RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This summer has been very hot so far — as expected — but we’ve also had a particularly warm year in general. Let’s take a look at temperatures over the last several months and we can infer that the next several months will also be warmer than average.
We’re in a La Niña pattern, which means we can expect warmer temperatures and drier conditions overall and we’re expected to stay in this pattern through next year as well.
January is an outlier, as it has been the only month so far in 2022 that was cooler than the annual average temperature. January was also above average for precipitation by over an inch of rain.
February was also warmer than its normal by more than five degrees — and drier than normal by more than an inch of rain. This pattern is consistent this year. March was warmer than normal by more than four degrees and drier than normal by nearly half an inch. April has more of the same with warmer than normal conditions by almost a degree and drier than average by almost an inch. May was warmer by nearly a degree from its normal and drier than average by almost two-tenths of an inch. June was warmer by a degree and much wetter than normal by almost two inches.
A warmer and drier than average year was expected and it is living up to expectations, July has not disappointed thus far as well. More than likely, we will end the month with warmer than average temperatures and drier than average conditions.
Last year we had a few tropical systems move through the area which increased rain totals over the summer. This year, it has been quiet in the tropics but the most active period typically tends to be August and September, so we’ll have to see how things shake out to see if that will impact our totals. If we miss out on any tropical moisture, we can expect a drier than average summer overall.
The five years leading up to 2020 were warmer than average. Our annual average temperature is 69.5°, the year 2020 had an average temperature of 72.1°. 2019 had an average temperature of 71.5°. 2018 had an average temperature of 70.4°. 2017 had an average temperature of 71.4° and 2016 had an average temperature of 70°. We are excluding 2021 and 2022 because 2021 isn’t included in the data set that we are using and 2022 hasn’t concluded yet.