Summer in Oklahoma is...
There are multiple ways to complete that sentence and those are based on multiple weather factors. An Oklahoma summer could be hot and dry, relatively mild and wet or some other combination.
On Tuesday, NewsOK.com will host a live chat at 10 a.m. with Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, about summer topics including heat and drought.
"Oklahomans know the typical Oklahoma summer is hot and dry," McManus said, "but we've seen almost every example in the past five years."
At the start of summer a year ago, 33.2 percent of Oklahoma was in drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. However, that changed as the summer progressed, McManus said, with the entire state in drought by summer's end.
And think back to the temperatures of recent summers. On Aug. 1, 2012 the Oklahoma Mesonet station at Kingfisher recorded a high temperature of 115. That was not a state record for maximum temperature, which is 120 degrees recorded on several days.
However, on Aug. 4, one temperature record was set and another tied for Oklahoma City. On the morning of Aug. 4, the temperature never dipped below 84, establishing the warmest low since record keeping began in 1891. That afternoon, a reading of 113 at WillRogersWorldAirport matched Aug. 11, 1936, for the hottest official temperature ever recorded in Oklahoma City.
And in 2011, Oklahomans experienced the hottest summer in terms of statewide average for any state since records began in 1895, with a statewide average of 86.8 degrees. Early reports showed Texas with the hottest summer, but the NationalClimaticDataCenter continued to study information.
Not only did Oklahoma beat its own record for the previous hottest summer of 85.2 degrees from 1934, it destroyed it by 1.6 degrees. In fact, Oklahoma now owns five of the 10 (11 with a tie) hottest summers across the U.S. since 1895.
So, what will this summer bring? Feel free to ask McManus his thoughts during Tuesday's live chat on NewsOK.com/Weather.