WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

All Kinds of Records

Posted September 3, 2007 1:27 p.m. EDT

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:

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/rah/news/content/20070901.RDUPNSRAH.html

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/RAH/CLMRDU

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...