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July’s opening week set to be one of the three hottest on record

90° temperatures to prevail well beyond July's first seven days
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 7:13 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - While the Stateline had to wait until late May for its first taste of summer warmth, June provided an entirely different meteorological landscape. With a 90° high temperature recorded at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport Tuesday, it brings to seven the total of 90°+ readings in 2020 to date. The seven 90s thus far more than doubles the three in the books by this time last year, and outpaces the five normally seen through the end of June.

Rockford registered its seventh 90° high of 2020 Tuesday.
Rockford registered its seventh 90° high of 2020 Tuesday.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

The book on June, 2020 will officially close in just a few hours, and what a month it was. With an average temperature of 73.3° for the month, it’ll go down as having been the 9th hottest June on record since 1905, and the hottest since 2015. While we were running severely below normal in the rainfall department for most of the month, we were able to close the gap somewhat by month’s end. Still, the 3.71″ of rainfall is nearly an inch shy of a typical June’s tally, and places June, 2020 as the 44th driest on record.

July's to start in the same fashion that June ended. It was the 9th hottest June since 1905.
July's to start in the same fashion that June ended. It was the 9th hottest June since 1905.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

July’s to start on an extremely similar note to how June concluded, and that’s hot and steamy! Each of the month’s first seven days will feature temperatures at or above 90°. That may seem a relatively mundane accomplishment on the surface, but after diving into our extensive database of records, it’s actually anything but a mundane achievement! Our analysis of every July since 1905 found that just twice before had a July opened with each of the first seven days in the 90s or hotter! You’ll likely recall July of 2012 as having been a brutally hot one. That month started with nine straight days above 90°, including four consecutive 100°+ days embedded within that stretch.

While it’s hard to imagine a month starting hotter than July, 2012, it has been done before. In fact, July of 1921 puts 2012 to shame. For an unfathomable 18 straight days, temperatures eclipsed the 90° mark to start July, 1921. That month as a whole produced 27 days with 90°+ heat. The “coolest” day that July was 87°.

July will start out on a hot note, likely one of the three hottest starts to the month on record!
July will start out on a hot note, likely one of the three hottest starts to the month on record!(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

This will be just the third time July begins with at least seven consecutive 90s. Current indications suggest that the streak of nine straight 90s to start July, 2012 may be in serious jeopardy, though it’s unclear we’ll rival the heat that we had seen to start July of 1921. If there’s a small silver lining to be found, it’s that humidity may ease ever so slightly later on this week.

90° temperatures will continue long beyond the scope of this 7-Day Forecast. It's likely at least the first ten days will feature highs in the 90s.
90° temperatures will continue long beyond the scope of this 7-Day Forecast. It's likely at least the first ten days will feature highs in the 90s.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)
While temperatures are likely to be in the 90s for at least the next week, if there's a silver lining to be found, it's that humidity may ease ever so slightly.
While temperatures are likely to be in the 90s for at least the next week, if there's a silver lining to be found, it's that humidity may ease ever so slightly.(Mark Henderson, WIFR)

There are strong indications, though, that the heat could become even more intense as we reach late next week or next weekend. With long-range projections suggest an atmospheric pattern taking hold that would send blazing heat our way, the prospects of a temperature flirting with 100° here or nearby aren’t a pipe dream. It’s a development worth watching in the days ahead.

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