How unusual is 100 degrees in Detroit?

Hitting the century mark seems to come in batches in SE Michigan

By Paul Gross - Meteorologist
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DETROIT - We did it again.

In case you haven't heard, we broke another record Tuesday with a high temperature of 102, which officially occurred at 4:49 p.m. (Note: Detroit's official weather statistics are recorded at Metro Airport). This is our third 100-degree day this month, which got me wondering about how often we reach this historic milestone.

So, I went month by month back through our Local 4 daily weather statistics, which now-retired Meteorologist Mal Sillars started hand logging onto monthly charts way back in 1981, and I have continued to this day.

What I found is both interesting, and somewhat surprising:  100 degree days here seem to occur in batches.  Prior to this month, we hit 100 degrees last year on July 21.  Before that, we had only a single 100 degree day over the previous twenty-three years!  That occurred on July 14th, 1995.

Our only other 100 degree days (dating back to 1981) all occurred during that brutal summer of 1988, when we had five of them, including our second highest temperature ever:  104 degrees on June 25th (I remember that one vividly:  I was a crew member aboard the yacht Epic, and we had our usual Saturday afternoon race on Lake St. Clair. 

The 30-mile-per-hour wind blowing off the land felt like a blast furnace to us on the boat, and boy were we working hard to control the boat in that wind.  That day was the only time in my life that I have ever felt the effects of dehydration...we simply couldn't leave our posts during that race but, fortunately, it was a quick race!  I love the heat, and very much enjoy even intense yard work in hot weather, but that day was too much for even me.

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