How hot was it? Pretty hot.
The National Weather Service reports that Reno, NV – yup, right here in river city – set a new record for a 51 day stretch of 90 degree or higher temperatures shattering the previous record from just 7 years ago of a 35 day streak.
Overall, the summer had the highest average temperatures ever recorded for the area, too, 77.2 degrees – nearly 5 degrees above the long-term average. And, Reno sweated through a record 16 days of 100 degree or higher temperatures this summer.
Warm daytime temperatures are often taken in stride by most of us. Temperatures throughout the west and especially in Reno have been rising steadily for many years. The RGJ noted that overall average temperatures have been steadily warming for the past 70 years. The average minimum temperature increase means many more days of the year have temperatures above a killing frost resulting in a long growing season more often than in the past. These warmer temperatures impact the urban environment when people need to water earlier in the spring and later into the fall due to both warmer temperatures and the length of time with above freezing temperatures.
This summer California and Nevada during July-September showed a strong warming in both the maximum and minimum average daily temperatures. It isn’t much of a surprise to most of us, but the consequences are more need for irrigation outdoors. The Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) spokesman said at a “Water Smart” forum last week, that the water purveyor hadn’t noticed any increase in water use due to a longer irrigation season in a response to a direct question. TMWA does not have information on water use per capita or by type on its website when reviewed for this article.
Check out the graphics on average minimum and maximum temperatures for Jul-Sept 2017 for the USA and the overall average temperatures (last graphic).