KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - When does summer start for you? The second the school year wraps up? The Summer Solstice on June 21st? For meteorologists, June through August are the summer months.
These three months are looking like they'll run warmer than normal in general. In Knoxville, 85 degrees is the average high for June, and it's 88 degrees for July and August. That means we'll have more days of 90 degrees or more.
In the month of May, we already collected 8 days of 90 degrees or greater! The average for Knoxville is 34 days a year in the 90s or warmer, so we're looking to easily surpass that with a warmer than normal trend for the summer.
The record for Knoxville is 78 days of at least 90 degrees, set in 1936! In 2010 we came close at 77, and 2016 we had 76 days. So, here we go with summer 2019!
It's important to note that heat is not just an inconvenience, but it's actually the number one weather-related killer! There were more than 100 deaths due to heat in 2018, nation-wide. Unfortunately that lines up with the information from the National Weather Service for the 10-year and 30-year average. Please be cautious in the heat!
Rain has a tendency to cool things down, but a quick warm up can still come right back into play. That's what our summer is looking like, with the potential for slightly above average rainfall for the summer.
In terms of what's "average" in Knoxville, 3.81 inches in June, 5.08" in July, and 3.27" in August. This is based on decades of data kept by the National Weather Service in Morristown.
Rainfall can be a sore subject this year, since we had excessive rainfall in the late winter to early spring. This left many with flood damage, and put us in a rainfall surplus of more than 10 inches for the end of spring!
The combination of above normal temperature and above normal rainfall, can mean more severe weather. Cold fronts that generally bring in the greatest rain, clash with warm air as they approach and can create stronger storms.
In terms of deaths annually, floods are the number two weather-related killer nation-wide. Over the 10-year and 30-year average, tornadoes are number three.
Tornadoes are possible in our area. While we don't get them as often as the plains and Midwest, or even the north in the summer months, tornadoes are possible in Tennessee and Kentucky.
While we are not on the coast, our weather can easily be impacted by tropical storms. Large enough tropical storms can easily send rain inland to us.
The National Hurricane Center is expecting a "near normal" 2019 Hurricane Season. That means 9 to 15 named storms are possible. Of those, 4 to 8 of those could reach hurricane status, and 2 to 4 could be major hurricanes. A major hurricane is a category 3 or greater, which means winds of at least 111 miles per per.
Obviously if you're planning a vacation this summer to the beach or further south, keeping up with the tropics is very important. We've already had one named storm develop, Andrea, and hurricane season is generally June 1 through November 30.
Most tropical storms developing in June, start in the Gulf of Mexico, Western Caribbean, or the Bahamas.
SUMMER OUTLOOK 2019
Remember, this is a big picture. Forecasts are designed to be as detailed as possible we give you the latest daily and up to 8 days out with the full forecast. When looking at a season, in general, this is more like the be the big picture when its all said and done.
So, get ready for more days in the 90s, still good rainfall at times, and an active hurricane season.
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