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2021 is a year for historical high and low temperatures

Personal weather station displays. Courtesy of Joe Hopkins

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — While Whatcom County residents are currently dealing with single-digit low temperatures, they only need to look back exactly 6 months to a time when most parts of the county were dealing with temperatures in triple digits.

This summer’s heatwave was a several week weather event that began in late June. The official all-time record at Bellingham International Airport (BLI) had been 96°, set on July 29, 2009. BLI recorded a 99° high temperature on June 28th and then a 100° high on August 12th, breaking the record twice.

That extended period of hot weather led to closures and detours due to buckling roads.

While the current cold snap is reaching lows rarely seen, last night’s low of 8° at BLI was not enough to break the record of -2° recorded on February 1, 1950. The most recent similar cold snap occurred on December 29, 1990, and that reached a recorded low of 6° at BLI.

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