90s extravaganza

Perhaps July was oven-ready because an otherwise-gentle June ended on such a hot note.

Whatever the reason, on the first of July, the official high reached 97 at Philadelphia International Airport.

That marked the fourth-consecutive day of 90-plus, and the 90s just kept coming.

Saturday marked the 21st time this month that the high in Philly reached 90, tying a record for 90-plus July days set in 1952, 1988, 1995, and 2011.

So far, the official National Weather Service 90-plus count for 2012 stands at 30. While the record of 55, set in 2010, is out of reach, the intensity of the heat has been impressive.

On 12 days so far in 2012, the temperature has hit at least 95; the average is four. The record is 19, in 2002, followed by 18, in 1993. That race might not be over.

It appears that the 90 parade for July is over. Today, the official thermometer stopped climbing at 89 -- falling just one degree short of beating that 90-plus record.

Tomorrow, the forecast high is for the mid-80s, but it looks as though the 90s return by the end of the week, and the Climate Prediction Center two-week outlook sees the odds tilted toward more heat.

One item of noted in the climate center' outlook is the potential for above-normal precipitation for that period as the subtropical ridge breaks down.

The climate center says that might open a pathway for any tropical storms that develop, although nothing is cooking just yet.