The sun’s been rising later and setting earlier in the nearly two months since summer’s official open in June. It’s a process which whittles away at the number of hours of sunlight each year—very slowly at first, then at a faster pace. While sunset took place at 8:29 p.m. in late June, it will set at 7:49 p.m. Wednesday evening. The city receives one hour and 26 minutes less sunlight Wednesday than just 57 days ago on June 21. Another four hours and 39 minutes disappears by the official start of winter at 12:35 p.m. on December 21.
Shorter days haven’t yet eliminated the chance for hot weather. Low 90s return Friday, the eastern extension of an air mass which boosted temperatures at Billings, Mont. from 61° Saturday to 92° Tuesday. Powerful Montana and Utah thunderstorms proved such prolific hail producers, 3” of the icy stones covered the ground in their wake Tuesday evening.
The torrid pace at which this summer’s 90s have been accumulating in Chicago has slowed. But, 90° temperatures probably aren’t history yet. South winds send temperatures soaring toward 90° for a day later this week. And, weather records reveal an average of three additional 90s have occurred beyond August 16 in years with drought conditions similar to those currently in place—in a few of those years as many as seven.
Record rains brought an end to the blistering heat through which New Yorkers suffered this past weekend. Downpours totaled 3.50” at LaGuardia Airport Sunday—a deluge which reduced temperatures from 100° Saturday to just 77° Monday—a 23° drop. And, heat and humidity spawned a new round of flooding rains which accompanied Missouri thunderstorms Monday. As much as 3.54” fell as Osage Beach, Missouri and a record-breaking 2.67” at Joplin.