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Summer follows warm, dry spring

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Although today is the first day of summer, the weather has been balmy for months.

This spring was the second-warmest on record for Massena and the third-warmest for Watertown, according to Northeast Regional Climate Center climatologist Jessica L. Rennells.

Massena had its warmest season in 2010, while Watertown had its warmest in 1987.

“As a whole, the temperatures this spring have been above normal,” said Buffalo National Weather Service meteorologist Kirk F. Apffel. “Precipitation was much below normal.”

Last spring, the Black River reached flood stage in one of the soggiest seasons in memory. This year was just the opposite. March was the warmest on record in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties owing to a ridge of warm air that did not budge for several weeks.

March led the warm season when temperatures soared 12.7 degrees above average, but precipitation was 1.8 inches below normal at Watertown International Airport near Dexter. April was 1.9 degrees below normal temperature and 1.05 inches below normal precipitation. May’s temperature was 5.9 degrees above normal and rain was nearly an inch below average.

St. Lawrence County had the same warm and dry story, according to Burlington National Weather Service meteorologist Conor T. Lahiff.

March’s temperatures hit highs 11.8 degrees above normal in Massena. However, the precipitation was 0.61 of an inch below normal. April was only 0.1 degree above normal temperature and 0.37 of an inch below normal precipitation. High temperatures and rain returned in May at 4.7 degrees higher than the average, and precipitation was 0.52 of an inch above normal.

“The rain was relatively normal; nothing significant,” Mr. Lahiff said.

Lowville did not break any major records. According to Ms. Rennells, the town’s average temperature since March 20 was 51.9 degrees, and it had a total of 7.58 inches of rain.

In the spirit of the season, which begins at 7:09 p.m., the temperature today is expected to spike to a high of 91 degrees in Watertown and 93 degrees in Massena.

“It looks like we’re headed into some hot weather for a few days, then a cool down over the weekend,” Mr. Apffel said.

Temperatures will continue to fall because of rain next week, stabilizing in the mid-70s.

Mr. Apffel does not know what the next three months will look like, but said not to make assumptions based on the weather this year has brought so far.

“Just because we’ve been dry won’t mean we’ll continue to stay dry. Just because we’ve had above-normal temperatures does not mean we’ll have a warmer-than-average-summer,” he said.

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