Worst Heatwaves in History





The next week looks to be very warm and humid, with heat advisories popping up all over the region.  While this heatwave looks bad, it’s definitely not the worst Columbus has ever had.  Let’s take a look at some of the worst.

To find out what the worst heatwaves were, I looked at average temperatures for different consecutive time periods- 3 days, 7 days, 10 days and 30 days. Unsurprisingly, some historically hot summers popped up, particularly from the 1930s.

Top 5 3-Day Periods with the Warmest Average High Temperature
1. 7/20-7/22/1934, 7/9-7/11/1936, 7/12-7/14/1936: 103.3
2. 7/24-7/26/1934, 7/8-7/10/1936, 7/10-7/12/1936, 7/11-7/13/1936: 102.7
3. 7/8-7/10/1881: 101.3
4. 7/2-7/4/1911, 8/5-8/7/1918, 7/21-7/23/1934, 7/7-7/9/1936: 101.0
5. 7/3-7/5/1911, 7/13-7/15/1936: 100.7

Top 5 7-Day Periods with the Warmest Average High Temperature
1. 7/8-7/14/1936: 103.1
2. 7/9-7/15/1936: 102.1
3. 7/20-7/26/1934, 7/7-7/13/1936: 101.7
4. 7/10-7/16/1936: 100.7
5. 7/19-7/25/1934, 7/11-7/17/1936: 100.3

Top 5 10-Day Periods with the Warmest Average High Temperature
1. 7/8-7/17/1936: 101.0
2. 7/7-7/16/1936: 100.8
3. 7/6-7/15/1936: 100.2
4. 7/9-7/18/196: 99.8
5. 7/5-7/14/1936: 99.2

Top 5 30-Day Periods with the Warmest Average High Temperature
1. 6/29-7/28/1936: 92.7
2. 6/28-7/27/1936: 92.6
3. 6/27-7/26/1934: 92.5
4. 6/26-7/25/1934, 6/30-7/29/1936: 92.3
5. 6/28-7/27/1934: 92.2

So with a few exceptions, the heat waves in 1934 and 1936 dominated for high temperatures. The top 5 highest individual temperatures ever are:
1. 7/21/1934, 7/14/1936: 106
2. 7/9/1936: 105
3. 7/22/1901, 7/4/1911, 7/25/1934, 7/11/1936, 7/14/1954: 104
4. 7/10/1881, 8/5/1918, 7/22/1934, 7/12/1936: 103
5. 7/12/1881, 7/4/1897, 8/6/1918, 7/24/1934, 7/26/1934, 7/8/1936, 7/27/1936, 6/28/1944: 102

High temperatures in the upcoming heatwave should only reach the mid-90s.

Now that we’ve see the worst periods for high temperature, let’s look at the worst for the mean temperature, which is the average between the high and low. This details those periods that provided little relief even at night.

Top 5 3-Days Periods with the Warmest Average Temperature
1. 7/20-7/22/1934: 90.5
2. 7/8-7/10/1881: 90.3
3. 7/9-7/11/1881: 90.0
4. 7/10-7/12/1881, 7/9-7/11/1936: 89.8
5. 7/12-7/14/1936: 89.5

Top 5 7-Day Periods with the Warmest Average Temperature
1. 7/8-7/14/1936, 7/9-7/15/1936: 89.1
2. 7/6-7/12/1881: 89.0
3. 7/20-7/26/1934: 88.9
4. 7/7-7/13/1881: 88.6
5. 7/5-7/11/1881, 7/10-7/16/1936: 87.9

Top 5 10-Day Periods with the Warmest Average Temperature
1. 7/8-7/17/1936: 87.4
2. 7/7-7/16/1936: 87.2
3. 7/5-7/14/1881, 7/6-7/15/1881, 7/9-7/18/1936: 87.1
4. 7/4-7/13/1881: 86.9
5. 7/6-7/15/1936, 7/7-7/16/1881: 86.6

