The Best- and Worst- Columbus Summers on Record

Let’s be honest, Summer 2020 is hardly shaping up to be one of swimming pools and BBQs and beach vacations. With the virus continuing to rage nationally, it’s going to be the kind of summer most people watch from their porches or couches. So in that sense, 2020 certainly ranks up there as one of the worst summers ever. On the other hand, there’s probably going to be a bit less concern as to how the weather is. Still, here’s a look back on Columbus’ best and worst summers when it comes to weather.

I used a basic ranking system, much like I did with my Worst Winters of All Time post a few years back, to determine the severity of each summer’s weather. Here was the point system I used.

On temperature, I added one point for each of the following:
-# of 86 or Above Highs
-# of 70 or Above Lows
-# of 70 or Below Highs
-# of 50 or Below Lows
Each earned the summer a point for each day that featured these conditions, as either extreme heat or low temperatures during summer are generally considered a negative.

With precipitation, I added one point for each of the following:
-# of days with measurable precipitation.
-# of days with at least 1″+ of precipitation.

The more points a summer got, the worse the weather was overall.

Top 10 Worst Summers
1. 1935: 110
2. 1988: 108
3. 1949: 99
4. 1936, 1944, 1955: 97
5. 2012: 96
6. 1881, 1947, 1980, 1999, 2005: 94
7. 1901, 1916, 1931: 93
8. 1934, 1940, 2018: 91
9. 1941, 1977: 90
10. 1943, 1987: 88
If you like either very hot, very wet or summers with a combination of both conditions, these ones were for you.

Top 10 Best Summers
1. 1904: 43
2. 1967, 1971: 44
3. 1922, 1960, 1984: 47
4. 2000: 49
5. 1962: 50
6. 1950, 1981: 51
7. 1884, 1886, 1985: 52
8. 1889, 2009: 53
9. 1929: 56
10. 1905, 1976: 57
If you prefer, instead summers with little extreme heat and drier conditions, these were the best.

Now, you might wonder which decade had the best average and worst average summers.
1960s: 64.0
1900s: 66.2
1970s: 67.2
1920s: 67.8
1980s: 70.2
1880s: 70.9
1950s, 2000s: 71.2
1990s: 73.6
1890s: 75.1
1910s: 76.0
2010s: 78.7
1870s: 80.0
1930s: 81.9
1940s: 85.9
The 1960s had the best average score, with the 1940s easily claiming the top prize for worst.

To see a lot more summer records, check out: Summer Season Records



Winter 2018-2019 Review



Winter 2018-2019 was another one of extremes, with record highs and near record lows, snowy months and snowless months. The only real consistency was how wet it was.

December-February Only
Average High: 41.4 22nd Warmest
Average Low: 26.4 21st Warmest
Mean: 33.8 24th Warmest
Precipitation: 12.15″ 8th Wettest
Snowfall: 23.3″ 35th Snowiest
Average Daily Snow Depth: 0.5″

Entire Cold Season- October-April
Average High: 49.7 27th Warmest
Average Low: 33.3 25th Warmest
Mean: 41.5 23rd Warmest
Precipitation: 29.33″ 3rd Wettest
Snowfall: 27.4″
Average Snow Depth: 0.2″

Average High By Month
October 2018: 65.7 43rd Warmest
November 2018: 45.2 8th Coldest
December 2018: 44.1 21st Warmest
January 2019: 36.6 48th Coldest
February 2019: 43.4 25th Warmest
March 2019: 47.5 36th Coldest
April 2019: 65.4 21st Warmest

Average Low By Month
October 2018: 47.2 25th Warmest
November 2018: 33.2 28th Coldest
December 2018: 30.6 15th Warmest
January 2019: 22.2 47th Warmest
February 2019: 26.3 33rd Warmest
March 2019: 28.7 27th Coldest
April 2019: 44.6 12th Warmest

Mean By Month
October 2018: 56.5 28th Warmest
November 2018: 39.2 14th Coldest
December 2018: 37.3 18th Warmest
January 2019: 29.4 51st Coldest
February 2019: 34.8 30th Warmest
March 2019: 38.1 34th Coldest
April 2019: 55.0 14th Warmest

Precipitation By Month
October 2018: 2.60″ 43rd Wettest
November 2018: 5.70″ 4th Wettest
December 2018: 3.57″ 30th Wettest
January 2019: 3.09″ 47th Wettest
February 2019: 5.49″ 6th Wettest
March 2019: 5.33″ 15th Wettest
April 2019: 3.55″ 54th Wettest

Snowfall By Month
October 2018: 0.0″
November 2018: 2.1″
December 2018: 0.4″
January 2019: 11.3″
February 2019: 11.6″
March 2019: 2.0″
April 201: 0.0″

