With temperatures climbing ever higher through the 90s earlier this week, it finally happened Thursday afternoon.
At 3:07 p.m., the temperature officially reached 100 degrees at the Indianapolis Airport, the National Weather Service reported.
It was certainly that or more in the Greencastle area as well. At 3:45 p.m., the Old National Bank thermometer at Washington and Vine streets hit 101 and briefly showed 102 degrees.
Regardless of which triple digit you prefer, Thursday was the hottest day in the Indianapolis area since Aug. 16, 1988 when a high of 102 was recorded.
August 16, 1988 was also the last time the area reached 100 degrees until Thursday afternoon.
It was still not a record high for July 21, however. That mark is 106, set in 1934.
The hottest day ever recorded in the area was July 14, 1934 when the mercury topped out at 107. By contrast, the coldest temperature ever recorded was -27 on Jan. 19, 1994.
July 2011 has been a sizzling month. Thursday marked the 10th day of 90 degrees or more and the 16th of the year (four more in June, two during late May). Indianapolis typically has 18 days of 90-degree or higher weather annually.
The average July high temperature is 85.6 degrees with a low of 65.2.
Another interesting weather statistic finds the average low temperature for July 19 and 20 stayed at a toasty 78.5 degrees. The last time two consecutive morning low temperatures averaged warmer than that was back in the Dust Bowl summer of 1936.
Precipitation-wise, July 2011 has been extremely dry. Through Wednesday, the monthly rainfall total was 0.11 inches.
July is typically the wettest month of the year, averaging 4.42 inches of rain in Indiana.
Meanwhile, with the Putnam County Fair Parade scheduled for Friday evening (stepping off from Wood and Washington streets at 6:30 p.m. and hitting the downtown by 7), participants and spectators alike are urged to take precautions against the heat.
The Fair Parade Committee urges that those marching in the parade or those just watching it be sure to keep hydrated with plenty of water, ice or popsicles.
Friday's high temperature is expected to be 98 degrees with a heat index of 115 degrees possible.