August outlook

July 2012 has spent the last three weeks breathing down the neck of July 2011, in the books as the warmest month ever in Philadelphia.

With the cool-down late last weekend, this month's average temperature has fallen to 82.0, 0.4 behind July 2011.

Still, it has been impressively hot, with the temperature hitting 90 degrees 18 times already -- including today -- at Philadelphia International Airport.

The average high temperature for the month through yeesterday was 91, and the low a steamy 73. That's rather amazing warm for an overnight average.

If you're tired of all this, Weather Services Inc., the Massachusetts firm that provides forecasts to the energy industry, is offering a breath of fresh air this morning.

It is calling for a cooler-than-normal August in the Northeast, although unfortunately it is calling for a continued bake-a-thon in the Midwest.

Not everyone agrees.

The Commodity Weather Group, in Washington, sees the odds favoring warmer-than-normal in the East, but does hold out the hope for more rain in August, calling for above-normal precipitation.

The Climate Prediction Center's monthly forecast has a warm look across the nation.

In the more realistic range, the climate center has Philly in the "normal" zone for the rest of the month.

We'll take it.