August rarity

Only four times in the last 100 years has the official temperature failed to reach 90 at least once in the month of August, and the last time it happened was almost three decades ago, in 1984.

With four days to go, this month has a shot at becoming No. 5. Offically at Philadelphia International Airport the high topped out at 89 today, and the forecast is looking similar the next few days.

The other three 90-less Augusts since 1910 occurred in 1927, 1946, and 1963.

In the old days, an August without a 90 was no big deal. In the first 37 years of the period of the temperature record, which dates to 1874, Philadelphia had 10 of them, including four in a row from 1901 to 1904.

While it is true that the level of urbanization in those days doesn't compare with today's, before 1940 the official temperatures were taken downtown.

As we mentioned, the summer of 2013 is going to finish slightly above normal for he June 1-Aug. 31 period, with August a relative breath of fresh air.

Through yesterday, the temperature for the month stood at 2.9 degrees below normal.