July is one for the (weather) record books

CHAMPAIGN — Another local hot weather record fell Monday, when Champaign-Urbana sweltered through its 26th 90-degree-plus day this month.

The old record had been July 1921 when there were 25 90-degree days, according to state climatologist Jim Angel.

Earlier, the Illinois State Water Survey had stated that the record for 90-degree days was set in July 1936, and that it was 24 days. A closer inspection of weather records uncovered the 1921 record that crumbled Monday.

The National Weather Service has forecast a high of 93 Tuesday. If reached, that would mean that on 27 of 31 days this month the high temperature touched or exceeded 90 degrees.

Among those were seven days when the high was at or greater than 100 degrees.

On the four days this month when the high did not reach 90 degrees, the highest readings were 89, 84, 86 and 88 degrees. The average high this month has been 95.2 degrees, which is 10.2 degrees above normal.

The average temperature this month has been 82.5 degrees, which is 7.5 degrees above normal.

Through Sunday, there were 507 cooling degree days in Champaign-Urbana this month. Normal for July is 309.

Several other hot weather records are in sight. There have been nine 100-degree days so far this year. The record is 15 in 1936. In second place is 1934 with 11 100-degree readings.

A number of downstate communities have had many more 100-degree readings this month than Champaign-Urbana, according to the National Weather Service. They include Olney (15), Paris (11), Normal and Charleston (12 each) and Springfield (10.)

And the local record for most 90-degree days in a summer is 56. There have been 41 90-degree days so far in 2012.

There also has been 0.61 inch of rain in Champaign-Urbana this month, but Angel said that is not a record.

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