Cool June a Distant Memory

    The June weather report from Richard G. Hendrickson, the United States Cooperative weather observer in Bridgehampton, arrived this week — a little late but nevertheless still of interest to other South Fork weather watchers.
    With such hot days this month, people may have forgotten that June was on the cool side. Although the temperature reached 94 on June 9 and 10, the high for the rest of the month was a more reasonable 85 on June 12. “There were two cool, cool daytime readings, on the 14th when it rose no higher than 66 degrees and on the 25th when it was only 67 degrees,” Mr. Hendrickson wrote. “Why these cooler temperatures have prevailed to the month’s end I do not know.”
    June nights were mild, and in two cases downright chilly. Mr. Hendrickson recorded 45 degrees on the night of June 4 and 46 degrees the night of June 5. “Mild nighttime temperatures continued throughout the month,” he said. “Over the years in the month of June there is often frost, but not this June.”
    There was measurable rainfall on eight days, with the heaviest, 1.69 inches, on June 23. “June is often the month when there has been little rainfall and early crops have often suffered. Some of those with cash crops have put in irrigation. Often over the long term it pays. And the opposite is true when we have had ample or many extra rains, with muddy soils and some washouts, making for delayed maturity in crops. Such is one of many, many hazards or perils that affect the farmer, whether he be in crop or livestock farming,” wrote Mr. Hendrickson, a retired farmer who has been watching the weather for more than seven decades.
    The heaviest rain in two days came on June 22 and 23, when a total of 2 inches fell. The total rainfall for the month was 5.78 inches, about 2 inches more than the long-term average for June.
    Mr. Hendrickson reported 5 clear days, 7 partly cloudy days, and 18 cloudy days. Winds were mainly from the southwest, as is typical in the summer.
    He recorded thunder and lightning on June 1, 9, and 17.
    He warned people: “Use extreme care when sudden thunderstorms visit our area, on the golf course, in your boat, in the hayfield, or when clamming.” Mr. Hendrickson recalled a lightning bolt that “hit a barbed wire fence and killed chickens nesting in the tall grass under the fence. I have seen the hissing St. Elmo’s ball of fire going from a telephone pole to a lightning rod on the farm home. Scared the living hell out of me, and it would you too.”