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Hot Summers in Boulder
The summer of 2006 seemed like quite a hot summer, so it was logical to compare it with other summers to see how it ranks. However, there are several possible ways to measure the summer, as Steve Jones pointed out. Average temperature is an obvious choice, but over what period should the average be computed? Steve compared rankings for two different averaging periods. The first was the months June, July, and August. The second was the calendar summer, June 21 through September 21. It happens that much of the hottest weather in 2006 occurred before the official start of summer, so the two results were quite different, as appears in the table below.
A third possible measure of the summer is the number of days with maximum 90-degrees or above. For this calculation, the full calendar year was used. The table below shows the ranking of years by the three different measures. 2006 ranks fourth in June-August average temperature, but it is unranked in terms of summer average. When the number of 90-deg days is the measure, 2006 is in a fifth-place tie. The graph below the table shows the annual count of 90-degree days for the years beginning 1931.
Number of 90-degree days per calendar year in Boulder. Averages are shown for the four different station locations. It is apparent immediately that the fire station roof was abnormally hot, just as one would expect.
See also a similar look at cold winters.