Friday, July 12, 2013

Gonna Make You Sweat (Even At Night)

So far, today marks our 19th consecutive day of having temperatures at or above 70 degrees.  The persistent warmth and humidity is driving some folks batty, some of you crazy, and is having everyone else sweating to the moldies and oldies with the persistence of muggy days and nights.  Relief, days of lower humidity, have been fleeting. I can think of one or maybe two days in the last 19 where humidity hasn't been sweat inducing at the thought.

So, is this the longest streak of time where we have been at or above 70? 

Not quite. But if we make it through tonight without dropping below 70 degrees at the Airport, we're likely going to make a legitimate run at the record.

We have been at or above 70 degrees for 19 consecutive days (assuming today ends up being day 19), tied for fifth longest streak of 70 degree weather where we haven't dropped below 70 for any stretch of time.  

The longest streaks, 26 days, occurred in 1876 (when we kept track of temperatures in Center City) and in 1995 (Airport).  The 1876 streak coincided with the heart of the Centennial Exposition, which was set up in Fairmount Park.  As a side tangent, the Please Touch Museum occupies one of the buildings built for the expo and served as the art gallery during the well as the home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art before moving to the northwest head of Ben Franklin Parkway in the late 20's.  The 1995 heat wave didn't coincide with anything noteworthy except for one of the most oppressive days of heat (if not most oppressive) on record in Philadelphia.

To get such a streak you need two things -- heat and humidity.  While we've only had seven 90 degree days in the 19 day stretch (so far), we've definitely had the humidity thing down pat. In past perspective, even the 1876 streak brought us 16 90 degree days out of the 26.  

If we make it through today and tonight without dropping below 70, we'll likely see the streak extend at least another week. Adding a run of 90 degree weather to the mix, and this could very well end up being the longest stretch of persistent 70 degree weather we've seen in Philly since we've kept track of this stuff.