Middle Tennessee residents can likely agree that the summer of 2010 was quite different from what Mother Nature usually sends the Mid-state.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll skip the lunar definition (and all talk of solstices and equinoxes) and simply call summer the months of June, July and August.
By that measure, summer 2010 was much hotter and wetter than normal, according to Bobby Boyd, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Old Hickory.
Normal summer rainfall in Nashville is 11.13 inches, but this year, the official total was 17.81 inches (4.96 in June, 5.86 in July and 6.99 inches in August), making this the sixth wettest summer on record. The wettest year ever (or at least since they started keeping records in 1870) was in 1928 when Nashville received 19.88 inches of rain.
That total does not include record rainfall in May that cause historic flooding in Nashville are surrounding areas.
“We’ve had a stretch of hot weather all summer,” Boyd said when the hot streak ended a few weeks ago. “The difference this summer has been that we’ve had real high humidity levels. It’s unusual to have high temperatures and high humidity levels. And that’s what’s made it so miserable — high humidity levels and high dew point levels coupled with hot temperatures.”
This summer was also unique in that it was hot as well as wet. As a matter of fact, it tied a record set in 1943 as the third hottest summer on record. It was the hottest summer since 1952, Boyd said.
How does the heat stack up month by month? June 2010 was the sixth hottest, July the 10th hottest and August the 11th hottest on record.
Another difference this year was that the sweltering temperatures hung around for weeks on end.
Nashville experienced a string of 31 consecutive days (July 18-Aug. 17) with temperatures at or above 90 degrees. That was the second-longest period of 90 degree or hotter days since records have been kept. The only longer streak was 34 days, all the way back in 1954.