Wichita just logged an unusually cool, wet August.
Not once did the temperature reach 100 during a month that usually bakes in heat waves. But that’s more common than people may realize, said Vanessa Pearce, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
An August without a 100-degree day has happened 32 other times since weather recordkeeping began in the late 1870s, she said.
More notable was how cool August was. The average temperature of 77 was a full three degrees below normal. That may not seem like much of a difference, but meteorologists say even a one-degree departure from average is considered significant.
That average temperature places 2015 as the 13th coolest August in Wichita history, tying 1989. It was also the coolest August since 2009 for the city.
Temperatures were kept down by periodic rains throughout the month. The 6.38 inches reported at the official recording site next to Wichita Eisenhower National Airport was 2.67 inches above average – and other parts of Wichita logged significant rainfall on days the official recording site received little to no rain.
All that moisture in the air or in the soil meant the sunlight’s heat was spent evaporating water rather than sending temperatures soaring, meteorologists have said.
Monday marked the end of the meteorological summer, and 2015 will go into the books with only five 100-degree days. That’s far below Wichita’s 35-year average of 14, Pearce said.