If summer can be said to be fading in August, it does so with grace and composure. The days remain warm and hazy, and often muggy. Nights are longer, but rarely cool. And the morning fog settles into the river valleys like a gossamer veil. Thunderstorms remain the most common source of rain, which means hit-or-miss showers that may boost gardens on one side of the hill, while others seem to beg for rain. Heavier rains can occur if the remnants of a tropical weather system get caught up in the weather pattern, yet August runs a close second to July for the sunniest month of the year. The last week of the month does show signs of change, from the first splash of color, to a crisp morning, and deep blue autumn skies in the afternoon.
The brilliant poppy flaunts her head
Amidst the ripening grain,
And adds her voice to sell the song
That August’s here again.
– Helen M. Winslow
When it rains in August, it rains honey and wine.
1 – 1842: Randolph, VT only a maximum of 50 degrees; snow flurries reported in Quebec City.
7 – 1918: After temperatures in the 30s on the 4th, the mercury soared to 96 in St. Johnsbury, 99 in Cavendish, 100 at Cornwall, and topping the list Vernon at 102.
11 – 1949: Burlington’s all-time hottest reading of 101 degrees, during the longest heat-wave on record, lasting 8 days, from the 10th to the 17th.
17 – 1944: The longest stretch of 90 degree heat on record at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, VT, totaling 8 days from the 10th through the 17th.
22 – 1816: During that infamous “Year without a Summer”, a sharp cold front on the 21st brought frost to parts of northern and central New England.
24 – 1893: The first of three tropical storms to affect the region in an unusually busy season raced from western tip of Long Island early in the day, to Berlin, NH by late in the day, with gusty winds but this rapid movement limited rainfall.
August Records and Averages
Warmest: 71.7°F in 1937
Coldest: 60.4°F in 1903
Wettest: 9.06 inches in 2011
Driest: 0.93 inches in 2002