We knew Tuesday could be a record-setting hot day in Richmond because of a broad ridge of high pressure advancing east over us. The afternoon high temperature was officially 97 degrees at Richmond International Airport Tuesday, July 12, 2011, which was just one degree shy of the record high for that date of 98 degrees from 1986. However, we did blow out of the water a different temperature record Tuesday. The air temperature during the 24-hour period of July 12th did not fall below 81 degrees! That was our morning low temperature Tuesday, and not only did it break the record-warm low temperature for that date of 76 degrees from 1993, it was also the ALL-TIME record-warmest low temperature since record-keeping began in Richmond in 1897!
And we may not be quite done yet with the records today. So far this Wednesday morning, the low temperature at RIC has only dipped to 78 degrees, which if we don't fall below that before Midnight tonight (which is possible once the cold front passes around 9PM), then we could set another record-warm low for this date, breaking the old record of 76 degrees for July 13th from 2006.
Remember me talking a couple weeks ago about the "new normals" accounting for warmer overnight temperatures as well as gradually warming afternoon high temperatures? Although we can't immediately point to these record-warm low temperatures as further proof of a warmer-shifting temperature baseline, it is certainly worth keeping in mind as we go through our next decade of record-keeping in Richmond.
Stay with CBS 6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm.
--Meteorologist Carrie Rose