Janine Berger and Jeremy Woods, who both live in Northwest D.C., found a cool, comfortable spot next to the Potomac River to read and relax Sunday in Washington. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

To me, at least, summer seems like it just started, and except for a few miserably humid days last week, it hasn’t seemed oppressively hot.

But believe it or not, Sunday marked the midpoint of meteorological summer (June 1 to Aug. 31) — and it has been substantially hotter than normal.

The National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., crunched the numbers and determined that the season so far ranks as sixth-hottest in records dating to 1872. The temperature has averaged 79.1 degrees, 2.3 degrees above normal.

High temperatures have ranked 11th-warmest, and low temperatures seventh-warmest, the Weather Service said.

These numbers may come as a surprise as the heat’s intensity has mostly been mild. We haven’t set any record highs, and the mercury has yet to hit 100. The summer’s hottest temperature so far is 97, posted last Thursday and Friday.

But the heat has been persistent.

We’ve logged 23 days at or above 90 degrees, which is six above normal for the year to date and ties for the 18th most on record through this point in the summer. In July, all but four days so far have hit at least 90.

Dulles and Baltimore have also posted warmer-than-normal conditions:

  • Dulles’s average temperature so far of 74.9 degrees ranks 10th warmest in records dating to 1963. It has tallied 16 days at or above 90 degrees, which is tied for 14th on record.
  • Baltimore’s average temperature of 75.7 degrees ranks 35th warmest dating to 1871. It has logged 19 days at or above 90, tied for 21st most.

The fact that the summer hasn’t felt that hot even though the numbers says otherwise may relate to the fact that we’re getting accustomed to such heat. Six of the 10 warmest first halves of summer in Washington have occurred since 2010: 2010 (hottest), 2011 (third hottest), 2012 (fourth hottest), 2017 (sixth hottest), 2015 (eighth hottest), 2014 (ninth hottest).

The first week of the summer’s second half will keep the toasty trend going, with highs most days forecast to climb well into the 90s.


European model 10-day temperature forecast. (WeatherBell.com)

If the summer has seemed plenty long and hot enough to you and you’re counting the days until fall, I’ll leave you with these encouraging facts: In the next two weeks, we lose 23 minutes of daylight and average temperatures start to go down.