Tuesday, February 24, 2009

...warmest in the country

So, officially, yesterday afternoon Tucson was the warmest city in the U.S.: 91 degrees, a record high...hotter even than Phoenix! (but it's a dry heat...)

The day before, my wife and I took a family up Mount Lemmon--a resettled refugee-family from Congo.They've been here for a few months, and they'd never been in the snow. Even though the temperature was in the 50's at the summit, there was still lots of snow in the pine-forest and on the northern slopes--enough for their son to slide around in and make a few snowballs...

On the way down, this was the wintry-sky-view from one of the lookouts along the Catalina Highway: a panorama of Tucson--hard to believe it hit 91 degrees yesterday when looking at this:

Here are a few more weather statistics from this morning's paper:
Monday was:
• The warmest Feb. 23 on record, compared with a previous record of 87 degrees in 1989. The mercury hit 91 at 2:24 p.m. and was at least 90 for three minutes. The normal high for this time of year is about 70 degrees.

• A day when the low temperature was also the highest minimum temperature on record for the day: 58, compared with the previous record of 54 in 1920.

• The second-earliest 90-degree day in February on record, after a 92-degree reading on Valentine's Day 1957.

• The fourth 90-degree reading in February in Tucson since records started being kept in 1895.

• The second straight day in which Tucson had the warmest temperature in the country. On Sunday it was 83 degrees.

"It could be worse. It was 100 degrees in Hermosillo today," National Weather Service meteorologist John Glueck said.

A strong high-pressure ridge over the Tucson area has pushed temperatures up and will keep them high all week.
Today, the high is expected to be a 90. It will cool to the mid-80s on Wednesday, and stick in the low to mid-80s for the rest of the week.

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