Year-long high temps continue to set records

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If this summer you've been stockpiling fans, or the people at your local ice cream shop know your name or if you find yourself wearing a bathing suit more than a business suit, then maybe you figured this news was coming.

The month of July -- with an average temperature of 77.6 degrees, or 3.3 degrees above the 20th century average -- was the hottest month on record for the contiguous United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Record keeping began in 1895.

Bad news for the home electric bill was good news for Boyce Park Wave Pool

In early July especially, when temperatures reached into the 90s, attendance "numbers were through the roof," at the wave pool, said assistant manager Bryan Miller.

"The hot weather is definitely good for the wave pool," Mr. Miller said.

In Pittsburgh, July wasn't the hottest month on record, but temperatures were above average, said Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The average temperature in July was 76.7 degrees, 4.1 degrees above Pittsburgh's average normal and just below the national average for July this year.

That's been enough to cause long lines at Sandcastle waterpark in West Homestead, which is having a great season but has not broken any attendance records, a spokeswoman said.

Officials at NOAA also announced today that the first seven months of the year --with an average national temperature of 56.4 degrees, or 4.3 degrees above the long-term average -- were also the warmest of any year on record.

For Pittsburgh, Mr. Hendricks said, monthly average temperatures were above normal each month except for April, when the monthly average was half a degree below average.

But that below-average figure was offset by temperatures for the other six months, including in January, when the average daily temperature was 4.4 degrees above normal, and in March, when the average daily temperature was 11.9 degrees above normal, a statistic Mr. Hendricks called "outrageous."

"It's been an extremely warm seven months," Mr. Hendricks said.

For Steve Boehmer, co-owner of Boehmer Heating & Cooling in Beechview, the warmer than average year has been good news and bad news.

In the winter, his company's heating season was cut short by higher temperatures. But since it started getting warm in April and May, their cooling division been making ground.

"We had a longer season for air conditioning," he said. "It's been helpful for us."

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Kaitlynn Riely: kriely@post-gazette.com. This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/


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