PROSSER, Wash. – June weather in Washington was ‘déjà vu all over again.’ Despite early glimpses of summer in April and May, Washington weather regressed into a chilly spring during June, with conditions that were eerily reminiscent of 2011. “Many AgWeatherNet locations recorded temperatures of 2 to 3 degrees below average, along with unusually wet conditions during June,” said Washington State University AgWeatherNet meteorologist Nic Loyd. “Prosser’s average high temperature for June was 75.3˚F, which was 3.3 degrees below average.”
It was the first month since January in which overall temperatures were cooler than its 2011 counterpart. June temperatures were cool due to periodic intrusions of cold upper troughs moving through the region, delivering more clouds and rain than normal. Overall, the AgWeatherNet station at Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser (WSU IAREC) experienced the coolest June since 2001.
“Despite the rain showers late in the month that caused some cherry cracking in the Yakima Valley, a large cherry crop is expected this year,” said AgWeatherNet director Gerrit Hoogenboom. WSU IAREC recorded a total of 1.63 inches of rain, which made last month the second wettest June since 1990. Observed rainfall was nearly three times the June average of 0.68 inches, and is more rain than was observed in any month during the spring.
June featured several notable weather events that made it feel more like spring than summer. WSU IAREC began the month with rain on six of the first seven days, including 0.7 inches on the June 4. An AgWeatherNet station in arid south central Washington (Station 2) recorded a record-breaking 24 hour 1.5 inches rainfall on the 4th.
The period from June 3 – 9 was particularly cool and unsettled, as many locations remained below 70 degrees for seven consecutive days. Conditions had not warmed up much by June 7, when Omak (at the Pogue Flat station) recorded a high of only 52 degrees, and a low of 35 degrees. On June 9, Pullman’s high temperature of 48 degrees marked the second day of the month that failed to reach 50 degrees. Ritzville observed an abnormally late frost on the morning of June 15th, as the temperature dropped to a chilly 31.7 degrees.
Unstable conditions on June 23 led to isolated thunderstorms that caused brief periods of heavy rain, including some hail, in several locations around the state. The Nooksack weather station (northeast of Bellingham) recorded one half inch of rain in just 15 minutes. More unusual weather associated with a cold upper level low pressure system on June 26 brought clouds and cool temperatures to the state. Around 1 inch of rain fell across parts of eastern Washington from Walla Walla to Davenport, as high temperatures remained in the 50s in most places from Ellensburg to Moses Lake to Pullman. June 27 was another cold morning late in the year, as Broadview (near Ellensburg) dropped to 36 degrees.
All in all, June’s cool and wet weather would have felt more at home in 2011 than in 2012.
For more information on Washington’s June weather, as well as other weather information, please see the Spring Weather Review on the AgWeatherNet website, www.weather.wsu.edu, located under the News link. A Web based, publicly available system, AgWeatherNet provides access to near real-time weather data and value-added products from WSU’s statewide weather network, along with decision aids for agricultural producers and other users.