Coolest August start in 50 years

Today has marked the 15th consecutive day of below-normal temperatures in Philadelphia.

And with average temperature, 72, this will rank in the top 20 coolest first weeks of August  in the period of record, dating to 1874.

Not only has this been a dramatic contrast to last year’s searing start to August, with an average temperature of about 72.1 -- compared with 81.4 in 2012 --  this is going to be the month’s coolest first week since 1964.

The long-range outlooks, including the brand-new Accu-Weather 45-day forecast (we’ll have more to say about that later) continue to beat back any return of significant heat.

As often happens in summer when air masses can get stuck on pause, the atmosphere has been prone to ruts since Memorial Day weekend.

Recall that June and July were the wettest months on record, and the longest streak of days in which the temperature failed to get below 70 -- 30 -- ended on July 24.

More recently, a persistent pattern has kept our region on the cool side.

That, of  course, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all over for heat.

Consider that in 1912, when the Aug. 1-7 period finished at  69.1, the coolest such period on record. But heat returned later in the month and 90-plus readings popped up in September.

Ditto for 1964, whose 69.4 was second on the list.

For now, however, the atmosphere is providing the air-conditioning.