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Denver reaches 100 degrees for first time in 2020, nearing records for 90-degree days

Gov. Polis announced 30-day fire ban amid heat, drought, wildfires
colorado wildfire sunset august 2020
Posted at 5:35 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 09:57:57-04

DENVER – Temperatures reached 100 degrees Tuesday at Denver International Airport – setting a new record for the date and marking the first 100-degree day so far this year in the city, though the summer heat is putting 2020 near the top of another list of records.

The previous record for Aug. 18 was 98 and had been set in 2013. But the temperature reached 100 degrees, the National Weather Service said at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday also was the 58th day so far this year in which temperatures at the airport topped 90 degrees – putting 2020 fifth on the list of years in Denver with the most 90-degree days.

But 2020 is close to taking the No. 2 spot on that list, according to the National Weather Service, and will do so if it sees four more days of 90-plus-degree heat this year – something that is likely to happen this week.

High temperatures at or above 90 degrees are currently forecast Wednesday through early next week in Denver.

The scorching summer of 2018 saw 59 days above 90 degrees. In 1994, there were 60 days above 90 degrees. The year 2000 saw 61 days above 90 degrees.

And the record holder is 2012 – which saw 73 days at or above 90 degrees in Denver.

The heat, combined with the fact the state is seeing its most widespread drought in years, has made for conditions extremely favorable to wildfires this summer in Colorado. Already, more than 120,000 acres have burned.

Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday he would be issuing a 30-day ban on nearly all fires to try to keep more wildfires from starting.