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Looking at the future

The recent string of 80-plus degree days we experienced offered a sure reminder that it’s almost summer.

And with that comes the annual discussion of exactly when the season begins and what type of weather we can expect.

For some, Memorial Day is the start of the summer season. If you follow meteorological summer, meanwhile, the season will begin on Tuesday — June 1. And, if you are an adherent to astrological summer, you will have to wait until later in the month — or 11:32 p.m. on June 20.

No matter where you fall on that list, just about everyone wants to know what kind of weather we can expect to have between now and the return of fall. As has been the case for most of this year, the two most-trusted almanacs — Old Farmer’s and Farmers’ — offer differing outlooks for the coming season.

Old Farmer’s, which has been around since 1792, is predicting that our region will experience a cool summer, and puts us right on the border between being dry and experiencing a lot of rainfall. Its temperature forecast for the period of June, July and August calls for below normal readings, while the precipitation forecast calls for below average numbers in June and August with above average rainfall in July.

For the months, the forecast is sunny and hot from June 1 through June 7, rainy and cool June 8 through June 18 and scattered storms and cool June 19 through June 30. In July, look for thunderstorms and cool temperatures July 1 through July 9, sunshine and warm temperatures July 10 through July 16, scattered storms and warm temperatures July 17 through July 24 and sunshine with cool temperatures July 25 through July 31. August is forecast to be sunny and cool Aug. 1 through Aug. 4, stormy and warm Aug. 5 through Aug. 8; sunny and hot Aug. 9 through Aug. 18, stormy and cool Aug. 19 through Aug. 25 and sunny and cool Aug. 26 through Aug. 31.

Farmers’, meanwhile, which has only been around since 1818, is calling for a muggy and thundery summer. It’s calling for stormy weather for much of June, with fair weather arriving near the end of the month. Same for July, with heavy storms forecast for the period of July 12 through July 15. In August, the forecast is for more storms with a pleasant period falling from Aug. 12 through Aug. 15.

If you are looking to judge the accuracy of the forecasts, keep in mind that neither of the almanacs predicted the unseasonably warm temperatures we experienced for a good part of May, and Farmer’s called for above normal rainfall in the Eastern Great Lakes during the past month.

According to the summer forecast issued by State College, Pa.-based AccuWeather, we can expect to see close to normal temperatures this summer, with the likelihood of several strong and severe thunderstorms.

And, the Climate Prediction Center forecast for June, July and August issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is calling for the likelihood of above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

When you add all those numbers up, it’s tough to tell just what kind of summer we will experience this year.

At least we can have a little fun until later in the coming season, when the woolly bears will issue their definitive winter forecasts.

But first, we will have to wait until fall, which will arrive on either Sept. 1, Sept. 6 (which is Labor Day) or at 3:21 p.m. Sept. 22.

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Among the last of the major events to be canceled as a result of COVID-19 was this year’s Ohio Associated Press Media Editors awards luncheon and state meeting in Columbus. The one-day event, which has been annually held during the last part of April or early part of May, offers a chance to catch up with friends from across the state, hear about the latest initiatives from the AP and receive recognition when the order of placement in the annual contest is revealed.

And, while there’s no gala presentation this year, the members of the Herald-Star staff who won awards in Division II this year deserve to be recognized one more time. We won three awards this year. Our staff took second place in the best special sports section category for Inside the Paint, our annual basketball preview edition, and third place in the best daily sports section category.

The third award belonged to me, which was a second place in the category of best editorial writer.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

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