90s rare in August, but month still warmer (and wetter) than normal

  • Visitors to the Maryland State Fair were shooed away by heavy rains on Sunday.
Visitors to the Maryland State Fair were shooed away by heavy… (Karen Jackson, Special…)
August 31, 2012|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

Today's expected foray back into the 90s is only the second in more than three weeks. Nevertheless, this month will be among the top quartile of Augusts when it comes to average temperature, at about 2 degrees warmer than normal.

BWI Marshall Airport last broke 90 degrees Aug. 17, with a high of 92. But before that, you have to go back to Aug. 6 to match that heat.

Assuming today the airport does break 90, as expected, it will mean eight days at 90 or above in Baltimore this month -- equal to the norm number of 90-degree days in August. That comes after a July that saw 21 days 90 or above, well in excess of the normal 12 days.

BWI's average temperature through Thursday was 77.2 degrees, which would be good for No. 36 on the rankings of warmest months of August on record. That is higher than about 75 percent of the months on record dating back to 1871. August will be the 19th consecutive month of warmer-than-normal temperatures at BWI.

The average temperature over that period is 75.1 degrees.

While this month's 5.82 inches of rainfall makes August the first month this year with above-normal precipitation, the measurement doesn't rank among the wettest Augusts on record. In five years, more than 10 inches of rain was measured in August, with 6-9 inches measured in another two dozen years.

Normal rainfall in August is 3.29 inches.

In September, normal highs dip back into the low 80s and upper 70s, with normal lows nearing 50 degrees by month's end. But the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a one in three chance of above-normal temperatures for Maryland next month.

Have a weather question? E-mail me at sdance@baltsun.com or tweet to @MdWeather.

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