2020 brings Tucson its hottest summer ever

Toddler left in Texas day care van, dies from heat
Posted at 5:57 AM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 08:57:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Summer officially comes to an end at 6:30 am on Tuesday, September 22nd. Meteorologically speaking, summer has already come to an end. Meteorological summer is June 1st through August 31st. No matter how you look at it, we have endured a sizzling hot summer in 2020. I think it’s safe to say there are plenty of folks who will be glad to see this summer come to an end.

According to the Tucson National Weather Service, the summer of 2020 will go into the history books as Tucson’s hottest summer ever! To go along with that distinction, we also saw many other records fall. Below are some of the more incredible statistics from the Tucson International Airport where official observations are collected.

June wasn’t so bad except for the fact that the month was extremely dry and we recorded more wind than usual for the month. The dry, windy conditions complicated efforts for firefighters battling the Big Horn wildfire on the Santa Catalina mountains.

Here’s some highlights from June...

- Average low and high temperatures ran just about 1 to 2° above average

- The low temperature dropped to 53° on the 9th and that tied for the 6th coolest morning low since 1965 and the coolest June temperature recorded since 1999

- Average wind speed was 8 mph and that was the highest for June since 2004

July was a much different story and gave us a big taste of what was to follow and wound up being the hottest July ever recorded in Tucson. High pressure remained over the state and prevented monsoon from really gaining any momentum. We only saw a handful of days with active thunderstorms and the lack of cloud cover allowed temperatures to soar.

Here’s some highlights from July…

- The average high temperature was 104.0° and ranked as the 4th hottest July ever

- The average low was 79.0° and came in as the all-time warmest low temperature average for the month

- We had 16 days where the temperature never dropped below 80° which broke the old record of 12 days which was last recorded in 2006 & 2016

- The average overall temperature was 91.5° and ranks as the hottest ever for the month

- Only 0.46” of rain fell at the airport and that left us 1.79” below average for the month

August came along and we didn’t think it could get much worse for monsoon and it did. A stubborn ridge of high pressure refused to move into a position to open the door for monsoon moisture to flow over southern Arizona and the result was the hottest August on record.

Here’s some highlights from August...

- We set new records for the average low, high and overall average temperatures

- We had 24 days of 105°+ heat which broke the old August record of 12 days in 1994

- 13 days in a row with highs over 105° which set a new record for the month

- We had 4 days of 110°+ heat which broke the old August record of 2 days in 1915

- 27 days recorded low temperatures of 75°+ which broke the old record of 26 in 2011

- 16 days recorded low temperatures of 80°+ which broke the old record of 7 in 1994 & 1995

- August 2020 was only one of two Augusts to record back-to-back days with highs over 110°

When we combine all of the data, summer 2020 jumps to the top of the list as the hottest summer of all-time in Tucson.

Here’s some highlights from our scorching 2020 summer…

- Hottest summer on record with an average temperature of 90.0°

- Warmest average lows and the 2nd hottest average highs ever recorded

- 7th driest summer with only 1.67” of rain which is 3.17” below average

- 33 days of low temperatures never falling below 80° which breaks the old record of 18 days in 2016 & 2017

- 74 days of highs over 100° which ranks 2nd all-time behind the summer of 1994 with 84 days

- 50 days of highs over 105° which ranks 2nd all-time behind the summer of 1994 with 51 days

2020 has been a year to remember on so many levels and our summer will likely be one we won’t soon forget. It certainly has already established itself in the record books! As we look to fall, many of the extended outlooks are calling for warmer than average temperatures and below average rainfall. We’ll see what happens, but it appears our strange and unusual weather pattern will continue