August may have seemed like a blast furnace at the end, but overall it was an average month, at least according to the weather statistics.
Although the temperatures its last nine days exceeded 90 degrees, August almost hit its averages in high and low temperatures, as well as rainfall.
The average high temperature in Lawrence during August was 88.3 degrees, which was slightly less than the month's normal average high f 89.8. This August was similar to a year ago, when the average high was 88.22.
At the other end of the thermometer, the average low for the month was 68.1 degrees, slightly warmer than last year's 67.22 degrees and the norm of 66.9 degrees.
DESPITE what the time and temperature signs said around town, Lawrence registered only one official day of 100 degrees during August, on the 28th. The coolest temperature of the month was the faint memory of 55 degrees recorded on Aug. 7.
No records were set during the month, but August does claim the highest temperatures ever recorded in Lawrence, 114 degrees on Aug. 10, 1934, and Aug. 14, 1936.
Rain fell on Lawrence on seven days in August totaling 3.92 inches, a trace less than the average of 3.94 inches. A year ago, the month was unusually wet, with 5.16 inches falling on 11 days.
But last month, the heaviest rainfall was the 1.81 inches measured on Aug. 15 and 16. The only other rainy day to exceed an inch was 1.04 inches on Aug. 3.
The rainfall pushed Lawrence's year-to-date total to 30.11 inches. The normal rainfall for a year is 36.81 inches. In 1989 at this time, only 19.88 inches of rain had been recorded.
WALTER SCHWARZ, cooperative meteorological observer in Worden in southern Douglas County, reported 3.46 inches of rain during August. He has recorded 30.07 inches of rain during 1990, compared to 23.43 inches last year.
What September will hold for Lawrence residents, beyond the August-like heat thus far, remains to be seen. The normal high and low temperatures for the month are 81.9 and 58.5. But history shows that it can be a month of extremes.
Lawrence has experienced 19 highs that exceeded 100 degrees during past Septembers, the latest on Sept. 28, 1953, at 103. That date also represents the latest 100-degree reading in the city's history. Every all-time high for the month has been at least 90 degrees.
The month also marks the earliest freeze in the city. On Sept. 27, 1942, the low was 31 degrees.