The Crestone Eagle, August 2003:

Hot July! Crestone blasted with record heat

by Keno

It was a hot July in Crestone this year. How hot? Record setting hot! As July arrived, it seemed like we plunged head first back into the drought, with plenty of heat and no real cooling breezes to speak of.

Last summer in Crestone was the driest on record, and it too was on the warm side. But it’s been hotter this year! So what is considered a normal summer around here anyway?

Well, it’s not unusual for us to experience a few days with temperatures in the low 90s, but rarely any warmer than that. Some years Crestone will go an entire summer with high temperatures only peaking out in the upper 80s. But so far this summer, according to Hal Reinhart, our official weather record keeper, the highest temperature has climbed to 95°, not once, but on four days, July 12, 13, 14 and 18! For all of the years that Hal as been keeping count—more than 22 now—we’ve never had any higher readings here. Those 95° temperatures beat the all-time record set in the Bacca just last year, which was 94°! Of course, it might be a degree or two warmer at your house, as readings vary a bit. A reading of 96.6°, taken from my online home weather station on July 15, will go down as our unofficial all time high.

Want some more hot facts? For the first 19 days of July the high temperature went over 90° on all but 3 days, with an average high of 93°. On those three days that we didn’t hit the ninety degree mark, the high was 88° each day.

It’s not only hot here, but all over the region. Alamosa shattered their record for consecutive days over 90° in mid July, and on the other side of the mountains Pueblo set their new all time record high of 109° on July 13. Just in case your wondering, Colorado’s all time high temperature was recorded in Bennett, way back on July 1, 1888, with a reading of 118°!

When the temperature goes over 90°, and the humidity is low, it feels two or three degrees cooler than it is, something unheard of in the South or back East, where it can feel 10° to 20° warmer (this is known as the THI or temperature humidity index). Still, 90° plus is hot enough, even if it is dry. Weatherwise, let’s just hope things do get back to normal soon, but remember one thing: it’s normal to have abnormal weather!

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