Does cool summer mean harsh winter?

Tuesday, July 29 saw morning region temperatures around the 60s, but the cooler temperatures may not be here to stay. (Courtesy WJLA)
What's fueling D.C.-area storms

wtopstaff | November 15, 2014 2:12 pm

WASHINGTON — It’s late July, but temperatures over the last week have felt more moderate and less like the typical summer steam bath in the D.C. region — but a National Weather Service meteorologist says the trend may not be here to stay.

Chris Strong, the warning coordination meteorologist at National Weather Service, says the D.C. area is in the midst of a weather extreme — but it happens to be a pleasant extreme.

“This is, I think, going to be our extreme, if you want to call it that … although it will be very pleasant for [Tuesday],” Strong says.

“Once we get through [Tuesday], we will gradually be increasing the humidity, gradually increasing the temperatures and we will be back to a more typical — though not hot — weather pattern.”

High temperatures around this time of year are usually more than 100 degrees. The record high for July 29 was set in 2011 when it reached 104. On Tuesday, high temperatures will struggle to top the 80s.

The reason behind the cooler temperatures locally is Canadian cold air outbreaks, Strong says. Recent cold spurts can be attributed to cold air outbreaks from Hurricane Arthur as well as a stronger-than-usual storm system over Maine.

So will all of the cooler temperatures during the summer translate to an even chillier winter?

Strong says winter weather will most likely be determined by a storm in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The storm could gradually strengthen and hit the region, meaning another harsh winter.

“All we need is some cool air and we have another winter to deal with, with our usual problems with snow fall,” he says.

Between summer and winter, the National Weather Service will be looking at a tropical system in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which is making its way toward the Caribbean and up to the East Coast, Strong says.

“We will keep our eye on that, but that’s certainly a long time away.”

Get the latest forecast information on WTOP’s weather page.

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