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Posted on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

101 F: Temperature hits triple digits on east side of Washtenaw County

By Juliana Keeping


An Ann Arbor Art Fair visitor feels the heat Thursday afternoon while walking on South Main Street.

Melanie Maxwell |

The temperature hit 101 degrees at about 2 p.m. Thursday near Willow Run Airport , according to the website Weather Underground.

Ann Arbor is close behind, with a reading at 98 in mid-afternoon and the possibility of a triple-digit reading remaining, according to forecasters.

When was the last time the area got that hot?

The answer for the area: July 1988.

Washtenaw County saw three 100 degree days in 1988 - June 25 and July 6 and 7 - according to the National Weather Service.

Before that, the mercury hadn’t hit 100 degrees since 1966. That year, it reached 102 degrees on July 2 and hit 100 July 3.

The highest recorded temperature at the University of Michigan weather station of all time was 105 degrees, reached in 1934, according to the NWS.

The weather station entails meteorological instruments encased in a small shelter on U-M North Campus.

Dennis Kahlbaum, the U-M weather observer who gathers local data for the NWS, said he won’t know the official high temperature for the area until he visits the station at 6 p.m. today.

Meanwhile, the heat wave became official today. It's the fifth straight day over 90 degrees and the third at 95 or above, which is how the National Weather Service officially defines a heat wave.

And that 101 temperature? It actually feels like 114, due to the heat index calculations.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter


Tom Joad

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

There is a danger that record electrical demand may knock out power for everyone...this is the tragedy of the commons at work. If you need air conditioning by all means use it but turn off all other non-essential lights and appliances and try to conserve electricity by raising the thermostat a few degrees higher...anything in the mid to high seventies is going to feel cool in this oppressive heat


Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

Turning off the appliances so other people can use the juice is what you meant by tragedy of the commons, right?


Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

Oh, no. he internet is essential, Joe. But my thermostat is set to 83 F. 83 degrees with no humidity, wearing minimal clothing in the home, and a fan are all you need. Low seventies feels frigid when you come in from a heat index of 100+ and just isn't even good for your body.


Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

Oh, you mean turn off the computers too so we can stop making comments on Or do you consider them essential?

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 10:29 p.m.

I agree. Frankly, I'm surprised my house still has power. We usually lose it on days like today, and it's out for the whole night.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

I don't feel as sorry for the horses as I do for the kids that they make work at the ART FAIR! It's almost like slave labor. In this 100 plus heat!


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

Has anyone ever considered this as proof that global warming is only getting worse and that Al Gore was right? What....the record was set in 1934 and yesterday's was set in 1935..........Well that's because we had too many horses emitting polutants and once they were gone things cleared up for awhile. Right? There's never been weather patterns like were seeing lately before mankind started polluting or dust storms. Well, except those dust storms in the 1930's. Got me convinced. When will they start imposing tax and trade, i mean cap and trade? Oh, Congress is not going to do it, no guts.....the EPA is in the process of drafting new pollution levels. That's good to know. So when can I expect my utility rates to necessarily skyrocket as our president promised during his campaign? I'm starting to see signs of life in the economy so we need to do something about that and get taxes higher and create more rules. Rules and fees good, capitalism bad.........Keep cool and drink lots of fluids folks and don't spend money you might need it.


Fri, Jul 22, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

I think the heat has gone to your head!


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

This is so backwards I shouldn't even reply, but here my fingers go typing anyway. Global warming is not debatable. We have access to weather stations all around the globe. Average temperatures are going up - this is clear. The severity of weather pattern fluctuations and storms are also known to be increasing; the statistics are glaringly obvious. While a true impartial observer must not that these changes in weather cannot be proven as a direct result of mankind, the correlation is overwhelming. At least, if you bother to look into the facts and don't have a general paranoid distrust of all scientists, since they have already repeatedly established international consensus. For some reason the disbelievers such as yourself feel it compelling to shout the loudest with vague comparison and statements about how it can't be our fault. You don't have to use fear of guilt as a reason to shout nonsense; small changes in your footprint are easy to start making now.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

I remember the summer of 1988 very well. My wife and I were trying to sell a house we had lived in and rented out for awhile. I worked third shift at the Willow Run Powertrain Plant. Went to the house and painted and worked on fixing it up, then came home and slept during the afternoon and at the time we had no AC in this house. AH, the memories.

vicki honeyman

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

I have a lounge chair set up inside my store, where it's much cooler than outside...where my sidewalk sale goodies are melting.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

At 2:54 PM I returned from my abbreviated tour of the Art Fairs and saw that Weather Underground showed 98º F for Ann Arbor with - a Heat Index of 111º F. Now that just means that, for all practical purposes, the human body experiences 111º, not 98º. So that's why I spent only 90 minutes in that heat; I've never experienced heat that intense in my life. Photos I took from the top of the Maynard Street parking structure revealed that visitor traffic in the lanes between the artists booths was about 2/3rds normal. There was little if any traffic congestion seen while I was out there. The shuttle buses with Art Fair visitors also seemed to have far fewer riders. While this lower attendance is bad news in terms of money - it's just plain good judgement to avoid this dangerous outdoors heat. There's still a couple of days to see the Art Fairs and there will be art fairs in the future: IF you survive long enough to enjoy them.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

Note to horse owners and pony camps. It is downright cruel to make your animal work today!!!


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

It is 4:00 and I am now hearing it is 102. I totally agree with Art Fair. June would be a great month to kick things off. I heard we will not have a break until Monday if we are lucky. I am not going to complain once winter sets in. I am so ready for it now.

Tom Teague

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.

The weather channel said that the heat index was 110 and helpfully reminded me that there has been no snow for the past 24 hours.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

I'm just the opposite. I don't complain about this stuff because of the winter. I figure at least you don't have to shovel it!


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

Has anyone considered having the art fair(s) during a month other than July? Just curious.

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

The only time it really makes sense is July or early August. This is the period where Ann Arbor is most quiet from lack of students. The local retailers need a boost in this period.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

I have lived in and around Ann Arbor all my life and never understood having the Art Fair in July. My sister and I were talking the other day and when I mentioned the upcoming heat wave she said "Of course, it's Art Fair time."


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

Mid to late May even, before the Summer Festival in mid June. Naw! That'd be too sensible.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

Yeah, early October or early June.

Tom Todd

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.