Temp hits hottest ever, faculty weather observer reports

Everyone knows it’s hot, and according to a Shippensburg University faculty member the official temperature Friday was the hottest ever recorded in Shippensburg.

Dr. Timothy Hawkins, associate professor of geography and earth science and a local weather observer, said the official high temperature for Friday (July 22) was 104.6 degrees and will be recorded as 105 degrees. The previous record was 104 degrees reported on July 9, 1936; Sept. 2, 1953; and July 16, 1988. He said when humidity was factored in, it felt like it was 128 degrees.

The previous record for July 22 was 99 degrees in 1955. The record for July 23 is 101 degrees set in 1991 and the record for July 24 is 97 degrees set in 2010. The temperature yesterday (July 23) was 101 degrees, tying the 1991 record.

Weather observations from the campus reporting station are available online at http://webspace.ship.edu/weather. Hawkins noted that the real-time data available on the site is not official. Official measurements of maximum temperature, minimum temperature, precipitation, snowfall, and snow depth are made manually on a daily basis though, he said, official and unofficial measurements are very similar but do differ slightly.

Weather information has been kept at Shippensburg University since 1934, though weather observations in Shippensburg since 1910. The university recently received the “50 Year Honored Institution Award” from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is “in grateful recognition of 50 years of weather observations in cooperation with the National Weather Service.”

According to NOAA, an Honored Institution Award is given to an institution in which several people have taken dedicated daily weather observations over a period of years.

The weather observations, in addition to be shared with NOAA and other agencies, is also used in agricultural planning, municipal planning, hydrologic forecasting, facilitating student and faculty research projects in meteorology, climatology, hydrology and ecology, and allowing students to use the station to enhance classroom experiences through hands on assignments using real-world data.