Summer temperatures have been breaking records in Southeast Idaho recently, Lee Warnick, a professor in the Department of Communication, said.
Warnick has kept a weather log for years. He said Rexburg has experienced three record-breaking days so far this season.
“Temperatures on Saturday the 27 through Monday the 29 were 95-96-96 F,” Warnick said. “All three were records for those dates, and this is the first time we’ve hit 95 F or above on three or more consecutive days since 2003.”
High temperatures are typical for dry-weather Idaho to experience in June, but the hottest days usually come later on in the year, according to Michael Coats, chief meteorologist for Local News 8.
“We normally hit the hottest days in August, but I suspect we’ll see more thunderstorms in July and August,” Coats said.
Coats said there will be different types of weather than usual because of the current weather year Idaho is in.
“We are in an El Niño year, and we tend to see more hurricanes and tropical systems along the west coast of Mexico,” Coats said. “That tropical moisture rotates through the four corner states around high pressure and then eventually hits Idaho.”
Coats said that this year, the state will also undergo what is referred to as an Arizona Monsoon.
“An area of low pressure over the Gulf of California will develop and pull in more thunderstorms into the desert southwest,” Coats said.
Originally recognized by fishermen, El Niño is a complex weather pattern that results from variations in ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Not only are higher temperatures to be expected, but North America also experiences a wetter season during El Niño, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Warnick said that as hot as those three consecutive days in June were, they were not the highest Rexburg
“The all-time high temperature in Rexburg is 102 F, set on June 25, 1988,” Warnick said. “That’s also the only day we’ve reached 100 F, so this was certainly an intense early summer heat wave.”
However, 102 degrees F is not the highest temperature Idaho has experienced either, according to the U.S. National Climatic Data Center.
On July 28, 1934, Idaho experienced temperatures of 118 degrees F, according to the NCDC.
Danielle Orr, a junior studying biology, said the change in the weather has been wonderful, and she enjoys spending more time outside.
“It doesn’t really feel like Idaho this summer, and I like that,” Orr said. “It feels a lot warmer than normal, and the nights are beautiful.”
Mariah Holmes, a junior studying communication, said the heat is nice but has been hard to adjust to.
“Walking on campus with a heavy backpack in the middle of the afternoon makes the heat tough to bear,” Holmes said. “But I think it’s nice when I get to just relax and soak up some sun.”
While the weather seems to be hot and dry now, this will not be the case in the coming months, Coats said.
“Look for more thunderstorms over the next couple of months,” Coats said. “Many of those thunderstorms may trigger severe thunderstorm warnings.”