Savannah Hot Summer Records

Updated Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hot Summer Records 
The high temperature in Savannah on Wednesday, September 28 reached 91 degrees.  This was the 120th day of temperatures of 90 degrees or higher for the year for Savannah now surpassing the all time record of 114 days set in 1986.  Continuous records go back to 1874.  This is an outstanding record to say the least.  Normal high temperatures of 90 or above occur from June 15 through August 27, or 74 days, but the normal value averaged since 1874 is 61 days. 

More Hot Summers to Come?
The 1986 record of 114 days was a milestone in itself.  Prior to that time, never had there been more than 100 days of such hot days.  In 1990, there were 100 days of 90 or above and in 2010, there were 102 days.  Even though there has only been four years with more than 100 days of 90 or above since 1874, I wouldn't be surprised to see much more of these types of summers in the near future.  The main reason is the shift in a warming climate.  Also, with the sun going through a slight increase in solar output for the next 4 more years in its 11 year solar cycle, expect the next few summers to remain very hot.

Other hot records for this summer have been:

1)      Most days of 90 or above for the meteorological summer period (June 1 –August 31) with 87 days smashing the record of 75 days set in the years of 2010/1993/1986 with a close second of 74 days set in the years of 2009/1990/1987.  The only other hot summers were in 1954 with 73 days and 1943 with 72 days.

2)      Hottest summer ever:  Based on "Cooling Degree Days" this year there were 1,773 cooling degree days ... the record was 1,759 (last year) ... normal is 1,487.  Based on temperature, 2011 averaged 84.0 for the mean temperature (the average from the maximum and minimum) breaking the old record of 83.9 set in 2010. The average maximum for 2011 was 94.6.  Normal is 90.9.

3)    More Days of 95 or above:  This year, there were 43 days of 95 or above between June 1 and August 31.  This is the 4th most days for a season.  The most was 51 days in 1986 followed by 47 days in 1993 and 44 days in 1954.  Behind 2011's 43 days were 41 days in 1981 and 37 days in 2010.

Patrick Prokop
Broadcast Meteorologist at WTOC since 1980