100-Degree Days Aren't All That Common for Denver

I received a follow-up question to my 90-degree article a few weeks back asking for the history of 100-degree weather in Denver.

One hundred degree temperature readings do happen in Denver, but aren't typically all that common for the city.

Denver averages just two 100-degree days each year – Denver International Airport (DIA) is the official weather reporting station for the city.

DIA came online in mid-1994. In its 20 full summers of data, DIA has had years without a single 100-degree day (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2011, and 2015) but has had as many as 13 100-degree days (2012).

Here's the list of top 5 occurrences of consecutive 100-degree days; note that 2012 appears 3 times...it was a hot one that year:

  1. 5 days in 2012
  2. 5 days in 2005
  3. 3 days in 2012
  4. 3 days in 2012
  5. 2 days in 2008

For those that want some data comparison within the city, Stapleton was the official site for Denver for a long stretch before DIA. I've pulled that location's data and since 1948, Stapleton averages less than one 100-degree day per year.

Like DIA, the longest streak of consecutive 100s was in 2012:

  1. 5 days in 2012
  2. 5 days in 2005
  3. 5 days in 1989
  4. 4 days in 1990
  5. 2 days in 2008

So, although we do have 100-degree days in the Denver area, there aren't very many. And, if we can string more than 2 days in a row of 100-degree heat that's even more of a rarity.

We'll be close to the 100 degree mark this afternoon. In fact, several weather stations across the region are already reporting 100 degree readings as of 1:30pm Sunday. Our station, located about a mile south of Downtown has so far logged a maximum temperature of 98.7° F, so 100° is certainly within reach. The airport, however, was sitting at 94° as of 1:30pm, so has a bit further to go. We'll see.

Stay cool!

Matt Makens

Matt Makens has won 5 Emmys for his weather coverage. He has the seal of approval from the NWA and is a certified Broadcast Meteorologist as designated by the AMS. He works for Colorado's Own Ch 2.

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