Many folks will not soon forget July 2011 - for good reason. The month brought 18 days of 90º temperatures, with two of those days reaching into the triple digits. There was also an abundance of humidity and moisture, which added insult to injury. A string of hot and humid conditions plagued central Virginia with heat indices of 110 - 120º! Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories were issued for days on end. Even the overnights were warm and sultry, with some lows barely dropping below 80º. Our only saving grace from the searing heat was the stretch of weather between July 14 and July 17. An unseasonably strong cold front brought our highs back into the lower 80s and our lows into the mid and upper 50s.
Rainfall was plentiful, at least in Charlottesville early in the month. We had several days with measurable rain, with McCormick Observatory picking up two inches between July 3 and July 4. Then the rainfall shut off very abruptly. Widespread soaking rains were very limited for nearly the rest of the month. In fact as of this writing, the last time there was more than half an inch of rain in one day was all the way back to July 4. Only three days in the last half of the month had measurable rainfall at McCormick. Needless to say, we ended the month of July with a rainfall deficit. One that will likely grow as August is also off to a hot and dry start.
If you're wondering how the forecast is shaping up for August, all of the long-range computer models are hinting at above average temperatures. It looks like the heat will keep us sweating for at least a few more weeks, as this hot summer marches along.