Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Richmond's Spring 2010: Warmest On Record

Spring 2010 (March-May) as recorded at Richmond International Airport was the warmest on record, with an average temperature of 61.5 degrees. This broke the old record warmest spring from 1945 of 61.3 degrees. A couple of factors contributed to this higher average, including warmer overnight low temperatures and persistent high pressure in the region yielding very warm afternoons, especially in April and May. We had our first 90-degree-day relatively early in the season on April 6th (93 degrees). The earliest 90-degree day on record for Richmond is March 17, 1945 (from the old record-holder for warmest Spring). High temperatures topped 90 degrees twice in April and five times in May. The average high temperature this Spring was the third warmest on record at 73.3 degrees (#1 is 1977 at 74.9 degrees; #2 is 1976 at 73.8 degrees).

It is important to note the climate trend of this particular recording station over the last 20 years. There has been a significant increase in the minimum temperatures recorded at the airport, which may be a result of recent airport expansion (more concrete and buildings) and urban heat island influences (metro Richmond tends to stay a little milder overnight as opposed to cooler surrounding rural areas). This results in warmer minimum temperatures, and that accounts for half of the "average temperature" reported above.

Our first days of June should continue to run about 10 degrees above average for the highs, and 5-10 degrees above average for the lows.

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