The Washington Post

Think this summer has been “way cool?” Think again!

(Climate Central)

By all accounts this summer has been fantastic. So far in 2014, we’ve only seen 17 days of at least 90 degrees — though that number will probably kick up a bit this weekend.

However, if you’re wondering whether or not this summer has truly been “way cool” here in D.C., the answer is not really — at least in the record books.

2014 actually ranks on the upper end of the summer heat spectrum, though it’s nothing compared to some of our warmest years, including 2010, which was the warmest summer on record here in D.C., and 2012, which was the warmest year on record overall for the city.

Related: D.C. has one of the most intense urban heat islands in the U.S.

But just up the road, Baltimore’s summer actually did rank on the cool side of things. Very cool. Climate Central writes:

There were a lot of people in the Northeast who thought this was such a cool summer. And in Baltimore, temperatures were well below average. But that was the exception for big Northeast cities. Richmond, Va., Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston all came in warmer than average while New York City was close to average. Those areas, as well as the Southeast, are going to get one last blast of heat this weekend.

(Climate Central)

Of course, the temperature has a lot to do with the reporting stations. These graphics use Reagan National for D.C.’s temperatures, and Baltimore-Washington International for Baltimore’s. The differences can sometimes be quite large — BWI’s temperature can often be the “cool” outlier in the region, Reagan National has been known to show a strong warm bias in comparison to where D.C. residents actually experience their weather.

Related: Should Reagan National remain D.C.’s official weather station?

However, what probably matters most is the perception of this summer compared to recent summers, in which case, there’s no doubt that the D.C. region came out winning this year.

Angela Fritz is an atmospheric scientist and The Post's deputy weather editor.
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