The year 1992 is remembered for a few things around here: It's when Microsoft unveiled Windows 3.1 (No more DOS!), grunge music was all the rage, the Seahawks tried their best to get the top draft pick with a 2-14 record (don't ask how it turned out)…
And it was a very toasty year, rewriting several warm weather records in Seattle.
But when the clock struck midnight Tuesday night*, almost all those records in the books got up, grabbed their stuff, and rode off into the sunset.
Make way for the reign of 2015... which has some new records due to lack of rain. And several of these new records can get comfy because the old records weren't broken just by a little bit; they were essentially vaporized. Lightsabers would have done less damage to the current records than Mother Nature did this June.
Let's begin with the temperature carnage.
The average high temperature for June was 78.9 degrees. That's a new record -- by a long shot. The old record? 75.8 degrees set in… 1992. Beating an average high temperature record by three degrees is quite the feat. For perspective, it's like taking the previous hottest June, and adding an extra 93 degrees to spread around the 30 days. Third place is 74.7, 4th place is 74.1, so each time setting the record previously was more of an edge than an oblitteration. So 2015 is putting up incredibly lofty numbers that will be tough to beat.
By the way, the typical average high temperature for June in Seattle? 69.9 degrees.
The 78.9 degrees was actually warmer than a typical July or August in Seattle. In fact, it would have been the 8th warmest August on record, or 12th warmest July on record. Put another way, June 2015 was the 19th warmest month overall on record at Sea-Tac, which goes back to 1945. The next time a June month is on the chart for warmest month on record? A tie for 56th.
How about by average temperature (as in, taking the high temperature plus low temperature and dividing by 2)? Oh yeah, that's a record too. This month it was 67.7 degrees. The record was 64.9 (of course, in 1992). Typical average is 60.9.
Oh, and the 13 days at 80 degrees or warmer this month? Also a record. So was the 8 days of 85+. We only average 10 days at 85 or warmer a year.
But June has just been a continuation of the long warm trend that's threatening to make it a year-and-a-half straight or more. June makes 16 months in a row with warmer than normal average temperatures and the fifth time since October we've set an all-time warmest month temperature.
Going back to Jan. 1, this year has been the warmest first half of a year on record by average temperature (53.8). Old record was 53.2 in 1992. One record that survives? Warmest first 6 months of the year by average high temperature -- we can up just short of 1992 there. Hope that record likes its new neighbors.
More telling: Only 28 of the 181 days this year have had a day considered cooler than normal, and several of those dates were just a a degree or two below. June 1 was the last one. Meanwhile, several days this year have been 10 degrees or more above normal.
How about some rainfall records too?
June finished up with just 0.23 inches of rain -- the 4th driest on record.
With just eight days of measurable rain (as in more than 0.01 inches) between May and June -- that's the driest period on record (old record 9 set in… wait for it… 1992).
But we can do better than that. Since January 1, we've had 74 days with measurable rain. Record fewest? 78 set in… 1985 (Gotcha! Aaah, breakdancing memories…)
With a hot start to July already in the cards and long range models still adamant this summer will remain hot, I suspect other years' July records should be a bit nervous too. (Don't worry, 1992 is nowhere to be found in the July records.)
* - Technically it was at 1 a.m. Wednesday -- climate records are kept on standard time year round, so the daily clock resets at 1 a.m. PDT