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Matt's World Of Weather: Forecasting July

Temperature and Rainfall Forecast for July:
When predicting conditions out past 10 days, large scale, global circulations become the primary factor in putting together a possible outlook. In fact, most times we look towards the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific to help guide a long term forecast. Last year the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific were cooler than average and thus, we were in a “La Nina” summer. I’m sure we can all recall sweating it out during that event.

This year, the sea surface temperatures have warmed and, should the trends continue, the summer 2012 will have the distinction of being a transition season. Current data and model guidance is suggesting that we are heading towards continually warming sea surface temperatures in the Pacific and in turn an El Nino event by the end of the year. So what does this mean for our July forecast? Well, let’s first look at what has happened here in the East during previous “Transition Summers”.

I’ve found three years (1996, 2001 and 2006) in which the La Nina/El Nino characteristics closely resemble what we are experiencing right now. In those years the average daily high was 87.3°, average daily low was 71° and the total monthly rainfall averaged 6.27”. New Bern in July normally receives 6.82” of rain, has a 10 year average high of 89° and an average low of 71°. I know I just threw a lot of numbers at you, but stick with me, here’s the 2012 July forecast…

Based on the climate data, in transition years (’96, ’01 & ’06) we have normally recorded at or slightly below average afternoon highs. Interestingly, in those three years the temperature in July never hit 100°. To forecast for July, I used this small sample of data and combined it with recent global patterns and even current soil moisture readings. Overall indications would signify that we are heading towards a July that will be much different than last year (Thankfully).

Despite the second half of June being extremely hot, I would trend towards an about average, if not below average July temperature forecast. Barring a tropical system, rainfall for the month of July should be in the 6.5-7.5” range.

WoW Video:
If you're curious why we officially start summer in June, be sure to click the video above. Also in the video, we take a closer look at how the start of June compares to that of 2011.

Raw Data:
2006
Average Daily High: 89°
Average Low: 71°
Total Monthly Rain: 6.89”
100° Days: 0

2001
Average High: 85°
Average Low: 68°
Total Rain: 7.67”
100° Days: 0

1996
Average High: 88°
Average Low: 74°
Total Rain: 4.25”
100° Days: 0

*The New Bern climate site has the largest collection of weather data for eastern Carolina. Thus, the forecast is based off of this data and daily climate reports*


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