Monday, April 25, 2011

No hurry for 90-degree days

A few months ago, I told someone who was relatively new to Charlotte that we usually get one or two 90-degree days in April.

The other day, I decided to check out the facts -- always a good thing to do. It turns out that I was wrong. I hate when that happens.

In fact, 90-degree days in Charlotte are rather rare. The closest we've gotten so far this year, not including Monday, was a pair of 86-degree readings -- on Easter Sunday, and back on April 11. It looks as if it will be at least May before we have a 90-degree days this year.

But that wouldn't be unusual.

In 132 years of weather record-keeping in Charlotte, it was reached 90 degrees on an April day only 28 times. That comes out to about once every four or five years.

It happened last year. In fact, the first 90-degree days last year was among Charlotte's earliest. It happened on April 6, when the thermometer hit 90 for a high. But in 2009, it was June 20 before we had a 90-degree day. It hit 94 that day.

The first 90 days were May 31 in 2008; May 30 in 2007; and April 27 in 2006. Just eight years ago, it didn't hit 90 until July 8. That set a record for the latest in Charlotte for the first 90-degree day.

Eventually, it will get there. And when it happens, a lot of Charlotte-area residents will complain. But it's a part of life around here.