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Will Wichita Falls Weather Bring Another Dry, Scorching Summer?

A thermometer shows temperature at over 100 degrees
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If you were in Texoma last summer you know it was hot, really hot. In fact, the summer heat last year shattered all sorts temperature records as it put our afternoon nights in the 100′s for over 80 consecutive days.

Since the winter has come come and gone giving us generally pretty mild and comfortable weather. This led me to worry: Could last years heat and the mild winter mean this summer will be as hot or hotter than the last? Texas’ State climatologist John Nielson-Gammon thinks this will not be the case. In fact, he’s almost certain a somewhat cooler summer is on the way.

“The rain we’ve had is a good start,” Nielson-Gammon, said in an interview this week. “It means it won’t be as hot this summer no matter what else happens.”

How exactly does rain help curb the heat you ask? Nielson-Gammon described this process further in his interview. “When the sun’s solar energy hits the ground there are two things that can happen to it. It can cause the ground temperature to increase, or some of that energy can be used to evaporate water. So if there’s no water to evaporate, all of that energy has to go into heating, there’s no alternative,” he said.

Nielson-Gammon also suggest that a new scientific theory about the Atlantic Ocean could suggest a cooler summer for us if it proves true.

“There’s been some recent research that says when the Atlantic Ocean is warm the Southern United States tend to be dry, and when the Atlantic is cool we tend to be wet, because when the Atlantic is warm that’s where all the thunder storms take place and it essentially draws the moisture away from us,” Neilson-Gammon said, “So this summer will be a test of that.”

Overall the thing to remember is that we are still in North Texas, and cool here can still be pretty darn hot! Nielson-Gammon also warns that just a month or two without rain would be enough to put us in a vicious cycle of hot weather fending off moisture  and breeding more hot weather. All of that aside, it’s pretty encouraging news for all of us that had more than our fill of the triple-digit heat last summer.

[stateimpact.npr.org]

 

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