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June brings ‘Sunshine Superman’ to Inland Northwest

A blue sky with puffy white clouds above the WSU visitor center in Pullman.
June has brought plenty of blue skies and warm days to eastern Washington. (Photo by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services)

By Nic Loyd, WSU meteorologist, and Linda Weiford, WSU News

When the ‘60s British singer Donovan wrote the hit “Sunshine Superman,” he must have had the month of June in mind.

June brings us the summer solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere dips toward the sun and basks in daylight for longer than any other time of year. What’s more, the month typically glows with bright, sun-filled days in eastern Washington. This June is expected to follow the same pattern.

Having just emerged from Memorial Day weekend, some parts of the nation are bracing for hurricane season, and others, the threat of severe thunderstorms. Also, “June gloom” looms on the West Coast, where low-level cloud cover persistently engulfs the coastal regions of Washington, Oregon and California. Misty clouds that form over the chilly Pacific Ocean get blown ashore by a June-time wind pattern.

Happily, those sheets of gray don’t make it as far as eastern Washington. June gloom? We’ve got June cheer on this side of the Cascade range.Typically, we enjoy ample blue skies and relatively dry conditions. And one more thing — June is the calm before the swelter.  Warm, but not yet hot.

However, June 2015 was a big exception. Two remarkable heatwaves settled over much of the Pacific Northwest, making it the hottest June ever recorded in many locations. Among the many hot days that month, June 28 topped the charts, with temperatures climbing to 105 degrees in Spokane, 104 in Pullman, 113 in Walla Walla and 111 in Lewiston-Clarkston.

As for June 2018? While it’s doubtful we’ll scorch in triple-digit heat, above-average temperatures are predicted across the region. In other words, the month should deliver plenty of sunshine and warmth once again.

Nic Loyd is a meteorologist with Washington State University’s AgWeatherNet. Linda Weiford is a WSU news writer and weather geek. Contact: linda.weiford@wsu.edu

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