The Tennessee Valley saw a pretty warm summer, but we were not the only ones. The United States recorded its third-hottest summer on record with the average temperature being 73.9 degrees and 2.5 degrees above average. When it comes to rainfall, the United States saw a deficit recording only 8.18 inches on average. It is important to note that meteorological summer includes the months of June, July and August.

Look Back At This Summer Season

This summer brought heavy rain, wildfires and heat waves to portions of the nation. While the nation as a whole saw below-average rainfall this past summer, most experienced heavy rain that led to significant flooding. Death Valley National Park received 1.70 inches of rain which was an all-time 24-hour rainfall record. Some visitors and staff members at the park were left stranded overnight. In Texas, the governor declared a disaster for 23 counties after parts of the state received over a foot of rain in 12 hours. Another well-known flooding event this past summer occurred in Mississippi. In Jackson, the flood waters breached the water treatment plant resulting in nearly 200,000 residents not having access to clean water.

While flooding was an issue this summer, the excessive heat and humidity also led to problems for the nation. Both the Northwest and Northeast experienced heat waves. In the Northeast, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island saw their warmest August on record. In the Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington saw their warmest August on record.

When the final drought monitor update was released for August 30, about 45 percent of the continental United States was experiencing drought conditions. This was down by almost six percent from the beginning of the month. While the conditions improved here in the Tennessee Valley, other locations did not see an improvement.

Portions of the Northeast, West and Plains ended the month in the extreme to exceptional categories. These conditions have certainly not helped firefighters battling the wildfires that are raging through the Northwest. As of September 13, there are 93 active wildfires across eight states. One of the largest fires is the Mosquito Fire, in Northern California, which is only 18 percent contained. This fire has burned nearly 50,000 acres and it may take until early October to get it contained.