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graph 90 degree days Albany 1874-2018

Yep, this summer was unusually hot

melted ice cream in a cup

This summer also had a high melted-ice cream index.

Summer ends this weekend.* And it's been hot -- unusually so, by a few measures.

One of those is 90+ degree days. The Albany area has logged 20 90+ degree days this year (so far) between May and September.** And while that's not close to the record, it is a high enough number to be tied for 10th all time.

Those numbers are from the National Weather Service Albany and the records go back to 1874.

Because we can't help ourselves, here's a graph and a few more bits...


A graph of 90-degree days by year is at the top in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.

A few things

+ The year on record with the most 90+ degree days in Albany is 1955 at 32 days. It racked up that total thanks in large part to the July of that year in which there were 19 90+ days. And it had an 8-day string of 90+ days from July into August, one of the longest heat waves on record here.

+ No other year logged more than 27 90+ days.

+ Of course, 90-degree days is sort of an arbitrary measure. (We recently had an 89-degree day, which didn't count, but, you know... still hot!) A better measure is average temperature or average high temperature. In that case this June-July-August was 3.5 degrees warmer than the normal average and its average max was 3.1 degrees warmer than the normal.

In fact, June-July-August 2018's average temperature was 73.2 degrees, which now ranks as the 10th warmest on record for Albany, according to NWS Albany. (That's going to back 1820.)

+ In that graph at the top we included a running 10-year average for the number of 90+ days each year. That probably has little or no meteorological significance, but we thought it might help describe a sort of collective memory of summers. Something along the lines of when people say it's felt like summer has been hot/cold/good/bad in recent years.

* That's astronomical summer, which runs from the summer solstice to autumnal equinox. Meteorological summer runs June through August.

** OK, so not technically all in summer.


Summer was hot.....going to go out on a limb and predict the winter will be cold.....this will be followed again by...you got it.....a summer that’s hot next year.....kinda been going on for oh I don’t know 5-6 BILLION years

It has indeed been going on for a very long time, and since we have data, it is interesting to note when things are statistically outside the norm. Even more interesting that climate, the general weather over a long period of time, is actually changing over the course of, oh, I don't know, about fifty years.

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