WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

All Kinds of Records

Posted September 3, 2007

That's a pretty apt description of August around the Triangle area, although it might be more precise to add the word HEAT between "of" and "records" in the title. August was an amazingly hot month in the context of previous history for the Raleigh-Durham airport. As a GOLO poster noted in response to an Ask the Meteorologist Q&A discussing the number of days that reached or exceeded 90 during the month, our final average temperature for August 2007 (84.1 degrees) exceeded the old record (80.6 in 1995) by a greater margin (3.5 degrees) than the previous record exceeded the normal temperature (77.2) for the month. It was also the warmest month ever at RDU, besting the 82.5 degrees that occurred in July 1993.

In addition to the monthly record, we set the record for most days reaching 90 or higher, with 30 out of 31 days reaching that level. In an interesting coincidence, the normal number of days reaching 90 is 11, and the only day all month that we failed to reach 90 was August 11th, when the high was 85 degrees. We also tied or broke daily high temperature records 10 times during the month, and likewise set or tied records for the warmest morring lows 10 times. Finally, it was the second driest August at RDU, with only .91 inches recorded, about 2.9 inches below normal.

For more detailed information on the August heat and on the specific records that fell or were tied, the National Weather Service has posted some informative summaries at the following addresses:



Those numbers also brought us to 66 days at or above 90 for the season, with the record for RDU being 72 days in 1953. We finally had a nice break this weekend, with highs of 87 and 88 degrees, along with comfortably low humidity as indicated by dew points in the 50s. It looks like we're headed for another stretch of heat in the next few days, though, so we could yet challenge that older record...


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  • dmccall Sep 4, 2007

    I, too, was surprised to see the 90 degree stat only buried in this blog. Is there any way y'all could put together a table showing 90-degree days per year over the last 60 years? (I'd rather see a table than a graph)

  • Broker - Back from Lurking Sep 4, 2007

    I love the numbers - thanks for all you do! I personally spent the weekend getting away from these "nice break" temperatures of the upper 80s by "chilling" on Beech Mountain in the 50s and 60s!!! Now that's a nice break!

  • Bilbo Sep 4, 2007

    Mike, Thanks for giving readers the local scoop on all the broken records associated with the excessive heat in August. I have been watching the weather reports on WRAL TV news and keeping track of the number of 90 degree days headed toward the record of 72 days in 1953.

    When I looked for the status of the number of 90 degree days on the WRAL website, I was surprised that it was not posted somewhere easy to see. This blog was the only place I found it referenced. I would love to see a link to a story that is updated each day as we approach and possibly break the record.