Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Late season heat wave sets more records

If you thought the record-breaking was a thing of the past, Mother Nature has something else in store! As discussed late last week, another heat wave has enveloped the Mid-South. The fortunate difference between this one and most of this summer is the much lower humidity values this time around. It's a "dry heat!" The lower humidity means a couple of things: 1) heat indices are not really a factor - 100 feels like 100 and not 115, and 2) the temperature drops more quickly in the evenings than in August and early morning temps have actually been fairly pleasant, falling into the 60s regularly and even some 50s over the past weekend.

Memphis International Airport has now broken 3 consecutive high temperature records and looks to be on track for 3-4 more as highs remain in the upper 90s through Thursday and mid 90s on Friday. In fact, yesterday's (Monday's) record of 100 degrees is also the latest Memphis has ever reached 100 degrees, in RECORDED HISTORY (1850) by 4 days! The previous record was 102 set on September 16, 1980. Yesterday's latest 100-degree reading may only stand for one day though, as it's possible we could see 100 again today. (See all records for September)

Fortunately, there is relief in sight as a heat-busting cold front moves through on Friday night/Saturday. While the front won't produce enough rain to help much with drought conditions across the metro area, we will return to "near normal" temperatures starting Saturday with highs back in the 80s. I don't suspect we'll see many mid 90s temperatures again in 2010 after Friday, leaving a summer for the record books in the rear-view mirror. Good riddance!

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