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August of 2021 is on its way to the record books

Yep, there have been some hot afternoons this month. But it's the warm nights and humidity that helped this month take the top spot.
Credit: WGRZ

BUFFALO, N.Y. — After the wettest July on record, August of 2021 will follow up as the warmest on record for the month. 

This August will end up ranking the warmest on record in Buffalo with an average temperature of 75.7 degrees. Within the last week of the month, August of 2021 went from the fourth hottest on record to tied for the top spot, eventually breaking it by one tenth of a degree with several days hot days at the end of the month. Granted, the top three aren't separated by much, but that goes to show how unseasonably warm it's been. 

We were even close to tying daily record high temperatures on August 25th and August 28th. Both days only missed tying the daily record by one degree. It reached 90 degrees on August 25th and 91 degrees on August 28th, where the daily record highs were 91 degrees and 92 degrees respectively. 

The average monthly temperature is calculated by taking the average of all the morning lows and afternoon highs of each day in August. And while we've experienced some hot afternoons this August, it's the morning low temperatures that have made all the difference in this ranking this month.

This year there have been 24 days where morning low temperatures stayed at or above 70 degrees in Buffalo. The annual average for that mark is 9, and the highest is 24 which was set back in 2016 and now tied with 2021. 

And this year, 16 of those 24 nights took place in August. So not only have we experienced some hot afternoons this month but many warm and muggy nights as well. 

One reason why temperatures were not able to cool down as much overnight is because of the oppressive, tropical-like humidity that has taken hold of Western New York this month. 

From a meteorological standpoint, it's rare for temperatures to ever fall below the dewpoint temperatures. The dewpoint temperature helps us determine saturation when water vapor can turn into water in the right conditions. 

But when we're talking about temperatures and dewpoints at the surface, the same number, say 70-degree temperature and 70-degree dewpoint, that 100% humidity and saturation could occur (if it wasn't at the surface). 

And with high dewpoint temperatures like that, in the upper 60s or even 70s, being present at night, temperatures would only fall to the dewpoint temperature overnight. Again, we've only seen three days this month with afternoon high temperatures in the upper 80s or low 90s. So this time around, it's those warm morning lows that have significantly influenced the monthly average temperature for August. 

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