2017 North American heat wave

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Template:Others The 2017 North American heat wave affected more than 60% of the United States. Alaska reached temperatures as high as 31°C (88°F).[1] It took place on the west and east coasts and along the entire length of the southern border.[2]


In the Southwestern United States, the heat wave began causing economic problems in June 2017.[3] More than 40 airline flights of small aircraft were grounded, with American Airlines reducing sales on certain flights to prevent the vehicles from being over the maximum weight permitted for safe takeoff.[4] Las Vegas tied its record high at 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius).[5]

Western Washington State began to experience what would be an extremely hot summer for the region. Both the capital, Olympia, and Seattle broke records for the entire month of June.[6]


During the entire month, NOAA recorded a high pressure ridge hovering over Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, northern California, and western Montana. Florida experienced extreme heat for the entire month, setting a record for hottest July. Only a single day had a high temperature below 32.2°C (90°F).[7]


Several daily record highs were set Thursday, Aug. 2, including: Medford, Oregon (109°F)(42.8°C), The Dalles (108°F)(42.2°C), Portland, Oregon (103°F)(39.4°C), Eugene, Oregon (102°F)(38.9°C), Olympia, Washington (96°F)(35.5°C), Seattle (94°F)(34.4°C), Santa Maria, California (88°F)(31.1°C). Smoke covering much of the region (from wildfires in British Columbia, Canada) kept temperatures below all-time record levels.[8] In the first week of August, much of the Pacific Northwest was covered in haze, resulting in poor air quality. It was predicted to take at least another week to clear.[9]

Juneau, Alaska set record highs on August 5–6, during a week of highs in the 70'S (20'S). Much of southeastern Alaska saw temperatures reach the 80's (26+).[10]

On August 7, Seattle matched its all-time record for consecutive days without precipitation.[11]

West Coast high temperatures

Date[12] State[12] City[12] Recorded High Temp[12]
June 20, 2017 AZ Phoenix 119°F, 48.3°C
June 21, 2017 AZ Prescott 105°F, 40.5°C
June 20, 2017 AZ Tombstone 110°F, 43.3°C
June 20, 2017 AZ Tucson 116°F, 43.3°C
June 21, 2017 AZ Winslow 108°F, 42.2°C
June 25, 2017 CA Burbank 111°F, 43.9°C
June 20, 2017 CA Death Valley National Park 127°F, 52.8°C
June 20, 2017 CA Needles 127°F, 52.8°C
June 21, 2017 CA Ocotillo Wells 125°F, 51.6°C
June 20, 2017 CA Palm Springs 122°F, 50°C
June 22, 2017 CA Redding 113°F, 45°C
June 18, 2017 CA San Jose 103°F, 39.4°C
June 19, 2017 CA South Lake Tahoe 90°F, 32.2°C
June 20, 2017 CA Thermal 123°F, 50.5°C
June 22, 2017 NM Tucomcari 108°F, 42.2°C
June 20, 2017 NV Las Vegas 117°F, 47.2°C
June 20, 2017 NV Reno 104°F, 40°C
June 20, 2017 NV Tonopah 102°F, 38.9°C
June 25, 2017 OR Portland 101°F, 38.3°C
June 25, 2017 WA Olympia 98°F, 36.6°C
June 24, 2017 WA Quillayute 92°F, 33.3°C
June 25, 2017 WA Seattle 96°F, 35.5°C

East Coast high temperatures

Date[13] State[13] City[13] Recorded High Temp[13]
June 12, 2017 IL Chicago 95°F, 35°C
Sept 20 2017 MO St Louis 97°F, 36.1°C
Sept 25 2017 NY Syracuse 91°F, 32.7°C
Sept 24 2017 VT Burlington 91°F, 32.7°C

Eastern United States

St Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri experienced 121 cooling degree days during the September heat wave. Compared to their previous average of 31 cooling degree days, this number became a new record.[14] Cooling degree days are defined as the number of days a person leaves their air conditioner on when the temperature is above 65°F (18.3°C). This put a large strain on the Missouri state power grid, causing many outages.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio also had a heat stretch during the September heatwave. On September 25, 2017, Cleveland reached 94°F (34.4°C), setting a new record for above 90°F (32.2°C) highs for five consecutive days.[14] High pressures of heat centered over the Great Lakes are the cause for increased heat and humidity in the area.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was mostly affected during the June heatwave in 2017, reaching highs of 80°F (26.6°C). The record for consecutive days of high temperatures was also broken. What was originally 10 days recorded late June of prior years, was beaten by 13 consecutive days of highs in the 80°F (26.6°C).On September 24, 2017, Pittsburgh reached a high of 90°F (32°C) , the first time since June 13.

Syracuse, New York

Upstate New York also suffered from the 2017 heatwave, Syracuse reached four consecutive days of high temperatures. On September 27, 2017, the 90 degree Fahrenheit mark was hit, breaking the previous record of 83 degrees that was set in 1929. With three consecutive days above 90°F (32°C) it was officially considered a heatwave.


  1. "US News". https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/alaska/articles/2017-12-10/alaska-sees-record-high-temperatures-in-december. 
  2. "New Heat Wave Bakes Southwest U.S. by Dr. Jeff Masters | Category 6". Weather Underground. https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/new-heat-wave-bakes-southwest-us. 
  3. Masters, Jeff. "Summary of the Great Southwest U.S. Heat Wave of 2017". https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/summary-great-southwest-us-heat-wave-2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  4. "Heat wave hits Southwest on 1st day of summer". http://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/heat-wave-hits-southwest-on-1st-day-of-summer/ar-BBCX7Yb?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  5. CNN, Madison Park. "How hot is it in the West? Let us count the ways". http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/20/us/weather-west-heat-wave/index.html. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  6. "How Hot Was It In Seattle? Heat Records Broken Across Western Washington". 26 June 2017. https://patch.com/washington/seattle/how-hot-was-it-seattle-heat-records-broken-across-western-washington. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  7. "7 Odd Weather Events Happening in Late July | The Weather Channel". https://weather.com/news/news/strange-weather-events-late-july-2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  8. Belles, Jonathan. "Western Heat Wave Breaks Record Highs in Oregon and Washington - wunderground.com". https://www.wunderground.com/news/record-heat-west-early-august-2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  9. Blinder, Alan; Caron, Christina (7 August 2017). "Wildfire Smoke From Canada Drapes Pacific Northwest in a Haze". https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/us/wildfires-canada-seattle.html. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  10. "Southeast Alaska’s weekend heat breaks records" (in en). http://juneauempire.com/news/local/2017-08-07/southeast-alaska-s-weekend-heat-breaks-records. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  11. Samenow, Jason (7 August 2017). "Rainless in Seattle: City has longest streak on record without precipitation". https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/08/07/rainless-in-seattle-city-has-longest-streak-on-record-without-precipitation/. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "Summary of the Great Southwest U.S. Heat Wave of 2017 by Dr. Jeff Masters | Category 6". Weather Underground. https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/summary-great-southwest-us-heat-wave-2017. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Late-September heat wave shatters century old records in midwestern, northeastern US". https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/late-september-heat-wave-shatters-century-old-records-in-midwest-eastern-us/70002827. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Late-September heat wave shatters century old records in midwestern, northeastern US - AccuWeather.com". https://m.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/late-september-heat-wave-shatters-century-old-records-in-midwest-eastern-us/70002827. 

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