PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Did you stop in the middle of August and think it felt hotter than normal? If so, you were correct.
As we are wrapping up the month, it has become clear that this month will be among top five hottest months ever for Pittsburgh.
Through Aug. 30, the average temperature in Pittsburgh for the month has been 76.2 degrees.
That’s nearly 5 degrees warmer (4.7 degrees) than the 30-year average for the city.
Looking at the record books, you’d have to go all the way back to 1995 (77.5 degrees) to find the last time we saw an August this warm.
The hottest August after that was in 1900 when the average high remained at 78.7 degrees.
One of the things that make this year’s standing so impressive is that we haven’t seen any extremely hot solo days. We only hit the 90s three times for the month and the hottest day of the month was on Aug. 11, when we hit 91 degrees.
While highs weren’t out of line with a usual August in the state, overnight lows stayed mild and were the reason for such a hot month. We didn’t see overnight lows fall below 70 degrees a total of nine times in August.
Additionally, we only dropped below 60 degrees three times for the month.
Oftentimes we stayed above 70 degrees with no rain on the following day, meaning clouds and fronts pushing through can’t be blamed on the warm temps.
Proponents of global warming have warned that as global temperatures warm, air can and will carry more moisture. In basic terms, this means we should technically see higher dew points. Higher dew points will technically push morning lows higher as the morning low cannot fall below the dew point temperature.
Overnight low temperatures are certainly something researchers will watch closely in the future.
As for rain, overall August totals will be close to the 30-year average. Through Aug. 30, Pittsburgh has seen 3.21 inches of rain (-0.16 inches).