The children played in the James River to escape the heat on June 17. Richmond is tied for its 14th hottest year on record so far.
The changes to the forecast for the past two days are subtle but ultimately reduce the chance of showers and thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday.
Saturday will be the hottest afternoon of the three-day holiday weekend, with temperatures approaching the mid-90s, but it also brings the best chance of showers and thunderstorms. And given how wet it has become over the past few days, some thunderstorms will produce particularly heavy rain for 30-45 minutes, making localized flooding a distinct possibility.
Slightly less humid air will enter Virginia on Sunday, give us a hint of northeasterly breezes for Sunday and Monday and hold back the chance of showers and thunderstorms. This chance will not disappear entirely, but it will be reduced for a few days before the humidity returns by Tuesday.
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With the first six months of the year behind us, how has the weather and climate been so far in Richmond, compared to all-time records?
Review of the data portal of the Southeast Regional Climate Center suggests that Richmond’s weather in 2022 has been more typical of Oklahoma City.
Richmond has been slightly warmer and wetter than normal since the first of the year, with normal defined as the 30-year smoothed average between 1991 and 2020.
Using the daily average temperature, Richmond is tied for its 14th warmest year on record so far, with records dating back to 1887. But if the afternoons did seem a bit warmer, your senses won’t be fooling you. not.
The average high temperature so far in 2022 is 67.4 degrees. It’s tied for the ninth hottest on record, 1.8 degrees above normal. February and March were the culprits that pushed temperatures up the most, to 5 and 4 degrees above normal, respectively.
Severe heat grabs the headlines, but the gradual loss of cooler weather is a less obvious result of global warming. Hidden in the data so far this year is the consecutive number of days with a high temperature of at least 80 degrees. Between late May and mid-June, Richmond had 27 straight days that reached 80 degrees, tied for the sixth-longest streak on record.
Of the five longer streaks, four have occurred since 2008.
The precipitation is more subject to year-to-year fluctuations as the climate warms. But in the broadest sense, humid climates tend to get wetter and arid climates tend to get drier.
It’s no surprise, then, that Virginia has managed to avoid a severe drought for the past 10 years. The last prolonged drought, which lasted two years, was from spring 2007 to spring 2009.
In 2022, Richmond was a little wetter than normal, with 22.16 inches of rain (combined with melted snow).
Areas further south in Virginia, cities and counties along the border with North Carolina, remain abnormally dry.
But for the most part, other places in the state are holding their own so far this year.
The outlook for the next three months suggests a trend that favors slightly wetter and warmer weather than normal, but does not offer specific week or month specifics.