DENVER (CBS4) – The thermometer at Denver International Airport hit 100 degrees at 3:09 p.m. on Monday, July 7, making it the warmest day so far in 2014 for the Mile High City.

City Park

A family has a picnic in the shade in Denver’s City Park on Monday. (credit: CBS)

The last time it was 100 degrees was on July 11, 2013.

Now you might be saying big deal, we usually see 100 degrees at least once every summer, right?

Well, if you’ve lived here since the turn of the century, the answer is yes, with the exception of 2004, 2009 and 2011.


Since the summer of 1872, the official Denver weather station has only recorded a temperature of 100 degrees or higher on 86 days.

We’ve had 40 of those since the year 2000.

Here’s a breakdown of the number of 100 degree temperatures by decade in Denver.

1870s – 8 (station established November 20, 1871)
1880s – 2
1890s – 0
1900s – 3
1910s – 2
1920s – 0
1930s – 5
1940s – 0
1950s – 3
1960s – 3
1970s – 5
1980s – 7
1990s – 8
2000s – 23
2010s – 17 (through July 7, 2014)

It works out to having a 100 degree day in Denver about once every 4 years.

There was a 21 year gap where no 100 degree days were recorded between July 23, 1910 and July 22, 1931.


The most common month to see 100 degrees in Denver is July. There have been 57 since 1872.

There have been 14 days in August and 15 days in June.

No other month has ever brought a triple digit reading to the Mile High.

The most common day to see 100 degrees is July 20th. There have been 5 since 1872.

The next most common are July 6th, 19th and 23rd; there have been 4 each in Denver over the period of the climate record.


The all-time record high temperature in Denver is 105 degrees.

It was first set on August 8, 1878, then tied again on three different occasions.

July 20, 2005
June 25, 2012
June 26, 2012


If you’re not a fan of 100 degree days, the good news is that besides being rare in Denver, we normally do not see multiple days in a row with thermometers in the triple digits.

The longest streak of 100 degree days in Denver is 5, and that has happened three times since 1872.

July 4-8, 1989
July 19-23, 2005
June 22-26, 2012

There has been one 4-day and one 3-day streak, and only seven 2-day streaks over the climate record. Most 100 degree days in Denver are single events.

The year of 2012 brought the most 100 degree days with 13.


The Denver weather station has a long history and has made several moves since it began.

Before the official station was established, there were many unofficial observations, some dating back as early as November 7, 1859.

The first official observation was made at 5:43 a.m. on November 20, 1871. It was part of the creation of the National Weather Service, and Denver was chosen to be an official location.

The readings were taken from the second floor of a building at Larimer and G Streets. (now 16th Street)

On January 1, 1916, the weather station moved to the post office building at 19th and Stout.

Stapleton Airport became the official Denver station on January 1, 1950. In March 1995, it was moved to Denver International Airport.


Long-time Denver residents sometimes don’t like the fact that the official weather station is roughly 20 miles away, in an area that does not represent “downtown” Denver.

Especially when it comes to talking about record highs and lows.

Despite, it is what it is, and that can be frustrating to accept, especially since it is not an “apples to apples” comparison.

A continuous, “official” climate record for a city, generally, does not recognize moves.


In recent years, a weather station was established at Denver’s City Park.

While it’s considered supplemental data, it’s entered into the daily climate record for the Denver area.

However, what happens each day at Denver International Airport, is still considered official, and is what’s used for statistics and record comparison.


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