Last month was, relatively speaking, slightly cooler than normal. But that’s set to change.
Hot weather will be the norm through much of this week, with the possibility of the first 100-degree day this year on Tuesday. Slightly cooler weather is expected Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, but days will remain fairly warm with highs of around 90 degrees.
Hot weather will stay in the picture in the coming month, with above-normal temperatures forecast, according to the Climate Prediction Center. Rainfall is expected to be near normal, although August is the driest month of the year with 0.57 inches being the usual precipitation.
Speaking of dry, July is typically the second-driest month of the year (only August is drier), and last month was no exception.
After a spattering of rain on July 1, the remaining 30 days served up zero or trace amounts of moisture. Total precipitation for July was 0.01 inch, a mark 0.58 inch below normal, according to the National Weather Service. The first day of July also brought the peak wind gust of 41 mph.
The slight rainfall left the year-to-date precipitation for Walla Walla at 10.95 inches, which is 1.56 inches below normal. Since October, water year precipitation at Walla Walla has been 16.31 inches, which is 3.22 inches below average.
As noted above, July was slightly cooler than normal, with an average temperature of 74 degrees, a mark 1 degree below normal. The hottest day was July 26 with a high of 97 degrees, and the coolest night was July 20 when the low was 48 degrees.
There were only eight days when the high exceeded 90 degrees and no days when the mercury topped 100 degrees, making it the first July since 2011 without any triple-digit temperatures.
According to the weather service, much of Eastern Washington along with central and northeast Oregon also had near to slightly below normal July temperatures. The reason was a persistent weather pattern with westerly flow that kept the high pressure area that normally brings hot temperatures to the region suppressed just to the south.
“This was reflected in the much higher number of 90 degree plus days in Baker City and Ontario (in Oregon),” the weather service reported.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that winter wheat harvest was in full swing throughout Walla Walla and Umatilla counties, while green pea harvest had nearly concluded in Umatilla County. However wheat harvest in Columbia County lagged behind during the month.