Top 5 30-Day Periods with the Warmest Average Temperature
1. 6/27-7/26/1934: 81.4
2. 6/28-7/27/1934: 81.3
3. 6/26-7/25/1934: 81.2
4. 6/29-7/28/1934, 7/19-8/17/1940, 7/20-8/18/1940, 6/28-7/27/2012: 81.0
5. 7/18-8/16/1940, 6/29-7/28/2012: 80.8

1934 and 1936 still dominate, but 1881 makes a strong showing. Only 2012 shows up with anything in the last 60 years, and that year also saw one of the worst wind events in Ohio history, partially fueled by the heat of that summer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_2012_North_American_derecho

Finally, let’s look at periods that featured consecutive days with highs of 90 degrees or higher. What are the longest?

# of Consecutive Days with Highs 90 or Above
1. 7/3-7/16/1881: 14
2. 7/18-7/30/1940: 13
3. 6/24-7/5/1934, 7/7-7/18/1936, 6/28-7/9/1949, 7/21-8/1/1999: 12
4. 7/20-7/30/1901, 8/4-8/14/1918, 8/25-9/4/1953, 8/8-8/18/1988, 6/28-7/8/2012: 11
5. 7/27-8/5/1887, 9/7-9/16/1897, 7/29-8/7/1955, 6/13-6/22/1994: 10

A short video and article from 2016 about the 1936 heatwave, still the hottest in history.
https://www.nbc4i.com/local-news/columbus-resident-remembers-1936-heat-wave/1114607375

Thanksgiving Day Historic Weather and Climatology




*Updated through 2016.

Normals *1981-2010
High: 48
Low: 33
Mean: 40.5
Precipitation: 0.11″
Snowfall: 0.1″

Top 10 Coldest Highs
1. 1930: 12
2. 1936: 26
3. 1880, 1903, 1905: 27
4. 1938: 28
5. 1892, 1898: 29
6. 1881: 30
7. 1945, 2002, 2013: 32
8. 1886, 1889, 1890, 1929, 1958: 33
9. 1882, 1885, 1901, 2014: 34
10. 1912, 1947, 1956, 1982, 2000: 35

Top 10 Coldest Lows
1. 1930: 3
2. 1930, 2005: 15
3. 1929, 1984: 16
4. 2000: 17
5. 1880, 1881, 1892, 1894, 1958: 18
6. 1901, 1905, 2002: 19
7. 1898, 1936, 1938, 1950, 1982, 1989, 1996: 20
8. 1911, 1956, 2013: 21
9. 1882, 1886, 1912, 1945: 22
10. 1994, 2008: 23

Top 10 Warmest Highs
1. 1896: 70
2. 2015: 65
3. 1915, 1940: 64
4. 1879, 1908, 1981, 2007, 2012: 63
5. 1966, 1968, 1973, 1979: 62
6. 1918, 1941: 61
7. 1914, 1927, 1983: 60
8. 1933: 59
9. 1899, 1957: 58
10. 1921, 1943, 1990, 2010: 57

Top 10 Warmest Lows
1. 1979: 53
2. 1896: 52
3. 1940: 51
4. 1957: 49
5. 1879: 48
6. 1934, 1966, 2015: 47
7. 1968: 46
8. 1913, 1933, 1978, 1990, 2003, 2016: 43
9. 1899, 1927, 1961: 42
10. 1908, 1951, 1987, 1991, 1998: 41

Top 10 Wettest
1. 2010: 1.76″
2. 1961: 1.58″
3. 1968: 1.22″
4. 1990: 0.71″
5. 1921, 1925: 0.70″
6. 1926: 0.69″
7. 1980: 0.65″
8. 1887: 0.60″
9. 1957: 0.59″
10. 1951: 0.49″

Top 10 Snowiest
1. 1880: 3.2″
2. 1950: 1.1″
3. 1938: 0.8″
4. 1959: 0.7″
5. 1889: 0.4″
6. 1945, 1957: 0.3″
7. 1890, 1954, 2005: 0.2″
8. 1953, 2004: 0.1″
9. Multiple: Trace
10. Multiple: 0


