Whew! Boise summer breaks record for heat

For 70 days this year, Boise's high temperature reached 90 degrees or higher.

jsowell@idahostatesman.comSeptember 2, 2013 

hot weather, ann morrison park, fountain

Cameron Young, 14, of Boise, and cousin Melissa Grover, 9, of Caldwell, cool off in the cascading fountain at Ann Morrison Park in Boise Monday July 1, 2013. Temperatures climbed to 110 degrees Monday.

DARIN OSWALD — doswald@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Years ago, longtime TV weatherman Marty Holtman climbed onto the downtown Boise roof of KBOI and cracked a couple of eggs onto the metal housing of a heating and cooling unit, well, because he thought it was hot enough to fry an egg.

Even though the temperature was a miserable 105 degrees, the stunt failed. The eggs didn't cook at all.

Maybe Holtman should have tried again this summer.

Since Jan. 1, Boise's high temperature has reached 90 degrees or higher 70 times. That's 26 days more than the 44 days that is normal for Boise, according to National Weather Service statistics compiled since 1898.

"That's a lot of warm days," said Valerie Mills, an NWS meteorologist in Boise.

In fact, this summer — June 1 to Aug. 31 — was the hottest on record for Boise, since record-keeping began in 1875, according to the weather service.

The average temperature during that 92-day period was 76.5, just a bit hotter than 2007, when the average temperature was 76.4. The norm for that three-month period is 71, and the coldest summer was 65.2 in 1993.

Most of this year's blazing hot days came in July and August. Only one day in July — July 13, when the temperature rose to a relatively balmy 87 degrees — dipped below 90 degrees. Only four days in August brought high temperatures below 90.

"There just hasn't been much relief," Caldwell resident Robin Howard said. "I'm not looking forward to Indian summer."

Boise resident Jinny Strain-Smith said she wasn't surprised there were so many days with temperatures above 90.

"My lawn is proof," she said.

The high temperature broke 100 degrees 10 times in July, three days in June and once in August. Typically, Boise's high temperature reaches 100 or higher just four times a year, Mills said.

Lois Russell, whose family has farmed in Emmett for decades, said the added heat has made it tough on farmers to keep crops on track.

"It doesn't help that water is scarce, either," she said.

At the same time, overnight lows were far above average. Typically, there are 33 days a year when Boise records a low temperature of 60 degrees or higher.

So far this year, there have been 63 days where the temperature remained above 60 overnight. That includes 26 nights in July and 27 in August.

"When overnight lows are high, it can cause heat stress for people who don't have air conditioning," Mills said.

There were eight nights in July and one in June where the low temperature was 70 degrees or higher. Those readings included 76 degrees on July 1 and 78 degrees on July 2 and 3.

Going back once again to 1898, Boise averages zero nights a year where the low temperature exceeds 69 degrees, Mills said.

"Never," she said.

John Sowell: 377-6423, Twitter: @IDS_Sowell

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