SIKESTON -- Welcomed cool spells over June, July and August have set records for the state's seventh coolest summer ever.
"It's the coolest summer since 1992 for the state as a whole," noted University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan in a recent statement. "Preliminary indication are that this will have been the seventh coolest summer since 1895," when official record keeping began.
According to the National Weather Service, in August, the average temperature for the area was 3.6 degrees below the normal 76.2 degrees. July was 2.1 degrees below normal and June was 2.1 degrees below normal.
"It's been a cool summer," agreed Robin Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky.
There were only 17 days of 90 degrees or better in June, July and August, compared to the average 45 days of 90 degrees or better, the National Weather Service reports.
"We had a lot of 80-degree days, but it just didn't hit 90 all that much this summer, and that was due to a series of cold fronts that moved out of the Central Plains. We were fortunate it kept it cooler," Smith said.
Cooler weather may have prompted some households to save a few dollars by shutting off their air conditioners and opening windows for a few days in July and August, but Lester Wright, business manager for the Sikeston Board of Municipalities, insists the cool weather hasn't really affected the provider's service.
"Our electric consumption is up for the three months compared to last year," Wright said, adding the consumption not falling below last year's totals can be attributed to increased growth of residential construction.
Rainfall this summer "has been abundant, especially in the month of July and over the last 10 days of August," said Guinan of the MU Commercial Agriculture program
In June, Sikeston received 1.07 inches of rainfall; 3.07 inches in July; and 1.21 inches in August, according to Sikeston Light and Water. Last year Sikeston received 7.48 inches in June; 1.98 in July; and 6.03 in August.
"We had some big rains in the second half of the month in the northern half of the state. That was great, because the soybean crop was starting to stress a little bit from the dryness," Guinan said.
Some northwest Missouri farms were pounded with hail and high wind, and a few areas in the north-central and northeastern parts of the state reported flooding in August.
"And it looks like the yields are going to be very good," he added. "The summer of 1992 was cool and somewhat moist, much like this one has been, and that was a banner year. Some farmers think this year they're going to see their highest yields ever."
Overall, Guinan said the benefits outweigh the negatives during this cool summer.
"The only concern was that the cool weather in August has slowed down soybean development, and there's always some concern about the possibility of an early frost," Guinan said. "I'm sure attendance at pool facilities was way below normal because of cool weather. But for the lawn care business, it was a boom."
And what about now?
Currently the cloudiness some areas are experiencing is due to the remnant of Hurricane Frances, but Smith said he doesn't think it has reached the Sikeston area yet so residents should expect to see cloud bands from the remnants of the hurricane.
"We're doing really good for the next week," Smith said about weather predictions for the area.
Temperatures over the next 10 days are expected to be highs of 82-84 degrees and lows around 60 degrees -- average for this time of year, Smith said, adding those numbers will gradually decrease as fall approaches.