Baker City’s sizzling summer is making a mess of the weather records book.
The high temperature at the Baker City Airport has broken the daily record on five of the past 10 days.
On four of those days the temperature topped 100 — more than any year since 1961.
(There were four triple-digit days in 2001, but on two of those days the high was “only” 100.)
This summer was warmer than average even before the current heat wave.
July’s average high temperature of 89.6 degrees ranked as the 10th-hottest (records at the airport date to 1943), and was 4.4 degrees above the long-term average.
August has been toastier than typical, as well, but it wasn’t until the month’s final week that records started falling.
When the temperature climbed to 101 degrees on Aug. 27 it not only broke the old record for the day — 96 degrees in 1999 — it was the first triple-digit day at the airport in more than a decade.
The last such day was July 5, 2007, when the high was 103. That was the longest stretch without a 100-degree day since records have been kept at the airport, starting in 1943.
Statistically, it’s more likely that a year will pass without a 100-degree day at the airport. In the past 75 years, there have been 48 years without a triple-digit day.
The longest run of years with at least one 100-degree day was six — from 1998 through 2003.
The culprit behind the broiling temperatures is a common weather feature that has been uncommonly persistent this summer, said Jay Breidenbach, meterologist at the National Weather Service office in Boise.
See more in the Sept. 6, 2017, issue of the Baker City Herald.