Portales, Tucumcari set record for August average high temperature

Staff and wire reports

August will go down in the record books as one of New Mexico’s hottest in more than a century of record keeping, according to the National Weather Service.

Portales, Tucumcari, Albuquerque and Roswell are among the cities setting records for the average daytime high.

Portales’ average high in August was 98.8 degrees, NWS meteorologist Jason Frazier said. That broke the previous record of 97.6 set in 1943.

Tucumcari’s average August high was 99.4 this year, snapping the previous standard of 97.9 in 1943.

Clovis’ average high was just 97.3 last month, Frazier said, falling short of the 103.3 record it set in 1943.

On Monday, Albuquerque was at 93.7, just above the record of 93.6 set in 1905, according to Weather Service data.

Albuquerque’s overnight lows have also set records — at 68.6 degrees, more than 5 degrees warmer than the long-term average. The previous record was 67.61 in 2007.

The weak summer rains have contributed to the high temperatures, NWS meteorologist Chuck Jones said, leaving dry soil. “The ground’s hard,” he said. “It heats up faster. It’s easier to get the warming.”

Roswell was on target for an average monthly high of 100.7 for the month, shattering the old record of 97.2 set in 1969.

It could be worse. The Arizona Republic reported Monday that Phoenix is on track for a monthlong average high of 108.6, beating the old August record by more than a degree. Overnight lows in Phoenix have averaged 87.3.