Monday, July 09, 2012

Heat Wave (Almost) Broken...As Were Some Records

The eleven day heat wave (for Philadelphia) is over today (edit: assuming we don't squeak out another 90 or 91), with a more "typical" July day on tap as highs likely only nudge back into the upper 80's.  The heat wave was not eleven days everywhere -- a couple of days featured highs in the 80's in spots.   Out of the eleven days, only Wilmington shared in Philadelphia's 'fun' for # of 90 degree days, with a number of other locations seeing either nine or ten 90 degree days in the stretch.

Gotta admit I was surprised to see Philadelphia crack 90 degrees today -- only one model suggested a run towards 90 and that model had been running pretty toasty compared to reality the past few days.  That said, today's 90 degree high yields our 12th consecutive day of 90 or above...tied for the 4th longest stretch of days of 90 or more since 1874.   The last time we reached this stretch of consecutive days was July-August 1999, another 12 day stretch of 90 or more.

The "cool" spot, not surprisingly, was Mount Pocono (just 90 degrees on 6/29). In terms of heat waves, none of these were the longest on record but it was tied for the 7th longest in Philly's history in length.

Just on record highs, around 60 high temperature records were set in the heat wave through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware among major climate and minor cooperative sites.  A number of locations locally tied or broke heat records that were last reached just a couple of years ago when we cracked the century mark on a couple of days.  Some of the records from this heat wave are listed location that's not noted is Georgetown, DE (down in Sussex County in the southern portions of DE).  Georgetown also matched Philadelphia and Wilmington in hitting 90 on eleven consecutive days -- but also cracked 100 degrees on three occasions during the heat wave (all record highs -- June 29th, July 5th, and July 7th).

The only record that Philadelphia tied during this heat wave was a record warm low on July 5th -- the 81 degree mark that day was last reached in 1999 (another day where Philly reached 100).  Saturday's 101 is one of just eight instances where a high of 100 or greater did not tie or break a record in Philadelphia.  Despite the dearth of records, this heat wave's longevity and its general intensity in many locations was certainly something we haven't seen since the 1990's locally.