Tag Archives: Climatology 101

Climatology 101: Tucson’s coolest fall in over a decade

Autumn 2018 actually felt the part for the Sonoran Desert.

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Climatology 101: Anatomy of Ajo’s wettest October

While the Old Pueblo recorded its 5th wettest October, a town in western Pima County obliterated a record.

Continue reading Climatology 101: Anatomy of Ajo’s wettest October

Climatology 101: Is this Tucson’s coolest start to October?

Sunshine and warmth typically dominate the first half of October. Both have been noticeably absent the last few weeks.

Through October 16th, Tucson’s average October temperature is 69.1°. This marks the 16th coolest start to October. It’s also the coolest start to October since 1982, when the average temperature was calculated at 67.0°.

Tucson’s coolest start to October on record is 65.6°, set in 1919.

All but one day this month has featured daytime highs running below average. The warmest day so far this October was 89° back on the 4th.

Tucson has already clinched the 8th wettest October on record. 2.30″ rain has been recorded through the first 16 days of the month, which is almost an inch and a half above normal.

The wettest October on record for Tucson is 4.98″, set in 2000 and 1983.

Summer 2018: Warm & wet in Tucson

It’s official: the Old Pueblo had a warmer and wetter than normal summer.

Tucson’s average temperature of 87.4° marked the 7th warmest summer on record. According to the National Weather Service, this is the 10th straight summer that Tucson has recorded a top 10 warmest ranking.

Since June 1st, Tucson recorded 53 days at or above 100°. 3 of these days registered highs at or above 110°.

Tucson officially received 5.88″ rain this summer. This ranks as the 31st wettest summer for the city. In addition, this is the third straight year with above average summer rainfall in the Old Pueblo. Rainfall totals across Metro Tucson varied between 3-9″, with some of the largest totals occurring on the northwest side.

Through September 3rd, Tucson’s Monsoon 2018 rain total was 6.25″, which is 0.17″ above average.

Weather record keeping for autumn officially started on September 1st & will conclude on November 30th.

Click here for the complete summer climate recap, compiled by the National Weather Service.

Climatology 101: Tucson just completed the driest spring ever recorded

A dubious distinction for a parched Sonoran Desert.

For the first time in recorded history, Tucson did not receive measurable rainfall during spring. Only a trace of rain was recorded at Tucson International Airport. This means rain did occur at the airport site, but failed to measure to at least 0.01″.

The last time Tucson picked up measurable rainfall was on the final day of meteorological winter, when 0.20″ fell on February 28th.

Counting June 4th, the Old Pueblo has gone 96 straight days without measurable rainfall. This is the 8th longest dry spell ever recorded for the city, matching stretches in 1962 and 1945.

Official weather record keeping for Tucson began in 1895.

According to the National Weather Service, spring 2018 was the 4th warmest on record. Click here to see their complete spring climate recap.

Climatology 101: Super Bowl Sunday

Mother Nature must be a football fan.

For the most part, weather hasn’t interfered with the NFL’s biggest stage. While the vast majority of games feature atmospheric perfection, some Super Bowls haven’t been as lucky. Below is a brief history in Super Bowl weather, made possible by William Schimtz’s terrific climate report.


Courtesy: NFL
Courtesy: NFL

Super Bowl VII and Super Bowl XXXVII featured warm temperature in Los Angeles and San Diego, respectively. Perhaps the heat got to Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian in Super Bowl VII. His botched pass nearly derailed the only perfect season in NFL history.

Courtesy: Earl Cryer UPI
Courtesy: Earl Cryer UPI

30 years later, the warmth wilted the Oakland Raiders offense. Tampa Bay rolled to an easy victory at Qualcomm Stadium, highlighted by a pair of Dexter Jackson’s pick sixes.


Courtesy: AP
Courtesy: AP

Before the SuperDome, New Orleans hosted three Super Bowls at Tulane Stadium. Super Bowl VI between the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys registered the coldest high temperature for an outdoor venue. Sure, it could have been worse than 43°. But it probably felt more like 3° for the team from Florida. Dallas destroyed the Dolphins 24-3.


Courtesy: AP Photo Paul Spinelli
Courtesy: AP Photo Paul Spinelli

Super Bowl XLI in Miami may have been impacted the most by weather. The Colts and Bears played in a gullywasher, with sheets of rain coming down during the second half. Peyton Manning accepted the first water-logged Lombardi Trophy in league history.

How rare is rain on Super Bowl Sunday? Only 11 times has the closest reporting station to a non-domed stadium recorded rainfall. The odds boil down to a mere 22%.


Courtesy: AP Photo Vernon Biever
Courtesy: AP Photo Vernon Biever

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California is notoriously breezy. It resides along Arroyo Seco and is in close proximity to the San Gabriel Mountains. In Super Bowl XIV, the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers encountered gusty northeast winds that could have impacted the passing game.

On this Sunday in 1980, it didn’t. Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw & Rams QB Vince Ferragamo combined for big plays through the air. The game changer was a 73 yard touchdown pass from Bradshaw to John Stallworth in the 4th quarter. Pittsburgh captured its four Super Bowl, beating the hometown Rams 31-19.


18 of 51 Bowls Played indoors (35%)
20 of 51 Bowls had a Trace or More of Rain at nearby AP (41%)
2 Bowls had Snow on Game Day (1982,2006)
1 Bowl played during an Ice Storm (2000)
Coldest High Temp for Dome Game 16° (1982, but likely to be eclipsed in 2018)