Mild Wet Summer = Cold Wet Winter?
The National Weather Service in Tulsa has determined a summer that is a milder and wetter than normal, as Tulsa has just experienced, does not necessarily mean the following winter will also be colder and wetter than normal. Data from 1905 through 2004 were compiled to arrive at the conclusion. Summer temperatures and precipitation are apparently not good predictors for temperatures the following winter, said Nicole Kempf, a meteorologist with the Weather Service.
Kempf identified the 33 mildest summers (June, July, August) in Tulsa, then checked those against what happened during the following winters (December, January, February). She found that only 10 mild summers were followed by colder than normal winters. In 11 years the following winters were warmer than normal, and 12 winters had normal temperatures.
Kempf also looked at precipitation data. She found that a wetter than normal summer in Tulsa was followed by a wetter than normal winter only a third of the time. Past data revealed that following a wetter than normal summer, 11 winters were also wetter than normal; 11 recorded normal precipitation; and 11 had below normal precipitation.
These data indicate that the average temperature and precipitation from June through August are not completely reliable indicators of temperatures and precipitation averages for the following winter, said Kempf. The atmosphere apparently has a rather short memory. What happened a few months ago doesn't appear to have much influence on what will happen in the future.
The average temperature for June, July and August this year in Tulsa was 77.1 degrees, which is a tie with 1920 for the 6th mildest summer in the last 100 years. In fact, this was the mildest summer since 1967. This summers precipitation in Tulsa of 16.66 inches placed it as the 14th wettest summer in the last 117 years.
Kempf's report and data can be found at the web site of the Tulsa National Weather Service Office under the climate section.

 

 

Month June July August Season
Mildest Rank
(avg,departure)
20th
(75.1, -2.9F)
11th
(79.1, -4.4F)
7th
(77.0, -5.2F )
T6th
(77.1, -3.7F)
Wettest Rank
(total,departure)
24th
(6.41, +1.69 in)
8th
(8.63, +5.67 in)
85th
(1.62, -1.23 in)
14th
(16.66,+6.13 in)
Hottest day,
by month in 2004
93 on June 14th 98 on July 15th 98 on Aug 3rd  

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