Plummeting July 31 Temperatures In The US Over The Past Century

Prior to 1960, July 31 temperatures were much hotter in the US. On July 31, 1917 almost half of the US was over 95 degrees, but since 1960 the US has averaged about one station out of five over 95F.

On this date in 1934, McPherson Kansas was 116 degrees. McPherson was 43 degrees cooler today, with a maximum temperature of 73 degrees.

On this date 100 years ago, almost the entire eastern half of the US was over 90 degrees, and there were 100 degree temperatures coast to coast.

The Pacific Northwest is having one of their coldest years on record, and temperatures have been declining there for a century.

But they are having some hot weather for a few days, so they are the new canary in the global warming coal mine.

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8 Responses to Plummeting July 31 Temperatures In The US Over The Past Century

  1. Steve Parker says:

    When I was a teenager back in 1981, my Dad and I spent a weekend backpacking about 6000 feet up on Mt Jefferson. As luck would have it, that was the weekend of the epic 1981 heatwave. High temps in Salem, OR were 98, 104, 106, 108, 107, 99. We made it back for the end of it. My mom and siblings suffered through it without the benefit of air conditioning. We all survived. This week will be less severe than 1981.

    2, 3, or even 4 days above 100 happen every decade or so. Nothing unusual. What is not being discussed is that the high temps in Phoenix may be lower than those in Portland. Although they will be somewhat more humid, so we should talk heat indexes.

    On the upside, maybe my tomatoes will ripen this year.

  2. pseudo-intellectual says:

    St. Louis is going to be in the 80s all week- late July. Are you kidding me?

    My friends in Seattle whine about the cold, rainy weather there all year, except for a week or two of high heat. Then it’s global warming- the end of the world!

  3. Andy DC says:

    I can’t wait for Tony to get to August 6, 1918. That was a heat wave to rival the 1930’s. It only lasted 3 days, but even with timely rains, those three days reduced the US corn crop by 10%.

    • tonyheller says:

      August 6, 1918 had a large area of extremely hot weather, but 1930 actually averaged about one degree warmer.

    • Brian D says:

      Many record monthly highs for August still exist in the Midwest, and parts of the East for that event. I’ll have record maps for the US in August in a couple days. Amazing how many high min temps from the 1800’s still exist for many areas of the country, as well. Living without AC in those days must have been a bitch.

    • Andy DC says:

      DC had a ridiculous 84 dewpoint during the August 1918 heat wave. I wonder what the “heat index” would have been with a 106 temperature and an 84 dewpoint? 140? But to be honest, I am not sure if the 84 dewpoint c0rresponded with the 106 temperature.

  4. Steve case says:

    Camping In western Wisconsin, weather is great!

  5. Windsong says:

    You very well may hear that “Seattle” hit 100F, or whatever, this week. Please keep in mind the NWS uses a thermometer located adjacent to a taxiway between two runways at SeaTac International Airport. The ASOS at SEA is well south of the city, about five miles away from a residential area at the southern city limits. The location is very useful for airline pilots on a hot day, but not so much for recording a representative temperature of the city.

    (Given the diverse geography of Seattle, a single temperature should always come with a caveat. As of 1700 on 31 July, CWOP observers within the city are reporting a high temp range of 72F near Puget Sound to 84F on a hilltop south of downtown to the NWS. SEA reported a high 85F, so that is what will be broadcast on TV, etc. But, it wasn’t actually in Seattle.)

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