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Abnormal heat, normal pattern: Denver’s early heatwave

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DENVER (KDVR) – Either Denver is hitting its peak temperature early, or it’s in for a rough summer.

The bad news is Denver is in an early, brutal heatwave. The good news is the heatwave is falling into a fairly regular pattern.

Denver clocked 101 degrees on Tuesday, breaking a record set in 1993. Pinpoint Weather forecasters at FOX31 Denver are predicting a string of 100+ degree days this week.

The good news is that this is part of a larger temperature variation that appears stable.

The minimum and maximum temperature patterns at Denver International Airport move in predictable cycles, with low temperatures in January and peak heat in July.  

The bad news is that this week will see daily maximum temperatures hotter than normal, earlier in the year and in a row.

This is the second-earliest in the year Denver temperatures will pass 100 degrees, which is an uncommon temperature in the Mile High City. Since 1872, Denver has recorded 100-degree days only 93 times, though in the last 30 years it hit them more often.

A string 100-degree days is even less common.

In the last 20 years, there have been only five years that had multiple 100-degree days in a row – 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2018.

Hitting a 100-degree day this early, let alone a string of them, is a first-time occurrence. The earliest Denver International Airport has recorded a 100-degree day in the last 20 years was June 11, 2013- which is about 20 degrees warmer than the 20-year average for that day of the calendar.

So far we’ve been having daily temperatures 10 degrees over the average. Except for June 1, 2 and 11th. The average temperature in June doesn’t even break 90 degrees until the very end of the month.

Historical data suggests there may be a cool light at the end of the tunnel.

This year’s weekly average temperatures have dipped and swelled above and below the 20-year average.

The max temperatures this year switch roughly every two to three weeks in a regular pattern. Every other week will be 10-20 degrees hotter or colder than average.

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