Today, September 1st, marks the first day of Climatological Autumn. The big talk this summer of course was the lack of rain in many areas. In Fargo/Moorhead we finished the summer with 5.78" of rain, 3.13" below normal. So in one way, we missed out on about three good thunderstorms this summer. Although, dry, no where near a record, it’s not even in the top ten for driest summers. Back in 1988 we had just 3.84" of rain for the whole summer and in 1976, we had less than that, as only 3.36 inches fell that year.
The driest of them all, no surprise, the summer of 1936 when only 1.86" of rain fell on Fargo/Moorhead the entire summer that year. 1936 was also the second warmest summer on record with 1988 being the warmest.
August of 2005 finished "average", just 0.7 degrees above average temperature-wise and just 0.31" below average for rainfall. August helped by bringing some relief to the area with needed rainfall.
As a comparison, last summer we had 17.05 inches of rain, one of the wettest summers on record. Of course that caused summer flooding on the Red and many other tributaries and rivers in the region. Last summer’s wet weather (followed by a wet autumn) also set us up for the Flood of 2006 this past April.
But as a reminder, when you live in a continental climate regime, extremes are "normal" and the last few years has certainly reminded us of that. We certainly haven’t seen anything we haven’t seen before or will see again in our weather future.