What past year had a summer that was most “normal” due to both temperature and rainfall being near average?
—Diane M. LaGrange
What a great question. So often meteorologists get caught up in extreme of weather, that normal conditions are often ignored and taken for granted. Since we are looking backward in time, we used the just discontinued 1981-2010 normals as a baseline, that pegged the normal summer temperature at 71.8º and precipitation at 12.05 inches. We had Chicago climatologist Frank Wachowski scan the records, and he found that the summer of 2008 with an average temperature of 72.5º and total precipitation of 12.07 inches best fit the bill. The new summer normals based on the 30-year 1991-2020 period are 73.3º for temperature and 12.07 inches for precipitation.