You can almost see the sweaty, exhausted Summer 2011 trudging to the finish line, just ahead of 2010 in the race for the hottest summer in Columbia history.
With three days to go in the June-July-August period used for meteorological records, 2011 ranks hottest with a daily average temperature (daily high plus daily low divided by two) of 84.29. Last summer is a close second at 84.02 and 1986 a distant third at 83.25, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.
Last year, August finished with highs of 89, 90 and 94 and lows of 72, 65 and 64. This year should be able to beat that with forecasts Monday through Wednesday for highs of 94, 90 and 90 and lows of 73, 69 and 68.
The closer race might be for first place in the average daily high competition. This year is on top right now at 95.54, but 1954 is nipping at its heels at 95.52.
This summer already has clinched one record, fewest days with high temperatures below 90 degrees. Weve had only four this summer. The previous record for Columbia, where records have been kept since 1887, was nine in 1954.