Late August heat wave history

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Mother Nature is proving summer is definitely not over across Michiana. We had another day of 90s in the books in south bend, bringing our monthly total up to four, which is above average for August.

The last time we had a heat wave (3 or more days of 90 degree heat in a row) during the last week of August was back in 2010. However, the last time we had four or more days of 90 degree heat to end August, we have to go back almost 30 years, to 1991.

On average, our last day of the 90s in South Bend is August 31st, so this heat isn’t exactly out of the ordinary. However, it is rare to get an extended stretch of the 90s this late in August, as we head toward the end of meteorological summer.

Over the last ten years, we’ve had 90-degree heat at some point in September every single year. Last year, we actually had the 90s on the first day of October, making it the second latest 90-degree day ever recorded in south bend.

With Monday’s 90 degree heat in South Bend, we’re up to 19 days of 90-degree heat during 2020 so far. That’s well above normal for a typical year, and in fact, with more 90s on the way, we’re very likely to eclipse 20 days of 90-degree heat in South Bend. The last time we did that was 2012, and anytime you compare a heat record with 2012, you know you’re in the midst of a hot year.

The other thing the 90s are going to do, besides drive people inside to the air conditioning, is accelerate the drought. Up until this point of the dry stretch, temperatures haven’t been that warm across Michiana.  

However, with temperatures finishing each day 10 to 15 degrees above normal, that heat is going to quicken any evaporation that’s taking place.

Bottom line: keep watering through Thursday, and let’s hope some tropical moisture from Laura gets Michiana the widespread meaningful rain we desperately need.

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