Weather Blog

How this West Coast heat wave made history

How this West Coast heat wave made history
Cheng Jia, of China, poses by a digital thermometer at the Furnace Creek Vistitor Center in Death Vally National Park Friday, June 28, 2013 in Furnace Creek, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

With plenty of records falling -- some of them that have stood for quite some time -- I thought I'd recap just how this current mega West Coast heat wave will be remembered in the meteorological history books.

First, the big kahunas:

* Death Valley, Calif. hit 129 degrees on Sunday, which not only set a record high for the day, it tied a record for the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States in June, matching the 129 set on June 23, 1982 at Volcano, Calif.

(The 129 also matches the hottest temperature Death Valley has recorded in recent history. The only times it has reached 130 or warmer were the three days of the heat wave where it reached the world record of 134 in July of 1913.)


Photo: National Weather Service

* Death Valley also recorded their hottest June ever with an average temperature of 101.3, breaking their old record by nearly a full degree of 100.4 set in 1960.

* Las Vegas tied their all-time record high of 117 on Sunday. Then Monday morning, they tied their all-time record low of 95.

As you might imagine, here is what happens to the Vegas Strip when it's 115+ outside -- not exactly casino-hopping weather:



Closer to home:

* Eugene's 96 degree high Sunday tied the daily record, set in 1951.

* While Portland's 97 and 91 on Sunday/Monday didn't break any high temperature records, the relatively muggy air left Monday morning's low temperature at 66 degrees, breaking the record for warmest low, previously set at 64 in 1942.

* Speaking of humidity, while it was a bit muggy here, it was nothing like Eastern Washington on Monday. At one point, Pullman reported a temperature of 87 degrees -- with a 76 degree dew point!

That translated to a humidity of 70% -- unheard of around here for that warm a temperature and likely would have obliterated an all-time record high dew point had such records been kept. Bet WSU mascot Butch wasn't too happy about it, but at least he found solace at the WSU creamery.!


Photo Courtesy: WSU