How Hot was this summer?
Today, August 31, marks the last day of summer. Well for weather records and climate records this is the last day of summer. Traditionally the Labor Day holiday weekend is also the last weekend of summer. So how was this summer? Some headlines will probably read "Third Hottest Summer in Washington" Well Yes and No
Here is the summery summary for Washington Regan National Airport, the "official" weather observation location for "Washington"
Average summer temperature 80.4° + 2.8° and the third summer in a row with an average temperature above 80°
In Washington 50 90° days and 28 days with a high of 95° or higher. This number of 95° days ties the record number of super hot days from the hot summer of 1980.
BUT. . .was it really that hot where most of us live? Probably not. Here is the summer summary for Dulles airport, just about 25 miles west of Regan National Airport.
Dulles average summer temperature 76.5° or almost 4° "cooler" than Washington. Yes the area around Dulles airport is not near the Potomac and has always been a bit cooler than downtown Washington, but a large effect of the difference is due to the urban heat island effect. Look at the airport
when Washington's official weather observations were moved from the weather office downtown to what is now Washington Regan National Airport.
The summery summary for the summer of 2012