July is probably the one month of the year that's more summer than the rest. Besides the fact that this is the month where kids are out of school for the entire month, this is probably the time when we are most familiar with the feeling of sweat dripping through our clothes after a short walk from the car to the grocery store, or the regret that sinks in when we realize we left the house without the umbrella, knowing that we may be in for a soaking!
However, this past July, while daily thunderstorms were definitely a frequent factor in how we planned our day, it appears the afternoon heat was probably the bigger story.
During a typical July, our average high temperature is 92 degrees. That's why this past July was a bit unusual. The first 16 days of the month, we saw high temperatures above the average. The hottest day was July 5th when we hit a record-setting 98 degrees at Southwest Florida International Airport. In total, we had 25 days where we had temperatures above average for the month, not to mention our frequent trips to the 100+ heat index club. While the presence of high pressure providing sinking, hotter air certainly made a difference during our hotter days, it seems the later onset of storms and an often weaker onshore sea breeze could also take blame for the seemingly-scorching trend.
So how did July stack up compared to average when it comes to rainfall? Well, pretty close to normal. In an average July, we typically get 9.04 inches of rain. This past July gave us a slight bonus, collecting 9.45 inches of rain in Fort Myers.
In the grand scheme of things, while many of us would probably agree that there hasn't been a shortage of electrifying storms interrupting our evening commute or beach days this past month, I, for one, am thankful for the cooling effects of summer thunderstorms.
Source: NWS Tampa