Breckenridge Texan

It’s hot, but how does 2022 compare to past years?

It’s hot, but how does 2022 compare to past years?
July 10
20:51 2022

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

In today’s divisive world, there’s one thing just about everybody around here can agree on: It’s hot.

According to the National Weather Service, today’s temperature in Breckenridge hit 104 degrees just before 5 p.m. That makes today, Sunday, July 10, the 33rd day in 2022 with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher. The NWS is forecasting continued 100+ degree days for the next seven days. Other weather services are predicting triple-digit temperatures for at least two weeks, some are showing the heat wave to extend possibly three more weeks.

At the suggestion of a reader, the Breckenridge Texan took a look at some of the weather data for Breckenridge to see how this year compares to previous years. So far in July, we’ve had eight 100-degree or higher days. There were 15 in June and 10 in May.

Juan Tienda of Midland sets out to catch some catfish on Hubbard Creek Lake Sunday evening. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Comparatively, in 2021, there were only five days, total, with temperatures of 100 degrees or higher. But, last year, we had to deal with the opposite problem — too many cold days. February 2021 had 10 consecutive days where the high temperature was below 30 degrees; the low that month was -8 degrees (that’s 8 degrees below zero).

The first 100-degree day in 2022 was on May 7, when the temperature reached exactly 100, about a month and a half before summer officially started. The highest temperature so far this year has been 107 degrees on July 8. That’s officially; some local thermometers may record different temperatures. The official records come from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Online Weather Data, which has information dating back to mid-1923, although the data is incomplete for some years along the way.

According to the NOAA charts, the hottest temperature on record for Breckenridge was 114 degrees on August 12, 1936. The second-hottest day was also in 1936, when it reached 112 degrees on July 20. That year, there were 54 days with temperatures of 100 degrees or higher. That August, there were 28 consecutive days of triple-digit heat.

The NOAA chart doesn’t seem to offer an easy way of determining how many 100-degree or higher days there are in a year. So, that information would take a lot more work to obtain — manually counting the 100-degree days in each month for each year. Plus, the data isn’t complete for every year, so we’re not sure which year has had the most 100-degree days.

A random check of some years, based on high average temperatures shows that 1956 had 73 days with temperatures at 100 degrees or higher — 11 in June, 29 in July, 25 in August and 8 in September. There were 63 in 1977 — 7 in June, 21 in July, 20 in August, 14 in September and 1 in October.

The earliest date of the year that Breckenridge broke 100 degrees was in 2011, according to the records. That year, it was 101 degrees on April 19. That was a particularly brutal summer with 42 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures, from June 24 through Aug. 14. Every day in July 2011, the high temperature was 100 degrees or more. The high that summer was 111 on June 19, and in total, there were 52 100+ degree days that year.

Breckenridge’s latest 100-degree day in in a year, according to the records, was in 2020, when it was 101 degrees on Oct. 12. October also had 100+ degree days in 1937, 1938, 1951, 1977 and 2000.

And, it’s not just hot this year, it’s been quite a bit hotter than average. In June 2022, the high temperature average was 97.3 degrees. The “normal average” is 91.7, according to NOAA. So far, every month except February this year has been hotter than normal.

Click here for some tips from NOAA about how to stay safe and healthy during a heat wave.

Along with the heat, we’ve also had lower-than-normal precipitation. Based on the records, Breckenridge is more than 5.5 inches below normal for precipitation this year.

Many stock tanks in the area are very low or completely dry. According to information on the West Central Texas Municipal Water District’s Facebook page, Hubbard Creek Reservoir (aka Hubbard Creek Lake) is 78 percent full. The last time they show it at 100 percent capacity was in July of last year.

To check out the NOAA’s climate data, click here. In the form in the middle of the page, scroll down to “Breckenridge coop, TX” under “Location.” From the other options, pick the type of information you want and the dates that you’d like it for. Then, click the “Go” button. The current forecast can be found by clicking here.

Darala and James Halliburton of Breckenridge enjoy an evening on Hubbard Creek Lake on Sunday, July 10. Sunday’s temperature in Breckenridge reached 104 degrees just before 5 p.m. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Jamie Briley of Breckenridge was out fishing on Hubbard Creek Lake Sunday, July 10, as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees for the 33rd day this year. The a lake is currently about 78% full. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 


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