August temperatures near record

Friday, August 24, 2007 | 5:25 p.m. CDT; updated 2:52 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — Come September, Columbia residents will be able to tell the tale of August 2007, one of the hottest months ever.

Through Thursday, the average daily temperature in Columbia was 84.7 degrees, which would place August 2007 in third place on the list of the 10 hottest Augusts on record.

Top 10 Warmest Augusts

The normal average daily temperature for August in Columbia is 75.7 degrees. The average daily temperatures for the top 10 hottest Augusts on record in Columbia, calculated from each day’s high and low temperatures, are below. 1. 1936 - 85.1 degrees 2. 1947 - 85.0 3. 1913 - 83.0 4. 1983 - 82.1 5. 1980 - 81.7 6. 1918 - 81.7 7. 1938 - 81.3 8. 1937 - 81.2 9. 1900 - 81.2 10. 1995 - 80.7

At 84.7 degrees, August 2007 barely trails August 1947, which had an average daily temperature of 85 degrees. The record holder is the legendary scorching heat of the Dust Bowl summer of 1936, which averaged 85.1 degrees daily.

Columbia residents can thank 20 straight days at 90 degrees or hotter, a streak that began on July 31, for this month’s abnormally high average daily temperature.

But it’s not a sure thing, said Jon Carney, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, on Thursday evening.

“One thunderstorm could ruin it all,” Carney said.

Friday’s below normal high temperatures and ample rains were not enough to wash away the surplus in the average daily temperature created by the sweltering heat of the first 19 days of August.

“In the forecast for the next week, besides today, the temperature in Columbia should remain at or near normal, and as long as we stay near normal, we’ll probably stay in the top 10,” said Ben Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, on Friday afternoon.

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