How hot was it? Well, it’s been pretty warm around these parts in recent days, but the highs have fallen short of records for Mount Airy.
That is the case for a five-day period of unseasonably warm temperatures that topped out Monday afternoon with a high of 66 degrees as a rainy system moved out of the area. For local record-keeping purposes at the city’s F.G. Doggett Water Plant — Mount Airy’s official weathering-monitoring station — that was actually the high for the Dec. 31 date.
This is because the “day” at the plant runs from 7 a.m. to 7 a.m. in contrast to the normal 24-hour clock, meaning the Monday afternoon high was noted for Dec. 31 since the weather day for that date ended at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
But regardless of the methodology, the all-time local record for Dec. 31 still stands, a high of 73 that was set in 1929, the year of the Stock Market Crash. Weather statistics have been maintained in Mount Airy since 1924.
“The record was actually fairly high,” Water Treatment Supervisor Andy Utt said of the mark set in 1929 that has remained for 90 years as a result.
• Sunday afternoon produced a high of 65 (which is penciled in for Dec. 30 under the water plant’s system), but it failed to eclipse the city record for that date of 73 degrees. It was established in 1984.
• A high of 68 was recorded here Saturday afternoon (counted for Dec. 29), which fell short of the city record of 75 degrees for that date — also set in 1984.
• Friday afternoon produced a high of 61, officially for the Dec. 28 date, with the record for it a balmy 74 logged in 2015.
• On Thursday afternoon (counted in the books for Dec. 27), the mercury hit 67, close to the 70-degree record high for the date which was established in 1971.
More-seasonal temperatures returned locally Tuesday with highs expected only in the mid-50s, and cooler conditions in the low to upper 50s will prevail for the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service.
Some areas of eastern North Carolina were anticipating record-breaking temperatures on Monday.