August had below-average temperatures with lots of sunshine; it was extremely dry. The temperature averaged 69.0 degrees, 1.7 degrees per day below normal. Maximum temperature was 86.0 degrees on the 2 nd and a minimum temperature of 51.0 degrees was recorded on the 20 th and the 21 st. Daytime high temperatures averaged 79.0 degrees, 0.6 degrees below the norm. Evening temperatures averaged 60.0 degrees, 2.9 degrees below the norm.
Sunshine totaled 63% of the possible sunshine hours, 5 points above the norm. We had 17 mostly clear days, 7 partly cloudy days, and 7 cloudy days. We also had 1 day with heavy morning fog in East Wareham .
Precipitation totaled 2.85 inches, 1.05 inches below normal. We had measurable precipitation on 12 days, and of those 12 days, only 6 had measurable rainfall of 0.10 inches or more. The largest 24-hour rainfall was 1.52 inches on the 11 th and 12 th. Year-to-date rainfall for 2008 is 30.81 inches, 0.09 inches below the yearly average for East Wareham and 0.56 inches above last year at this time. In the last 15 days of August there was less then a 0.5 inch of rainfall.
Office Summer Season
The official summer (June, July and August) averaged 70.5 degrees, 1.1 degrees above the 30-year average. The summer was somewhat dry, 0.77 inches below normal precipitation (due to the dry June and August). Sunshine was 59% of possible hours, 3 points over the average (due to the very sunny August). We had a maximum temperature of 92 degrees recorded on the July 19 th and a minimum temperature of 51 degrees recorded on June 6 th and August 20 th and 21 st. Typically, our region averages 4 days of 90 degrees or higher, this year we had 4 days with 90+ degrees, 2 days in June and 2 days in July. Rainfall totaled 9.83 inches for the season. There was an unusual number of thunderstorms and hail around the region this summer.
2008 Crop Forecast
New England Agricultural Statistics Service gave the United States forecast for the 2008 cranberry crop on August 19 th in Wareham , MA . This year’s forecast is for 6.89 million barrels, up 5 percent from 2007 and slightly above 2006. Massachusetts ’ cranberry crop is forecasted to reach 1.90 million barrels, up 5 percent from 2007. This is the highest production level since 1999. New Jersey ’s forecast is for 500,000 barrels (down from 2007), Oregon : 490,000 barrels (down from 2007), Washington : 145,000 barrels (down from 2007), and Wisconsin : 3.85 million barrels (up from 2007). The pollination conditions during late June and into the mouth of July were good. Growers experienced an average bloom and set conditions for this year’s crop, and the berry size was rated as medium as of early August.