August '11 is hottest August on record

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by Catherine Holland

Weather forecast by Meteorologist Royal Norman

Posted on September 1, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 1 at 6:09 PM

PHOENIX – It’s official. With an average high of 109 degrees even, August 2011 was the hottest August on record since 1985, but that’s not all. It also tied the record for the hottest month ever. That record originally was set in July 2009.

The average normal high for August is 104.4, so we're well above that.

The previous record for the hottest August was set in 2007. We beat that record by a whole two degrees. 3TV’s Chief Meteorologist Royal Norman says that is considered quite a bit when it comes to weather statistics.

The excessive heat warning that has been in effect for nearly two weeks now is set to expire Friday evening. It was originally supposed to expire a week ago, but the National Weather Service has extended that warning several times. Looking at the forecast, they might consider doing it yet again. 3TV Meteorologist April Warnecke said she would not be surprised if the NWS extended the warning through the weekend or even into next week.

We’re already into record territory for the most consecutive days under an excessive heat warning, 11 so far, so it’s no surprise that we're nudging up to the record for number of days when the mercury climbs to 110 degrees or higher.

Wednesday was the 31st day of 110-plus degree temperatures. Thirteen of those days were in August, which breaks the old record of 11 set in August 1995 and tied in August 2009.

With a forecast high of 112 degrees under partly sunny skies, Thursday will likely be the day we tie the 2007 record of 32 total days of 110 degrees or hotter. We’re looking at 111 degrees Friday, which will break that record, and current forecast models say there are more to come.

In terms of day-to-day numbers, we set or tied several daily records, both for daily highs and very warm lows. It really wasn't pretty.

The extremely warm nights contributed to the record-setting status of August 2011. The coolest low temperature in Phoenix during the entire month was 81, making it the first month on record to not have a low of at least 80 degrees or lower.

Earlier in the week, it looked like we might see a little bit of relief from the ongoing scorching heat that’s been baking the Valley of the Sun, but that’s changing.

There is a 20 percent chance of afternoon and evening storms in the Phoenix metro area Thursday. Some rain could do quite a bit to bring down those temperatures. There’s also a chance that we could see some blowing dust.

The overnight low will be warm, in the 89-degree range.

The holiday weekend will likely be dry, but it will be several degrees hotter than originally anticipated. Plan on highs of 110 degrees Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday. There won’t be too terribly much relief at night with overnight lows of about 88 degrees.

There is a slight chance of storms Monday into Tuesday.

For those of you attending Thursday night's Sun Devils football game, be sure to drink plenty of water and watch your alcohol consumption because it's going to be quite hot during peak tailgating time. By the time the game kicks off at 7 p.m., it will still be about 105 degrees. While the temperatures will drop throughout the night, it will still be between 95 and 100 degrees for the second half of the game.

This broiling heat has air conditioners throughout the Valley working overtime, but perhaps none more so that those at Chase Field. You won't believe how much the Diamondbacks spend per game to keep the fans cool.

August Daily Records -- National Weather Service

Average daily high -- 109
Previous record was 107.3 in 1962

Average daily temperature -- 98.3
Previous record was 96.2 in 2007, Ties all-time record set in July 2009

Average daily low, warmest -- 87.5
Previous record was 86.1 in 2007

Daily highs
Aug. 2 -- 113 (tie with 1918)
Aug. 18 -- 112 (previous was 111 in 1948, 1973, 2007 )
Aug. 22 -- 113 (previous was 111 in 1999)
Aug. 23 -- 114 (previous was 112 in 1985)
Aug. 25 -- 113 (previous was 112 in 2001)
Aug. 26 -- 117 (previous was 114 in 2001)
Aug. 30 -- 113 (previous was 112 in 1984)

Daily lows, warmest
Aug. 15 -- 90 (tie with 1992)
Aug. 24 -- 90 (tie with 2010, 2007, 1999)
Aug. 25 -- 92 (previous was 89 in 1981, 1985)
Aug. 26 -- 93 (previous was 87 in 2010)
Aug. 27 -- 90 (previous was 87 in 1998)
Aug. 28 -- 89 (previous was 88 in 2005)
Aug. 31 -- 91 (previous was 91 in 2007)

All-time hottest day in August
Aug. 26 -- 117
Previous was 116 on Aug. 10, 2003, Aug. 4, 1975, and Aug. 1, 1972

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