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Randy Mann: Temperature extremes offer fun facts

I can be fun to look at the extremes.

Here’s a look at some weather records – some based on data collected since the 1800s:

The lowest temperature ever observed in Spokane was minus 10 degrees on Jan. 15, 1888. However, about 30 miles away in Coeur d’Alene, the temperature dropped to minus 30 on Jan. 30, 1950. In Washington, the lowest reading ever recorded was minus 48 at Mazama and Winthrop on Dec. 30, 1968.

The coldest reading ever observed in the U.S. and North America happened on Jan. 24, 1989, as the mercury in McGrath, Alaska, plummeted to minus 86 degrees Fahrenheit. On Aug. 24, 1960, Vostok, Antarctica, plunged to minus 127 degrees – that reading was actual air temperature, not including wind chill.

As far as warmth, the highest temperature ever recorded at the Spokane International Airport was 108 degrees on Aug. 4, 1961. It was 109 degrees in Coeur d’Alene that same day. In Washington, the hottest reading was 118 degrees at Ice Harbor Dam on Aug. 5, 1961, and Wahluke on July 24, 1928.

Although these are hot temperatures, they don’t compare to the 134 degrees measured in Death Valley, California, on July 10, 1913, the highest official temperature ever recorded on this planet. The unofficial highest temperature occurred Sept. 13, 1922, with a sizzling 136 degrees at El Azizia, Libya. That reading could not be confirmed, so Death Valley gets the honor for the world’s highest temperature.

Summer starts June 21. The weather has already been warm here – and we’ve got more heat coming. Toward the end of this month, we could have highs climbing into the 90s, but I don’t think we’ll break any temperature records this summer.

Contact Randy Mann at wxmann, or go to www.longrange for additional information.