hot weather

(photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette)

Yes, Tuesday was hot - so hot that the peak temperature in Colorado Springs tied the previous all-time record high of 101 degrees recorded in June 2012 during the Waldo Canyon wildfire.

On the plus side, it was cooler here than in Pueblo.

At 2:48 p.m., the temperature at Colorado Springs Airport was 101 degrees, said Mike Nosko, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service in Pueblo. The only other time the temperature soared that high was on June 26, 2012, Nosko said.

In Pueblo, the temperature reached a new high for June 21: 105 degrees, breaking the record of 104 degrees set in 1981. The all-time high in Pueblo is 109 degrees, which occurred in July 2003.

The torrid temperatures are caused by a high pressure system resting on the southwestern region of the United States, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kathy Torgerson.

"It's not really unusual to see this kind of thing this time of year," Torgerson said. "This time of year is usually hot; some years are just hotter than others."

The system is raising temperatures across the Southwest, in states including California, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona, she said.

"We're not the only ones breaking records today," Torgerson said.

The searing heat is only one of the week's extreme weather patterns. On Monday night, the National Weather Service received several reports of up to 1-inch hail in the Colorado Springs area, and 1.25-inch hail in Woodland Park.

Wayne Heinke, who lives in the Briargate area, reported golf-ball sized hail. He has lived in Colorado Springs for 32 years, and until then, he said the biggest hail he had seen was quarter-sized. Monday's hailstorm damaged the stucco and trees around his home.

"I haven't probably discovered all of the damage yet," Heinke said Tuesday.

Jessica Lebel, a meteorologist with Gazette news partner KKTV, said that on Monday, there were reports of quarter-sized hail in areas including the Air Force Academy, Woodmen Road and Interstate 25, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Briargate. She said the Briargate area was hit particularly hard because the hail came down so quickly.

June and July are "peak hail season," said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. However, Walker said her organization only tracks incidents of hail damage that are considered "catastrophes" - storms that result in over $25 million in insured losses. Colorado has not yet had any catastrophic storms this year.

The sizzling temperatures and thunderstorms are forecast for the rest of the week.


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