Most Snow on the Ground

1959: 1″
2013: 1″
Trace: Multiple

For more November weather records, go here: November Weather
For more general Columbus weather records, go here: Columbus All-Time Weather




Historic Halloween Weather

1981-2010 Halloween Averages
High: 61
Low: 41
Mean: 51
Precipitation: 0.09″
Snowfall: 0.0″

Top 20 Warmest Halloween Highs
1. 1950: 83
2. 1974: 80
3. 1900: 79
4. 1927, 1933: 78
5. 1979, 2003: 75
6. 1882, 1901, 1982, 1999: 74
7. 1909, 1990: 73
8. 1888, 1935, 1944, 1987: 72
9. 1915, 1971: 71
10. 1919: 70
11. 1891, 1986, 2001, 2008: 69
12. 1929, 1956, 1978, 1981, 1985, 2005, 2007: 68
13. 1903, 1943, 1946, 1952, 1991, 2013: 67
14. 1902, 1916, 1953, 1965, 1984: 66
15. 1942, 1958, 1961, 1968, 1969, 2009: 65
16. 1896, 1897, 1912, 1921, 1922, 1940, 1945, 1964, 1997, 2004: 64
17. 1914, 1941, 1970, 2000, 2006: 63
18. 1886, 1924, 1934, 1959, 1977, 1983, 1998: 62
19. 1892, 1938, 1989, 1995: 61
20. 1963, 1966, 1994: 60

Top 20 Coldest Halloween Highs
1. 1906: 38
2. 1993: 39
4. 1878, 1895: 40
5. 1913, 1923, 1954: 41
6. 1885, 1917, 2012: 42
7. 1890: 43
8. 1908, 1925, 1926: 44
9. 1898, 1905: 45
10. 1930, 1976: 46
11. 1879, 1931, 2002: 47
12. 1894, 1918, 1939: 48
13. 1955, 1962, 1996, 2014: 49
14. 1880, 1972: 50
15. 1973, 2010, 2011: 52
16. 1907, 1951, 1988: 53
17. 1887, 1893, 1932, 2015: 54
18. 1883, 1928, 1949, 1975: 55
19. 1899, 1967: 56
20. 1884, 1911, 1937, 1957, 1980, 1992: 57

Top 20 Warmest Halloween Lows
1. 1919: 61
2. 1882: 60
3. 2003: 59
4. 1927, 1929: 58
5. 1900, 1956, 2013: 57
6. 1921, 1941, 1982: 56
7. 1950: 55
8. 1959, 1979: 54
9. 1971: 53
10. 1881, 1891, 1933, 1946, 1974, 1991: 52
11. 1901, 1984, 1998: 51
12. 1947: 50
13. 1961, 2001: 49
14. 1935, 1948, 1960, 1967, 1985, 1995, 1999: 48
15. 1889, 1896, 1909, 1943, 1977: 47
16. 1924, 1945, 2004, 2016: 46
17. 1899, 1911, 1916: 45
18. 1903, 1940, 2015: 44
19. 1965, 1970, 1973, 1981, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2009: 43
20. 1888, 1942, 1957, 1994, 2006: 42

Top 20 Coldest Halloween Lows
1. 1887: 20
2. 1962, 1988: 25
3. 1923: 27
4. 1908, 1925: 28
5. 1885, 1893, 1913, 1917, 1953, 1975: 29
6. 1904, 1906: 30
7. 1878, 1938, 1954, 1968: 31
8. 1928, 1934, 1949, 1958, 1964, 1976, 1980, 2000: 32
9. 1879, 1926, 1930: 33
10. 1890, 1936, 1951, 1966, 1969, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2008, 2010: 34
11. 1892, 1920: 35
12. 1894, 1895, 1932, 1955, 1978: 36
13. 1910, 1983: 37
14. 1886, 1898, 1914, 1939, 1944, 1963, 2007, 2012, 2014: 38
15. 1884, 1905, 1918, 1937, 2005, 2011: 39
16. 1880, 1883, 1907, 1952, 1972, 1986, 1987: 40
17. 1897, 1902, 1912, 1915, 1922, 1931: 41
18. 1888, 1942, 1957, 1994, 2006: 42
19. 1965, 1970, 1973, 1981, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2009: 43
20. 1903, 1940, 2015: 44

