For La Crosse, it is the 4th day and for Eau Claire it is the 3rd day in a row, we’ve been sweltering under 90 degree heat. The combination of heat and humidity has made for dangerous heat index values that have been up and over the century mark in some places. The “feels like” temperature in La Crosse has soared to as high as 103° this past Tuesday. It’s not just us in Western Wisconsin either…much of the Midwest and country is baking under the hot weather. Below is a look at heat indices across the Midwest. It’s easy to see why heat advisories blanket much of the Midwest from South Dakota all the way through Michigan and Ohio.
On average Eau Claire hits the 90 degree mark about 14 days each year. So far this year we’ve hit 90 degrees 6 times in Eau Claire. We’ll likely add number 7 tomorrow. This seems relatively average at this point in the year when it comes to 90 degree days. Now when you compare it to last year, this year needs to do some serious catching up.
At this point in the year last year, we had hit 90 degrees or higher a shocking 19 times. Of those days, 11 were in July. We had one hot summer last year. It was the hottest July on record in Eau Claire.
In all 30 days of 2012 were spent at or above 90 degrees. Looking back into the record books that go back to 1873, 2012 falls in a tie for 10th place for most 90 degree days in a year. The peak year was 45 days back in 1988. That’s a lot of days! The number two spot really doesn’t come close. It’s very interesting to note that there were 5 years where we never hit 90 degrees. That hasn’t happened since 1951. Below is a chart showing the climatology of 90 degree days in the Chippewa Valley. Each dot corresponds to the number of times the mercury hit 90 degrees or higher in Eau Claire. We get a break from the heat this weekend. Stay cool!