Sunday was one of those classic summer days in the Desert Southwest. The high temperature in Phoenix was 110 degrees -- four degrees above a normal day on June 28, so Sunday was a bit hot even by Arizona standards.
Still, some in Eastern Washington could have headed there to cool off as the region baked in a historical heat wave.
An incredibly hot air mass destroyed high temperature records across Eastern Washington, not only reaching unheard of levels in June, but approaching some all-time heat records as we sit still four weeks short of the statistical peak of summer heat.
The heat champion was Walla Walla, which roasted at 113 degrees Sunday -- breaking their daily record by, oh, 11 degrees, which is the meteorological equivalent of Marshawn Lynch running for 403 yards in a game (or something like that). But that's not all, they broke their all-time June temperature by four degrees -- oh wait, that record was set 24 hours earlier at 109. Before this weekend, the June record was 107 set in 1992. So in principal, this heat wave broke an all time monthly high temperature record by six degrees.
More? 113 tied for their third hottest day -- on record! Beating years of July and August heat waves. The city has hit 114 twice before - once in July, once in August, and 113 in July.
I could repeat similar statistics for several other cities in Eastern Washington. Just look at these high temperatures!
- Walla Walla: 113
- Moses Lake: 112
- Pasco: 111
- Ephrata: 110
- Wenatchee: 109
- Yakima: 108
- Spokane: 105
- Pullman: 105
Yakima's all time record high: 110. June record was 105, but they hit 108 on Saturday too. Spokane's 105 was the hottest it's been there since 1939, and an all-time June record high (102 Saturday, 101 in 1992). Overall, it's tied for their 5th warmest day on record. Wenatchee's 109 was tied for their second-warmest on record (110 in July 1941). Obviously it's a June record too. For Pullman, what I could find was only a 110 that was warmer that was near, but not at the airport where temps are taken now.
The all-time hottest temperature ever recorded in Washington is 118 in Aug. 1961 at Ice Harbor Dam, so within shouting distance!
The good news is relief -- or at least temperatures "only" in the 90s -- is on the way for the start of the work week but temperatures approaching triple-digits are possible again over the Fourth of July weekend.