County sweated through hot July

First Posted: 1/15/2009

LUMBERTON -- You're right, it was a hot July. Although we set no new records -- we did tie two -- overall the month probably was one of the hottest on record for what is typically the hottest month of the year.
Last month's average high temperature was 93.8 degrees, nearly 4 degrees hotter than the normal average high for the month, 89.9. The high temperature was cooler than the normal average for that day only four times: a brief respite on July 11, when the high was 79, and July 12, when it was 81, 87 on July 14 and 89 on July 24.
Although we hit the century mark only twice -- an even 100 on July 5 and July 19, both tying records -- we flirted with that threshold often. The thermometer hit 99 four days, 98 one, 97 three, 96 five and 95 three. All total, it hit 95 or higher 18 of the 31 days. The all-time high for July was 106 on July 27, 1940.
And it wasn't hot only during the day. The average nighttime temperature was 71.9, four degrees hotter than the normal of 67.9. Every night but six was hotter than normal. Three nights -- 66 on July 7, 63 on July 8 and 66 on July 12 -- were cooler and three others -- 67 on July 1, 68 on July 10 and 69 on July 21 -- matched the normal low.
The month ended on a particularly hot note. The average high for the last five days of the month was 97.8 and the average low was 76.4, including 79 on July 29 and 30. The all-time low temperature for July was 51 on July 6,1933.
However, if you think last month was hot, you should have been around in 1937, 1940, 1952, 1954 or 1977. Out of 31 days in July, 21 all-time highs were recorded in those five years: six in 1940, five in 1937, four in 1977 and three each in 1952 and 1954.
And, although it's still hot, August has started out a little better. Thursday's high was 93 and the low was 72, both hotter than the normal average. The highs are forecast to be in the low to mid 90s and the lows 74 every night through Tuesday.
And there is reason for hope: The normal average high for the month of August is 88.4, 1.5 degrees cooler than July's 89.9. The normal high for August is 90 for the first four days, 89 for the next 11, 88 for the next nine and 87 for the final six.

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