This June heat wave in perspective

It’s been hot and it’s been hot early this summer but how rare is this type of heat in Charlotte in June? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Over the past week starting on Sunday, the high temperatures has remained at or above 97°. We have tied or broken 3 record highs and hit 100° for the 1st time since July 8th, 2012. 

Here’s the thing getting this hot in June is really not that out of the ordinary. Below is a chart of the highest temperature reached in Charlotte in the month of June just over the past 10 years.


Highest June Temperatures in Charlotte 2005-2015

You can see we actually had pretty mild Junes the past 2 years which might explain why this feels so hot. You can see that just in the past 10 years we have had lots of mid and upper 90s and in 2012 we ended the month with 2 straight days of 104°. Which. by the way, is Charlotte’s all-time high temperature.


Chart of June highest temperature all time.

What makes this heat wave unique:

While getting this hot is not that rare. The duration of the high heat is what makes this heat wave stand out. We have had 4 straight days of 99° or higher. To put that in perspective that is tied for the second-longest such streak all-time for Charlotte.



This June is also on pace to become one of the hottest on record for the entire month.  Even though we have 12 days left we are already the 17th warmest June on record for Charlotte. This will continue a trend of slightly warmer Junes since the very cool period of the 1970s.

2015-06-19_9-26-46 2015-06-19_9-27-25

The heat is not over yet:

We get a little break this weekend from the unrelenting heat as highs briefly dip into the mid-90s. Next week the ridge of high-pressure builds back in and builds in even stronger. We will then start another streak of days around 100°. This will easily put June 2015 into the top ten hottest Junes on record.  This is when the heat starts becoming very unique.



The Good News:

The heat won’t last forever, there are signs in both of the large global models the pattern will break and we could actually see average or even below average temperatures as we start July. Just remember by then the average high is still around 90°. It is summer in the Carolinas after all.