ActivePaper Archive 106º Hottest day ever - Reading Eagle, 7/23/2011

106º Hottest day ever

Friday cooks its way into official weather record books

If you found yourself wondering Friday if you could remember it ever being quite as hot in Reading, here’s the answer: No.

Friday’s blazing heat topped out at a historic 106 degrees, the highest temperature ever recorded at an official site in Berks.

“It was definitely the warmest day we’ve ever seen there,” said Alan Reppert, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather near State College. “It’s been a very, very, very, very hot day.”

The official 106-degree high recorded at Reading Regional Airport topped the previous all-time high of 105, recorded nearly a century ago on Aug. 7, 1918, in City Park. Weather records date to 1898.

Friday was the sixth day in a heat wave that has baked the region, setting daily and all-time highs in several cities and towns, Reppert said.

And the heat will stick around for at least a couple of more days, Reppert said, adding that today’s high will be near 98.

Sunday will see a high of about 92 before temperatures dip back into the 80s early next week.

“It’ll actually feel comfortable compared to this,” Reppert said.

The lack of rain this month has made the heat worse, according to Jeffrey R. Stoudt, Berks weather historian and organizer of the Berks Area Rainfall Network.

“The arid ground conditions in our area were largely responsible for locally extreme heat as there was virtually no water to evaporate and most vegetation has shut down due to drought stress,” said Stoudt, a meteorologist. “Evaporation and vegetative growth are two major energy grabbers and when they are absent considerably more solar energy goes toward raising the air temperature.”

According to the National Weather Service, other highs Friday in the region were Trenton, N.J., 106 degrees; Allentown, 104; Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Williamsport, 103; and Lancaster, 102.

The only places hotter were Newark International Airport, N.J., which recorded 108 degrees and Baltimore Inner Harbor, 107.

Unofficially in Berks, there was a 107-degree reading in 1896.

But that was measured in Hamburg and is not a part of the offi cial record.

Contact David Mekeel: 610-371-5014 or dmekeel@

Thursday Friday Today Sunday Monday Tuesday

Hot, FORECAST ACTUAL/ 102° 106° 98° 92° 87° 88° Normal high hotter temperature , RECORD for this time 102° hottest FOR DATE ° 101° 99° 96° 96° 99° of year .............. 85°

Sources: AccuWeather (forecasts); National Weather Service (records, norm)