Average Snow Depth By Month
October 2018: 0.0″
November 2018: Trace
December 2018: 0.0″
January 2019: 1″
February 2019: 0.5″
March 2019: 0.1″
April 2019: 0.0″

Maximum High By Month
October: 88 on the 6th and 8th
November: 61 on the 1st
December: 66 on the 2nd
January: 62 on the 8th
February: 62 on the 7th
March: 75 on the 14th
April: 82 on the 11th

Minimum High By Month
October: 49 on the 21st
November: 30 on the 28th
December: 28 on the 8th
January: 11 on the 31st
February: 22 on the 1st
March: 20 on the 5th
April: 43 on the 1st

Maximum Low By Month
October: 69 on the 2nd and 9th
November: 50 on the 5th
December: 46 on the 15th
January: 41 on the 8th
February: 43 on the 6th
March: 51 on the 14th and 29th
April: 64 on the 18th

Minimum Low By Month
October: 32 on the 22nd and 25th
November: 22 on the 10th and 11th
December: 16 on the 10th
January: -4 on the 30th and 31st
February: 9 on the 2nd
March: 7 on the 5th
April: 24 on the 1st

Highest Daily Precipitation By Month
October: 0.63″ on the 31st
November: 1.16″ on the 15th
December: 1.01″ on the 31st
January: 0.81″ on the 19th
February: 1.22″ on the 20th
March: 1.97″ on the 30th
April: 0.77″ on the 19th

Highest Daily Snowfall By Month
October: 0.0″
November: 1.3″ on the 15th
December: 0.2″ on the 5th
January: 4″ on the 12th
February: 4.2″ on the 1st
March: 1.9″ on the 3rd
April: 0.0″

Deepest Snow Depth By Month
October: 0″
November: 1″
December: 0″
January: 4″ on the 13th and 20th
February: 4″ on the 1st and 2nd
March: 2″ on the 1st
April: 0″

Overall, the winter of 2018-2019, while having a few cold spells, was largely warmer than normal. It was also wet and had snowfall near normal.



Summer 2016



Now that Summer 2016 is but a memory, let’s take a quick look back at where it stands in the record books.

Temperature

Summer 2016 Means
June-August Mean High: 85.5
June-August Mean Rank since 1878: 26th Warmest
While the average high for Summer 2016 was certainly warm, it fell just outside of the top 25. By comparison to recent years, 2010 (85.6), 2011 (85.7) and 2012 (87.7) all had warmer average highs.

June-August Mean Low: 66.1
June-August Mean Low Rank since 1878: 4th Warmest
The average low for the summer is what made 2016 much more exceptional. No recent years (last decade) were warmer, although 2010 did tie.

June-August Mean: 75.8
June-August Mean Rank since 1878: 10th
So if you thought this summer was hot, well you were right. Only 2010 (75.9) and 2012 (76.4) were warmer of any recent years.

Monthly Means
June Mean: 73.2
June Mean Rank since 1878: 17th Warmest
July Mean: 76.6
July Mean Rank since 1878: 20th Warmest
August Mean: 77.6
August Mean Rank since 1878: 6th Warmest
The summer gradually became hotter as it went on.

Summer 2016 Misc. Temperature Stats
# of 90+ Days: 18
90+ Days Rank: 22nd
Warmest High: 95
Warmest Low: 77
Coldest High: 72
Coldest Low: 48

Daily Temperature Records
June 11th: Record Warm Maximum Tie: 95: Tied with 1914 and 1933.
August 10th: Record Warm Minimum Tie: 75: Tied with 2001.
August 11th: Record Warm Minimum Tie: 76: Tied with 1918.
August 12th: Record Warm Minimum: 76: Beat record from 1947.
August 13th: Record Warm Minimum Tie: 75: Tied with 1995.

Precipitation
June-July Precipitation Total: 13.53″
June-July Precipitation Rank since 1878: 29th Wettest
Besides being warm, Summer 2016 was also fairly wet.

Monthly Precipitation Stats
June Precipitation: 5.22″
June Precipitation Rank since 1878: 29th
July Precipitation: 2.49″
July Precipitation Rank since 1878: 27th Driest
August Precipitation: 5.82″
August Precipitation Rank since 1878: 13th Wettest
So the summer was bookended by wet months with July being fairly dry.

Summer 2016 Misc. Precipitation Stats
Total Precipitation Days (including Trace): 45
Total Measurable Precipitation Days: 30
Measurable Precipitation Days Rank since 1878: 16th Highest
Days with 0.25″ or Higher: 16
Days with 0.50″ or Higher: 10
Days with 1.00″ or Higher: 4

Daily Precipitation Records
June 23rd: 2.75″: Beat the old record in 1901.