Western Regional Climate Center


August in the West

There was no distinct pattern to August temperatures around the west with many areas near to slightly above normal and isolated pockets of cooler than normal throughout the region. Coastal California continued it’s cool and foggy summer up until the 24th when the first summer heat wave finally arrived. Until then, San Diego had recorded all but one day with below normal temperatures for the month as had San Francisco to the north. From May 1st until the 71 degree reading on August 23rd, Bodega Bay, CA, had failed to rise above 64 degrees. Eureka, CA, has had only one day with a temperature of 70 or higher (73 on August 24th) from May through August.

Precipitation also had a rather non-uniform pattern with the west coast dry and the intermountain region a mix of above and below normal rainfall. Only the Four Corners region of the Southwest had a definite positive rainfall anomaly. It’s been a rather active monsoon season for the southwest. Parts of northern Arizona experience a very wet July and August. The 9.45 (thru 8-26) inches of rain in Flagstaff was the wettest July-August total in Flagstaff since 1986. Some automated stations in Arizona received over 13 inches of rain for the 2 months thru 8-26. Conversely, the Pacific Northwest rainfall totals for July and August have been well below average with Seattle’s total for the two months at roughly 30% of normal.

Significant Events for August 2010

August 8: Thunderstorms in Las Vegas Area: Several cars were dented by 1 inch diameter hail during the evening hours near the town of Moapa. A house in Las Vegas was struck by lightning causing a fire that completely destroyed the residence. Estimated damage was $200,000.

August 10: Lighting Fatality near Salmon, ID: A 37 year old man was struck and killed by lightning as he was riding a horse.

© Western Regional Climate Center