Last month was one of the coolest Julys in Missouri since recordkeeping began 120 years ago.
According to State Climatologist Pat Guinan, preliminary numbers indicate that Missouri’s average temperature was just below 73 degrees, about 5 degrees below normal for July.
Guinan said that definitely ranks 2014 in the top 5 coolest Julys, and may even tie the month for second place.
Missouri also had about an inch and a half less rain than normal for July. But Guinan said that didn’t cause too much of a problem for the region because it wasn’t as hot as usual.
“With these cool temperatures that we’ve seen over the past few weeks, that has mitigated evaporation rates,” said Guinan. “And so the water loss hasn’t been as great as it could have been if we had a hot July. And so fortunately this dry spell hasn’t had much teeth in it because of the cool temperature.”
The dry spell should be further offset soon, as a soaking rain is expected to fall on much of Missouri next week.
While cool weather may seem out of sync with the overall trend of climate change, Guinan said unusual weather patterns are actually fairly normal.
“Well it’s sort of the whims of the variability that we do get with our weather patterns,” said Guinan. “We have to remember only two years ago we had one of our hottest Julys on record, and that was the drought and heat wave we experienced in 2012.”
This particular weather pattern was caused by jet streams coming out of Canada, causing much of the Midwest to experience abnormally cool weather in July.
Meanwhile, many western states are experiencing one of their warmest summers on record.
St. Louis Climate
Compared to the state, St. Louis had a warm July. According to meteorologist Julie Phillipson of the National Weather Service St. Louis Forecast Office, St. Louis had its 16th coolest July on record, with an average temperature of 76.4 degrees.
St. Louis’ average temperature was also closer to the norm –3.6 degrees below normal, compared to the state’s five.
1891 and 1967 tied for the coolest July's on record for St. Louis, clocking in at 74.9 degrees. The warmest July on record was in 2012, when St. Louis had an average temperature of 88.1 degrees.
For more on St. Louis’ climate records, see the National Weather Service website.