While the sizzling, record-breaking summer continues, we can at least close the book on a historic July across central Indiana.
Weather officials say worsening drought conditions across Indiana further contributed to warmer temperatures that exceeded 90 degrees on 28 days while topping 95 degrees a whopping 19 times.
Even more impressive was that the mercury reached 100 degrees on seven days at Indianapolis. That led to not only the warmest July on record but also the hottest month in recorded history at Indianapolis with an average temperature of a whopping 84 degrees.
At other locations across central Indiana, Terre Haute led the way with an amazing 12 days at or above 100 degrees, with both Bloomington and Lafayette matching Indianapolis with seven days at or above the century mark.
The hottest stretch of the month for central Indiana commenced on Independence Day as temperatures surged into the lower 100s, providing many locations with one of the warmest Fourth of Julys on record.
That began a string of four days with temperatures topping out above the century mark, highlighted July 6-7 by highs that reached 105 and 106 degrees in many locations.
In Indianapolis, the official high of 105 on both July 6 and 7 came within one degree of tying the all-time record high of 106 degrees, set on July 22, 1901 and tied July 21, 1934 and July 14, 1936.
It also marked the sixth driest July on record at Indianapolis, while only .28 inches of rain fell in Putnam County, according to local weather observer Diana Foust. That meager total came on the heels of .34 inches of rain falling locally during June.
Measurable rainfall did not occur at the Indianapolis airport until the July 18, marking the driest start ever to the month of July for the Indianapolis area and driest 47-day period on record with only .09 inches of rainfall.
The combined June-July precipitation of 0.92 inches (0.62 inches in Putnam County) that fell at Indianapolis set a record for the driest June and July, shattering the old mark of 2.45 inches that fell in 1930.
Indianapolis experienced a low temperature of 81 degrees on July 7, marking the first time the low had stayed above 80 degrees at Indianapolis since Aug. 22, 1936. Indianapolis never saw the temperature drop below 70 degrees at night until the morning of July 20.
Here is a list of temperature records reached, with old records in parenthesis, during what will be remembered as a historic month for heat throughout central Indiana:
-- Hottest month on record -- 84.0-degree average (82.8, July 1936).
-- Hottest max temperature average-- 95.6-degree average (93.7, July 1936).
-- Number of 90-degree days in a month -- 28 days (25 days, July 1901).
-- Number of 95-degree days in a month -- 19 days (16 days, July 1936).
-- Consecutive days with lows at or above 70 -- 22 days: June 28-July 19 (20 days: June 26-July 15, 1921).
As we transition into the second half of the summer, there could be more records that fall. Here is where this year stands so far on several important temperature records:
-- Number of 90-degree days in a year -- 43 in 2012 (Record: 58 in 1983).
-- Number of 95-degree days in a year -- 22 in 2012 (Record: 31 in 1936).
-- Number of 100-degree days in a year -- 9 in 2012 (Record: 12 days in 1936).
-- Average annual temperature through July -- 58.7 degrees in 2012 (warmest on record through July 31).
-- Average summer season (June-August) temperature through July -- 79.4 degrees in 2012 (third warmest on record through July 31).
-- Average annual maximum temperature through July -- 69.0 degrees in 2012 (warmest on record through July 31).
-- Average summer maximum temperature through July -- 91.1 degrees through 2012 (warmest on record through July 31).
-- Average annual minimum temperature through July -- 48.4 degrees in 2012 (tied for second warmest on record through July 31).