Top 20 Wettest Halloweens
1. 1932: 1.44″
2. 2009: 1.21″
3. 2013: 0.98″
4. 1941: 0.97″
5. 1919: 0.91″
6. 1942: 0.51″
7. 1960: 0.45″
8. 1905, 1973: 0.43″
9. 2006: 0.36″
10. 1989: 0.34″
11. 1976: 0.32″
12. 1993: 0.31″
13. 1972: 0.29″
14. 1994: 0.26″
15. 1895: 0.23″
16. 1959: 0.20″
17. 1948: 0.18″
18. 1889: 0.17″
19. 1921, 1951: 0.15″
20. 1963, 1967, 2012, 2014: 0.11″

Snowiest Halloweens
1. 1993: 1.0″
2. 1954: 0.2″
3. 1906, 1917, 1926, 1930, 1951, 2012: Trace

Greatest Snow Depth
1. 1954: Trace

Summer 2016

Now that Summer 2016 is but a memory, let’s take a quick look back at where it stands in the record books.

Temperature

Summer 2016 Means
June-August Mean High: 85.5
June-August Mean Rank since 1878: 26th Warmest
While the average high for Summer 2016 was certainly warm, it fell just outside of the top 25. By comparison to recent years, 2010 (85.6), 2011 (85.7) and 2012 (87.7) all had warmer average highs.

June-August Mean Low: 66.1
June-August Mean Low Rank since 1878: 4th Warmest
The average low for the summer is what made 2016 much more exceptional. No recent years (last decade) were warmer, although 2010 did tie.

June-August Mean: 75.8
June-August Mean Rank since 1878: 10th
So if you thought this summer was hot, well you were right. Only 2010 (75.9) and 2012 (76.4) were warmer of any recent years.

Monthly Means
June Mean: 73.2
June Mean Rank since 1878: 17th Warmest
July Mean: 76.6
July Mean Rank since 1878: 20th Warmest
August Mean: 77.6
August Mean Rank since 1878: 6th Warmest
The summer gradually became hotter as it went on.

Summer 2016 Misc. Temperature Stats
# of 90+ Days: 18
90+ Days Rank: 22nd
Warmest High: 95
Warmest Low: 77
Coldest High: 72
Coldest Low: 48

Daily Temperature Records
June 11th: Record Warm Maximum Tie: 95: Tied with 1914 and 1933.
August 10th: Record Warm Minimum Tie: 75: Tied with 2001.
August 11th: Record Warm Minimum Tie: 76: Tied with 1918.
August 12th: Record Warm Minimum: 76: Beat record from 1947.
August 13th: Record Warm Minimum Tie: 75: Tied with 1995.

Precipitation

June-July Precipitation Total: 13.53″
June-July Precipitation Rank since 1878: 29th Wettest
Besides being warm, Summer 2016 was also fairly wet.

Monthly Precipitation Stats
June Precipitation: 5.22″
June Precipitation Rank since 1878: 29th
July Precipitation: 2.49″
July Precipitation Rank since 1878: 27th Driest
August Precipitation: 5.82″
August Precipitation Rank since 1878: 13th Wettest
So the summer was bookended by wet months with July being fairly dry.

Summer 2016 Misc. Precipitation Stats
Total Precipitation Days (including Trace): 45
Total Measurable Precipitation Days: 30
Measurable Precipitation Days Rank since 1878: 16th Highest
Days with 0.25″ or Higher: 16
Days with 0.50″ or Higher: 10
Days with 1.00″ or Higher: 4

Daily Precipitation Records
June 23rd: 2.75″: Beat the old record in 1901.