Tuesday, September 6, 2016

When Will Vermont's Never Ending Summer End?

Participants in the Burlington Criterium
Bike Race sweat it out and stay hydrated
amid sunny, mid-80s heat on Monday. 
It's well into the first week of September and we're still getting mid-summer weather here in Vermont.

In Burlington, yesterday, it got up to 85 degrees, the 40th time it's been 85 or hotter this year. That's the 8th most for any year, notes WPTZ-TV meteorologist John Hickey. 

The record for most days of 85 or better is 50, back in 1949. I doubt we'll reach it, but you never know by the way this year is going.

It's going to be very warm in Vermont for the rest of the week. with temperatures well into the 80s through Thursday and remaining above normal after that.

It could even touch 90 degrees in a few of the broader, warmer valleys in the Green Mountain State on Thursday.

This has been going on for quite awhile. The first 90s of the season hit in late May.

 It's been continuously above 50 degrees in Burlington, Vermont since June 11, which is longer than I've ever seen it stay that mild that long. (It often gets down into the upper 40s once or twice each July and August, but not this year.)

That's 86 consecutive days above 50 degrees so far. The people at the National Weather Service in South Burlington got back to me and said the record number of consecutive days above 50 was 101, ending on September 6, 1899.

We're the fifth longest so far this year, but it's the longest stretch above 50 degree since at 1943, when Burlington's weather observations moved to the airport, a bit further away from the warming influence of Lake Champlain.

And as previously reported, Burlington had the hottest August on record this year.

By now, there's usually been at least one light frost in the coldest hollows of the Northeast Kingdom, but I haven't heard of any yet this year.

At this point, I don't see signs of really autumnal weather coming through at least through mid-month. It IS September, so the occasional turns to cooler weather will be chillier than anything we had in July and August.

Still,  don't put away your summer stuff yet. I see more spells of summery weather coming at least into the third week of the month.

I really have no idea whether or how this extended warmth will affect the timing and quality of Vermont's famed fall foliage season.

It's been very dry this summer, too, and that stresses trees, which could make them turn color a bit early. Then again, continued warmth could keep some of them green longer. Dry summers sometimes bring out the reds more in the fall, but that's a shaky premise.

We'll just have to wait and see.

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