Last month’s seemingly mild weather may presage an equally temperate outlook for this week’s Independence Day festivities.
Instead of the normally hot temperatures expected on the Fourth of July, the forecast for Thursday calls for highs in the mid-80s under mostly sunny skies, according to the National Weather Service. Leading up to the holiday, daytime highs will be in the low 80s with a chance of thunderstorms tonight through Wednesday.
Looking back at June, the month was warmer than normal, though it might not have seemed like it. High temperatures averaged 80.8 degrees, which was 2 degrees above average and nighttime lows averaged 55.9 degrees, which was 1.7 degrees above normal.
The hottest day was 94 degrees on June 13, while the coolest nights came on June 7 and 9, when the low was 47 degrees.
Rainfall was short of expectation with slightly less than a half inch, 0.49 inches, measured during the month, a mark 0.79 inches below normal. Year-to-date precipitation is now 10.94 inches, which is 0.98 inches below normal.
The Valley experienced 25 days with zero or trace precipitation and five days with rainfall totaling 0.01 inch or more. The heaviest downpour came on June 20, when 0.22 inches fell.
The peak wind gust during the month was 32 mph on June 5, as measured at Walla Walla Regional Airport.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress report, winter wheat conditions were strong in Walla Walla and Columbia counties as of late June, and yields were predicted at above average. In southern Walla Walla County, pea plants were blooming, and some pea harvesting had begun.
Looking ahead, July marks the start of the dry season, with a normal rainfall of 0.59 inches based on a 30-year average. The only month with a lower rainfall is August, with an average precipitation total of 0.57 inches.
Along with normal rainfall, the forecast from the federal Climate Predication Center is for normal temperatures during the coming month. Normal highs for Walla Walla in July are near 90 degrees and normal lows are 61 degrees.