Highest temperatures and heat indices of the summer occurred Wednesday

On Wednesday, August 3, temperatures reached their highest levels of the summer. Excessive Heat Warnings were in effect for a large part of the area. The following is a summary of high temperatures and heat index values:

High temperatures for August 3:

  • Poplar Bluff, MO 104
  • Cape Girardeau, MO 103
  • Paducah, KY  99
  • Carbondale, IL  98
  • Evansville, IN  95

The temperature of 104 degrees at Poplar Bluff was the highest temperature there since a reading of 105 in August of 2000. The 103 degree high at Cape Girardeau was the highest since an identical high of 103 in August of 2007.  

When the effects of high humidity are factored in, the apparent temperature or "heat index" can be much higher. The following are heat index readings as of 4 P.M. on Wednesday, August 3:

  • Poplar Bluff, MO  126
  • Cape Girardeau, MO  116
  • Paducah, KY  117
  • Carbondale, IL  113
  • Evansville, IN  112
  • Hopkinsville, KY  116


How does the hot summer of 2011 compare with other years? Meteorological summer is June through August.

  • Summer 2011: At both Evansville and Paducah, July of 2011 was the 5th warmest July on record. (See Public Information Statement for details). June was the 12th warmest June at Paducah, but June did not rank among the 20 warmest at Evansville.
  • Summer 2010: With all the active weather since then, it is easy to forget that Paducah experienced its hottest summer on record in 2010. June of 2010 was tied for 3rd warmest June at Paducah and 9th warmest June at Evansville. July of 2010 was tied for 7th warmest July at Paducah but did not rank in the top 20 at Evansville.
  • The following table summarizes average temperatures for the June-July period of 2010 compared to the same period this year:

  June-July 2010 Rank June-July 2011 Rank
Evansville 79.7 12th 79.5 13th*
Paducah 80.6 2nd* 80.0 7th

* = tied with other years. NOTE: Records go back to 1897 at Evansville and 1937 at Paducah.

This summer may feel hotter than last summer because the humidity has been high this summer. The higher humidity makes it harder for the body to cool itself. The heat index, or apparent temperature, has often exceeded 100 degrees this summer.

  • Precipitation:  The year-to-date precipitation through July 31 is the second highest on record at both Evansville and Paducah. Through July 31, 44.36 inches was measured at Evansville and 48.72 inches of precipitation was recorded at Paducah. Only the year 1950 saw a higher precipitation amount in the January through July period (47.32 at Evansville and 49.76 at Paducah). Just last year, Paducah experienced its 4th driest year on record (only 36.67 inches for the whole year).
  • Pattern of unusually cold winters and hot summers continues: The past two winters ranked among the 25 coldest on record, while the past two summers have been unusually hot. The table below shows average temperatures for the past two winters. Meteorological winter is December through February.

  Winter of 2009-10 Rank Winter of 2010-11 Rank
Evansville 30.9* 13th 32.1 22nd*
Paducah 32.7 6th* 34.1 15th

*=tied with other years

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PADUCAH KY
1050 AM CDT MON AUG 1 2011

...HIGH AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR JULY AFFECTED MANY COMMUNITIES...

TEMPERATURES DURING THE MONTH OF JULY WERE WELL ABOVE NORMAL FOR
MANY COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE QUAD STATE AREA. THE OTHER ISSUE WAS
THE HIGH HUMIDITY LEVELS...WHICH COMBINED WITH THE AFTERNOON
TEMPERATURES...DEVELOPED HEAT INDEX READINGS 100 DEGREES OR
GREATER NEARLY EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF JULY.

IN THE PADUCAH AREA...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR JULY WAS 81.9
DEGREES...OR 3.7 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. THIS MAKES JULY OF 2011 THE
5TH WARMEST JULY ON RECORD. THE RECORD IS 84.2 DEGREES SET IN
1993. IN PADUCAH...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR THE SUMMER SEASON
IS RUNNING 80 DEGREES OR 3.4 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH JULY.

IN THE EVANSVILLE AREA...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR JULY WAS 82.5
DEGREES...OR 3.9 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. THIS MAKES JULY OF 2011 THE
5TH WARMEST JULY ON RECORD. THE RECORD IS 85.1 DEGREES SET IN
1936. IN EVANSVILLE...THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE FOR THE SUMMER SEASON
IS RUNNING 79.4 DEGREES OR 2.7 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH JULY.



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