By Meteorologist Ashton Altieri

DENVER (CBS4) – On July 28, 1876, Colorado was just days away from gaining statehood and in Denver the temperature reached 98 degrees. Since then it’s never been as hot on the same date until likely this year.

The record from 145 years ago also has the distinction of being one of the oldest record high temperatures still in existence in Denver for any date. There’s a good chance that we could either break or tie it by 4 p.m. Wednesday with high temperatures expected to reach near 100 degrees for most areas around Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins.

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It will also be quite hot on the Eastern Plains and very warm in the mountains with many high country locations below 9,500 feet reaching into the 80s.

(source: CBS)

In addition to the heat, air quality will suffer greatly due to summer ozone on Wednesday. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has declared the air along the Front Range to be unhealthy for everyone – not just sensitive groups.

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(source: CBS)

Front Range residents are discouraged from spending prolonged periods of time outside on Wednesday and strenuous outdoor exercise is not recommend. It’s also the 36th Ozone Action Day of the season (which is far above average) with the ongoing request to drive less whenever possible during the day.

Looking ahead to Thursday, it will be another hot day with likely more bad air. However temperatures should be slightly cooler than Wednesday and Denver will likely stay shy of the record for July 29 which is 99 degrees from 2005.

(source: CBS)

It’s also stays dry in the Denver metro area through Thursday. A relatively small chance for late day thunderstorms returns on Friday followed by a good chance for showers and thunderstorms over the weekend. The best chance will be in the mountains.

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Meteorologist Ashton Altieri