It is almost with apology that Washington cherry growers announce they have a great crop, thanks much to a wet June which came as many states struggled with drought and wildfires.
Perhaps some growers in those states can find solace in the fact that at least some of their fellow farmers aren't suffering from dry conditions. It is clear that the Pacific Northwest and California have been spared drought when national weather maps fill with red and yellow – except on the Pacific.
June Washington weather was, in fact, "déjà vu all over again," quotes Nic Lloyd, Washington State University ag meteorologist.
Despite early glimpses of summer in April and May, Washington weather regressed into a chilly spring during June, he notes, with conditions that were eerily reminiscent of 2011.
Periodically stormy conditions dominated Washington's weather for much of June.
"Many AgWeatherNet locations recorded temperatures or 2-3 degrees below average, along with unusually wet conditions during June," says Lloyd. "Prosser's average high temperature for June was 75.3 degrees F, which was 3.3 degrees below average."
And this at a time when cites like St. Louis counted more than ten day with 100 degree plus heat.
June was the first month since January in which overall temperatures were cooler than its 2011 counterpart. June temperatures were cool due to periodic intrusions of cold upper troughs moving through the region, delivering more clouds and rain than normal.'
Overall, AgWeatherNet – WSU's statewide net of weather stations – at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser experienced the coolest June since 2001.
"Despite the rain showers late in the month that caused some cherry cracking in the Yakima Valley, a large cherry crop is expected this year," says system Director Gerrit Hoogenboom. The system recorded a total of 1.63 inches of rain, which made June the second wettest since 1990. Observed rainfall was nearly three times the June average of .68 inches and is more than was observed in any month of the last spring.