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High Temperatures Hit Records for Towns in Oklahoma, Arkansas

Temperatures broke 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the 29th time this month, tying a record set 100 years ago, while the old mark was shattered in nearby Fort Smith, Arkansas, the National Weather Service said.

The temperature in Tulsa was 100 degrees as of 2 p.m. local time, according to the weather service. The only day this month readings didn’t get above 90 was June 16, when the high was 87.

“You don’t see that very much,” said Pete Snyder, a weather service meteorologist in Tulsa. “It is pretty hot for June.”

Oklahoma has had a record-setting year for weather, Snyder said. On Feb. 8 and 9, a temperature of 31 degrees below zero set a new low in Nowata, Oklahoma, about 50 miles north of Tulsa. The old mark of minus 27 was set in 1905 and tied in 1930 and 1947.

The state also set a new snow record on Feb. 9 when 27 inches fell, 1 inch more than during a 2009 storm, Snyder said. A record high temperature of 106 was set on June 28, breaking the mark of 102 for the date reached in 1936, 1956 and 1980.

The average high June temperature for Tulsa through yesterday was 95.3 degrees. The normal is 88 degrees, according to records going back to 1905, the weather service said.

“This year has been one of the most extreme years on record,” Snyder said.

Jet Stream

Snyder said the jet stream has set up well north of Oklahoma, which is unusual for this time of year. As a result, high pressure, which is warmer, has been able to build over Oklahoma and there hasn’t been any relief to the heat.

In Fort Smith, in the Tulsa weather service office’s region, the temperature has broken 90 every day this month, besting the 29-day mark set in 1953. Records there go back to 1882. The temperature in Fort Smith was 97 at 2 p.m.

As of yesterday, the cooling degree days value in Tulsa was 564, 195 above normal. The value, calculated by subtracting a base of 65 degrees from the daily average temperature, is designed to show energy demand. The higher the value, the hotter the weather and the more energy is being used to cool homes and business.

The value in Fort Smith was 582, or 233 above normal, through yesterday, according to the weather service.

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