Now that the calendar has rolled over to August, we can close the books on July 2011 and its heat and precipitation records.
July 2011 will go down in history as the second hottest month since Indiana weather recordkeeping began in 1871 and the hottest month in 75 years in the Hoosier State.
In both instances, it is second only to July 1936, during which much of the nation was in the midst of the epic Dust Bowl.
The average temperature for July 2011 was 82 degrees, just short of the 82.8 standard from 1936.
The month of July ended with 15 consecutive days of 90 degrees or more. Already both Aug. 1 and 2 have topped 90, putting the central Indiana area within two days of tying the 19 straight days of 90 degrees or more set back in -- you guessed it -- 1936.
If the forecast of 90-degree highs through Friday holds up, 2011 will have the consecutive days record as well.
July also ended the month with 0.47 inches of rain at the official Indianapolis Airport reporting station, making 2011 the driest July on record. The old mark of 0.49 inches had been set nearly a century ago in 1914.
Regularly the wettest month of the year in Indiana, July usually sees 4.42 inches of rain.
The National Weather Service blames a persistent upper level ridge of high pressure for the prolonged period of heat this July.
Nearly every day of the past month was at or above normal. Much of the second half of the month was near 10 degrees above normal, when the most intense heat waves impacted the area. Heat index values consistently ranged from the 100s to 110s across central Indiana during several periods in the second half of the month.
The Climate Prediction Center certainly isn't exactly going out on a limb in predicting the official outlook for August.
The Climate Center has pretty much covered its bases by forecasting "an equal chance for above normal, normal, or below normal temperatures and precipitation across central Indiana."
At Indianapolis, the average temperature for August is typically 74.2 degrees. The average precipitation for August at Indianapolis is 3.13 inches.