When is a Summer not a Summer?

On Friday last I took a screenshot from the weather app on my phone:

Autumn airs

This presents the forecast for the current weekend, and leading into the last week of August. As you can see, lows dip down into the 50’s on a routine basis, and the highs never crack 80°.

To be clear, I’m not complaining here - I absolutely love this weather. For anyone who enjoys going out of doors - cyclists, hikers, or even just someone doing yard work - it’s hard to find any kind of fault with our current local climatological presentation (I’ll pause for a moment for the avid summer swimmers to chime in their objections - I hear you folks, but I’m not one of you, so...).

But like it or not, it is odd. Or at least it seems like it should be thought of as such.

In my recollection, August in Northern Illinois is one of the hottest times of the year. It seems to like we should be struggling with temps in the high 80’s at least, if not watching things creep up into the lower 90’s, and all of it accompanied by ambient moisture that makes the heat cling to you like a spiderweb you’ve just walked thru.

But when I look back thru my journal I realize that the past several years have been like this, more or less, and it brings up the odd differences that result from climate change. 2018, according to the reports, was the fourth hottest year on record ever. Yet here in the Midwest of the US - or at least in the northern portions of the Great Lakes region - we seem to be mimicking the Pacific Northwest.

I can’t pretend to truly understand it, and I absolutely think we should, as a society, be doing more about it. But until then, I think I’m going to go outside.