Could We Be Heading Toward Another 1988?

By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON
By: METEOROLOGIST MARK HENDERSON

Many continue to inquire about the similarities between this early hot/dry summer and that which we endured 24 years ago, back in 1988. That was a summer that produced an astounding 46 days with 90° temperatures or warmer and 7 days in which the temperature eclipsed the 100° mark!

So far, it's fairly early in the game, though there are some similarities, and some potential causes for concern! First off, rainfall-wise, the two years are quite similar, with both the annual rainfall totals and the tally from May 1 to June 12 both within a one inch span.

Temperatures tell a bit of a different story. So far, there've been 7 days with 90° temperatures in Rockford in 2012, compared to just 4 by this date in 1988. With 4 additional 90s forecast over the coming week, that's a gap that could easily grow in short order!

We took things a bit further and examined temperatures from the beginning of the year to get a more general comparison. By taking an average of every high temperature and every low temperature between January 1 and June 12 of both years, we came to a startling conclusion! So far, the average temperature of 2012 checks in at 46.5°, compared to just 38.7° for the same time period of 1988. This means that 2012 is running an ASTOUNDING 7.8° PER DAY ahead of 1988's pace!

To put this in further perspective, for 1988 to TIE us temperature-wise, we would have to be 7.8° cooler than 1988's temperatures EVERY DAY for the next 164 DAYS!!! It is true that 1988 turned decidedly hotter in July and August, but for that dreadful year to equal this year is going to be one difficult task to achieve!


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