The summer of 2021 will go down as the hottest in Tri-Cities history.
"Tri-Cities has mild weather," my parents told me before we moved away from Iowa. I had grown accustomed to hot, humid summers and blizzards in the winter. There was really no in-between. I didn't want to move away from my life in Iowa but my parents had me sold on much gentler weather. What a load of crap.
Does "dry heat" really make it better?
When you're three days deep into a heatwave, you get pretty sick of hearing that it's a dry heat. When it's 110° or more, nothing can be said to make you feel any better. That being said, when it's hot with a little dash of muggy, just stick a fork in me because I give up.
What are the side effects of a heatwave?
Heat poses a great health risk, so you're asked to stay indoors if you can. For those that don't have air conditioning, it can be fatal. We had numerous deaths this summer because of the heat. This summer, the fire danger reached extreme in our area and Governor Inslee issued a burn ban across the state. Smoke has already started to cruise through the Tri-Cities skies and we're having flashbacks to the summer of 2020 which saw Tri-Citians buying up every air purifier in stock and the skies turn red in Oregon.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources went beyond a burn ban on lands they manage with a ban on all recreational activities. On top of all of this, a drought emergency was declared in July. Mark Ingalls, a local weather observer, added that this is one of the worst droughts in recorded history.
So how bad has the summer of 2021 been in Tri-Cities?
While the temperatures are expected to cool down significantly as August rages on, it's hard to forget how hot late June was. Do you remember longing for it to get down to 95°? We expected to break some records, but we set a lot more than you may have thought. While the official high didn't actually fall, Mark Ingalls says the Richland Airport "preliminarily recorded 118 on June 29," adding that he considers that day "to be the hottest day in the Tri-Cities." With that in mind, let's take a look at the hottest days officially recorded in the Tri-Cities.