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Daryl Ritchison, Published July 23 2012

Weather Talk: 3,000 record highs broken during recent heat wave

The heat in many parts of the country this summer has been impressive for sure. During one of the recent heat waves there were approximately 3,000 record highs broken. That is certainly a large number, but it’s just a small percentage of the nearly 400,000 records in the database for cities in the United States.

Also, many of those records were from locations where the database goes back only to post-World War II, meaning the extreme heat waves from the 1930s and others from the 1910s and 1920s were not included.

In Fargo-Moorhead, for example, only one record (and the tie from last Friday), has been set in July since the drought and hot summers of the 1980s.

In addition, almost all the records for this month were set in the 1930s or earlier. Take away the data before 1950 and many local records may have been broken recently as well, yet that should not be taken to mean it was the “hottest ever.”

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com, or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at stormtrack.areavoices.com