The Year Without a Summer

No, it's not you. The weather in New York City has been a foggy, soggy, cloudy, sunless slog through what is supposed to be a beautiful, joyous June. Blame it on fucking El Niño.

June is supposed to be nice in New York. On average, 64% of the daylight hours in June are supposed to get sunshine. So far this month, nine out of twelve days have seen clouds, fog, and capricious rain. On average, according to historical weather data, we should have gotten about one-and-a-half total inches of rain so far this month. In grim reality, we've gotten four inches. On nine of the first 11 days of June, New Yorkers have seen below average temperatures, including four days with highs only in the 60s. This is not normal.

The Year Without a Summer

Steven DiMartino, a meteorologist for the Examiner, describes our doldrums thusly:

Through this weekend, the cold front will stall right over the forecast area, which will mean that moisture will converge and focus over the region, guaranteeing a good amount of cloudy conditions over the forecast area. As weak waves of low pressure, like the one over the Hudson Valley and West Virginia this morning move along the stationary front, scattered showers will develop and move through the region. Which will produce another hit or miss type of weekend for many.... This is not a case where wide spread rain develops, but just a dreary; foggy; cool; almost fall-like weekend can be expected. Personally, this type of weather makes me feel like playing football rather than baseball.

So when will it end? And why is it happening to us? El Niño!

[L]ooking at the water vapor this morning back through the Pacific Ocean, I see no mechanism to change this pattern. In fact, with the growing strength of El Nino, this type of pattern will only be reinforced through the next several weeks.

Indeed, forecasters are predicting an "El Niño event" all summer, which will mean more storms in the west, more Atlantic hurricanes, and supposedly warmer temperatures in the Northeast. But for now it means weak, limp cold fronts stalled in out backyards, raining on our grills, driving us batty, and making us buy new umbrellas everyday because we keep losing them.

The Year Without a Summer


[Top pic by John Fraissinet via Flickr]