Record Heat Summary for July 11

The National Weather Service
Building a Weather-Ready Nation


A very hot ridge moved over the region today, some of our forecast models were even placing record high airmass temperatures (commonly referred to as 700MB temperatures) over central Wyoming. This would normally translate to record high surface temperatures for most sites. A couple of sites did break records: at Riverton Regional Airport where the high of 96° broke the previous record of 94° set back in 2002; and a new record was set at the Buffalo Airport where the high of 101° eclipsed the previous record of 96° set in 2006. A few sites reached the century mark in Casper, Johnson County, and in the Bighorn Basin.

700MB Temperatures at Riverton - Click to enlarge 700MB T Forecasts - Click to enlarge
Click Image To Enlarge

The above graph shows the Climatologically "normal" 700MB temperatures at Riverton (red line). It also shows the record high (light green) a low (black)  values recorded by the balloon launch at Riverton/Lander through the years. The observed value is noted by the red box with an "X" on it.

Once the expected value nears 2 standard deviations above the mean, represented by the dark green dashed line, then we can expect some record high surface temperature records to be broken.

Click Image To Enlarge

The above image shows Wednesday's model forecasts for 700MB temperatures for Thursday afternoon. The four panel displays the GFS model solution in the top left panel, the ECMWF solution in the top right, and the NAM solution is displayed on the bottom left. The curser was overlaid over Casper (with similar values over KRIW) where the NAM and ECMWF were displaying 20°C temperatures (record high 700MB temp) while the GFS displayed a 700MB temperature of 17.7°C. It turns out the solution was somewhere in the middle as the observed value from our afternoon balloon launch was 18.6°C as displayed (left image).

Below is a list of the forecasted highs / Observed Highs for Thursday and the current records for the 9 climate sites in our forecast area. Note: values in italics are from cooperative observing sites. This is due to the relatively short period of records for some sites. New records are highlighted in yellow.

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Location Forecast High Temp °F    / Actual High Temp
  Record Temperature °F / Year   Average Temperature °F
Big Piney - Miley Memorial Field 88  /  88
  92 / 2002
Buffalo - Johnson County Airport 98  /  101

96 / 2006

(102 / 1976, 1900)

Casper - Natrona County International Airport 100  /  98
  103 / 1954   88
Greybull - South Big Horn County Airport 101  /  100
  102 / 2002 (102 / 2005)
Lake Yellowstone 76  /  75

81 / 2002, 2003

(82 / 2002)

Lander - Hunt Field 97  /  95
  101 / 1954   87
Riverton Regional Airport 98  /  96
  94 / 2002 (101 / 1976)
Rock Springs - Sweetwater County Municipal Airport 93  /  92
  95 / 1954   84
Worland Municipal Airport 100  /  101
  104 / 1973

For a complete round up of temperatures from around the area today, click here.

A cold front will move through tonight and usher in a more temperate airmass for Friday. The cooler temperatures aloft will also encourage more thunderstorm formation. 

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