JP asked me this question today. And a fog was lifted. It’s been so nice, I hadn’t fully realized that maybe it wasn’t supposed to be this nice this time of year. Sure enough, it has been warm. We broke one record high temperature and tied another this week. Thursday, September 30 we saw 83 degrees at the Flagstaff airport, which tied the previous record in 1980. Tuesday, September 28 we saw 83 degrees at the airport, breaking the 1963 record of 83 degrees. The whole week was above average for temperature.
Today, October 1, the high was only 80 degrees, a whooping 5 degrees shy of the October 1 record of 85 degrees that was set in 1980. Hmmm, two records around the same time, 1980, I’ll have to look and see what that winter was like. But, the weather history page for the Flagstaff Airport, from Weather Underground, shows that the average high temperature is only 69 degrees. If you live in Flagstaff, it may be perfectly normal to wear shorts at that, but I am thinking that it would be pretty rare for most folks. I was thinking a high of 75 would be comfortable for most folks. Looking at the last 10 years, here is what the highs were:
2001 68 2002 59 2003 80 2004 61 2005 72 2006 73 2007 66 2008 76 2009 65 2010 80
Looks like shorts were appropriate, by the 75 degree F standard, in 3 of the last 10 years.
I’ve been strongly considering 1998 as an analog to this year, but September and October were near to below normal temperature-wise. This could have been due to the transition from El Nino to La Nina being later in the year and not as rapid back then.