August weather

The last full month of summer served up what could be the hottest day this year.

That was on Aug. 6 when the high went to 104 degrees during a three-day heat wave that brought the first, and only, stretch of triple-digit temperatures seen this summer, with 101-degree highs bracketing the year’s hottest day.

By contrast, the coolest night last month was on Aug. 27 when the mercury sank to 54 degrees. Only two days in August had lows above 70 degrees.

The potential for scorching weather will fade fast as this month advances. Normal highs during September fall from 83 degrees at the start to 72 degrees by Oct. 1. Normal nighttime lows fall from 57 degrees to 48 degrees.

August also lived up to its reputation as the driest month of the year, delivering only 0.33 inches of rain, a mark 0.24 inches below normal. The bulk of the month’s precipitation fell on Aug. 11 when a storm dropped 0.26 inches.

Six days had recorded precipitation, though three of them had only trace amounts.

Total rain and snowfall for the year is now 11.28 inches, which is 1.8 inches below normal. The water year precipitation, which starts in October and runs through September, is now 16.64 inches, which is 3.46 inches below normal.

The peak wind gust during the month was 40 mph on Aug. 21 as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport.

Summer will end this month and fall begins with the autumnal equinox on Sept. 23.

According to the federal Climate Prediction Center, the outlook for September calls for above-normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. High temperatures typically fall from the low 80s at the month’s start to the low 70s as it ends.

Normal rainfall for the month is 0.75 inches based on a 30-year average.

Andy Porter can be reached at or 526-8318.

Andy Porter has been with the Union-Bulletin since October 2000. His beats include Walla Walla County, city of College Place, Washington State Penitentiary, agriculture, environment as well as a wide range of general assignment topics.