July 1st, 2008
June 2008: One for the Record Books
2008-07-01. A Japanese parasol for a Japanese plant (although Floridata states it’s not a native of Japan.) This shade-loving Japanese aralia is in shade 50 weeks of the year. Unfortunately, it is in searing sun at midsummer.
Griping about the weather is a gardener’s perquisite. And yet, if you’re as tired listening to me gripe about our early summer heat wave as I am complaining about it…well then! We’re all pretty tired.
Statistics always comfort me. I like to think there’s some objective measure of my pain. It’s not just my attitude. And so with a bit of smug satisfaction, I announce it’s official: June 2008 is the hottest June in Austin’s recorded weather history (dating back to 1854).
June is typically one of Austin’s wetter months. We enjoy the rain as our weather makes the transition from late spring to hellishly hot summer of late July and August. June is the month our summer plants build up strength to endure the heat. This year, however, hellishly hot summer began in mid-May and hasn’t let up.
In this case, it’s not a good thing to be above average. This June we had just two days of average high temperature (88F-93F). Most of June, 20 days, had temperatures of 100F/37.8C or hotter. And the other days. Not much better: 4 @ 99; 1 @ 98; 2 @ 97; 1 @ 95. The average high temperature for June was (99F). And nighttime lows? It dropped below 70F only one night. Another night, it didn’t get out of the 80s. Typically Austin’s low temperatures were in the mid to high 70s.
Austin’s had hotter days in June. In 1998, the mercury hit 108F/42.2C on June 14th (109F at ABIA). What’s made this June miserable is that the heat’s relentless. It’s not letting up.
Well, at least, we’re finally in July where we expect this kind of weather. And there’s some cooler temperatures and a chance of rain for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
I’m celebrating the fact that June is over. Only 3 more months of hell and then fall.
by M Sinclair Stevens in Austin, Texas