed eight of them (nine if you count 1880, which was 0.1 degrees above average). Here are the average temperatures for those summers (find the winter averages in this blog post)

  • 1932 – 76.8 degrees
  • 1890 – 75.2 degrees
  • 1949 – 78.4 degrees
  • 1880 – 75 degrees
  • 1950 – 75.9 degrees 
  • 1933 – 76.7 degrees
  • 1937 – 74.7 degrees
  • 1998 – 77.3 degrees 
  • 2002 – 76.9 degrees
  • 1913 -- 75.8 degrees
  • As a reminder, the winter of 2011-2012 would rank No. 7 among mildest winters. Could summer 2012 reinforce the pattern?

    Maybe; maybe not. Average temperatures aren't as warm for summers following winters light on snow. Seven of them are more than 0.1 degrees above average, with three of those 1 degree or more above normal. Here are those summer averages:

  • 1950 – 75 degrees
  • 1973 – 75.4 degrees
  • 2002 – 76.9 degrees
  • 1998 – 74.7 degrees
  • 1919 – 75.3 degrees
  • 1959 – 75.9 degrees
  • 1992 – 73.3 degrees
  • 1932 – 76.8 degrees
  • 1981 – 75.3 degrees
  • 1990 – 75.4 degrees
  • Perhaps it's safe to say a cooler-than-normal summer is unlikely.

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