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Idaho Monthly State Temperature Records Narrative

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#1
IbrChris

Posted 20 October 2016 - 09:23 AM

IbrChris

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Continuing with a similar analysis that was performed on Oregon stations by WxStatman back in 2009, here is the Idaho temperature record narrative with analysis defending or rejecting various "official" records (NCDC only recognizes all-time records for each state not monthly records as official)...my use of the word refers to the record being found in printed sources.

January

-Idaho’s record high for the month is 70 at Grand View on 1/9/1953. This is also the earliest 70 for the state. This reading is corroborated by 66 at Swan Falls and 63 at Boise the same day.

-Honorable mention:
  • 68 at Slate Creek on 1/26/2015
  • 67 at Grand View and Bruneau on 1/12/1980
  • 67 at Swan Falls on 1/25/1953

-Idaho’s record low for the month is -60 at Island Park on 1/18/1943 which also stands as the state’s lowest temperature on record. Remarkably it is the only instance of -50 or colder in the state during January.

-Honorable mention:
  • -48 at Hamer on 1/1/1979
  • -48 at Obsidian on 1/22/1962
  • -46 at Island Park on 1/31/1985
  • -46 at Stanley on 1/1/1978
  • -46 at Arco on 1/21/1937
  • -46 at Island Park on 1/22/1962
  • -45 at Island Park on 1/4/1942
  • -45 at Springfield on 1/19/1922

February

-Idaho’s official record high for the month is 81 at Hagerman on 2/25/1995. This reading is probably dubious even though some impressive late February warmth was occurring over SW Idaho on this date. Bruneau and Burley reached 72 on 2/24, and Glenns Ferry hit 71 on 2/25. Mountain Home hit 70 on 2/25. It seems unlikely anywhere in SW Idaho reached much beyond the mid 70s in 2/1995 (Pittsburg Landing was 75 on 2/20/1995).

-Another impressive warm spell hit in mid-Feb 1981 when Grand View reached 76 on 2/19/1981, the earliest credible 75+ reading on record and the likely February record high for the state. Bruneau saw 74 and Swan Falls had 71 the same day.

- The second-earliest 70 degrees was at Grand View and Swan Falls, both on 2/3/1953
-The earliest 72 was set at Slate Creek RS on 2/6/1963

-Honorable mention:
  • 74 at Swan Falls and Hagerman on 2/26/1986
  • 74 at Buhl on 2/26/1950
  • 72 at Bruneau on 2/24/1995
  • 72 at Riggins on 2/21/1995
  • 72 at Bruneau on 2/25/1986
  • 72 at Riggins and Hollister on 2/20/1977
  • 72 at Grand View and Swan Falls on 2/10/1971
  • 72 at Buhl on 2/22/1958

-Idaho’s record low for the month is -57 at Tetonia on 2/9/1933 during one of the most severe arctic blasts of the 20th century in the northern Rockies. This reading is the 2nd coldest on record in the state. The same morning the nearby town of Driggs reached -50.

-A remarkable -54 occurred at Island Park on 2/5/1982, the most recent occurrence of a temperature in the -50’s and tied for the 3rd coldest reading ever in the state.

-The latest -50 was recorded at Blackfoot Dam on 2/18/1942
-The latest -40’s were -45 at Obsidian and -44 at Island Park, both on 2/27/1962

-Honorable mention:
  • -48 at Warren on 2/9/1933
  • -47 at Stanley on 2/5/1982
  • -47 at Island Park on 2/18/1942
  • -46 at Stanley on 2/4/1985
  • -46 at Hamer on 2/1/1985
  • -46 at Island Park on 2/1/1951
  • -45 at Island Park on 2/13/1949
  • -45 at Irwin on 2/9/1933

March

-Idaho’s record high for the month is a reading of 85 at Swan Falls on 3/30/1966. Grand View also reached 85 on 3/29/1966. This appears to be a typical case of a high temperature from the day before (taken on a manual max-min thermometer at Swan Falls) being recorded for the next day even though the occurrence was on the day prior. This is common at COOP stations. I list the date the reading was recorded.

-The earliest 78 occurred at Grand View on 3/4/1925
-The earliest 80+ occurred when Grand View reached 82 on 3/15/1934

-Honorable mention:
  • 84 at Swan Falls on 3/29/1978
  • 84 at Swan Falls on 3/31/1966
  • 83 at Riggins on 3/29/1978
  • 83 at Payette and Glenns Ferry on 3/30/1966
  • 83 at Riggins on 3/26/1960
  • 82 at Bruneau on 3/30/1966

-Idaho’s record low for the month was -38 recorded at Idaho Falls 42NW on 3/1/1960 and previously at Elk City on 3/5/1955. This station was located within Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in the Arco Desert…42 miles NW of the city of Idaho Falls…and operated between 1954 and 1969. Nearby Idaho Falls 46W reached -28 and Howe saw -23 the same morning.

-The latest reading of -35 or below occurred at Island Park on 3/12/1956
-The latest reading of -30 or below occurred at Stanley on 3/30/1924, also the latest -25 or below.

-Honorable mention:
  • -36 at Island Park on 3/4/1966
  • -36 at Island Park and Dixie on 3/5/1955
  • -35 at Island Park on 3/6/1971
  • -35 at Island Park on 3/2/1971
  • -35 at Island Park on 3/3/1943
  • -34 at Chilly Barton Flat on 3/1/1960
  • -34 at Island Park on 3/11/1951
  • -34 at Stanley on 3/1/1917

April

-Idaho’s official record high for the month is 100 which occurred at Hagerman on 4/21/1994. However this appears dubious (probably due to overexposure) with no nearby stations hitting the 90’s that month. Swan Falls hit 95 Glenns Ferry 91, and Bruneau hit 90…all occurred on 4/20/1994. The state record high is probably the 100 recorded at Guffey (Owyhee Co.) on 4/25/1910. Nearby stations reported similar highs with 97 at Glenns Ferry and Garnet, with 94 at Mountain Home (all in Elmore Co.)

-The earliest 88 occurred at Orofino on 4/12/1934
-The earliest 90 occurred at Grand View on 4/14/1985 and Orofino on 4/14/1962
-The earliest 93 occurred at Orofino on 4/16/1936
-The earliest 95+ occurred at Orofino and Glenns Ferry with 96 on 4/17/1936
-The earliest 97 occurred at Lewiston, Orofino and Kooskia, all on 4/24/1977

-Honorable mention:
  • 98 at Orofino on 4/25/1910
  • 97 at Kooskia on 4/24/1977
  • 97 at Garnet on 4/25/1910
  • 97 at Glenns Ferry on 4/25/1910
  • 96 at Swan Falls on 4/24/1977
  • 96 at Grand View on 4/29/1926
  • 96 at Glenns Ferry on 4/17/1936

-Idaho’s record low for the month is -22 recorded at Copper Basin on 4/4/1985. This high elevation basin with a outlet constriction is ideal for nocturnal cold air pools, similar to Stanley nearby. The prior record was -21 at Alpha (Valley Co.) on 4/1/1936, which is still considered official in some publications.

-The latest -15 occurred at Stanley on 4/5/1982
-The latest -10 occurred at Warren on 4/20/1927
-The latest -5 or below occurred at Stanley on 4/21/1982, the low was -6.

-Honorable mention:
  • -18 at Island Park on 4/2/1975
  • -18 at Stanley on 4/3/1920
  • -17 at Blackfoot Dam on 4/2/1936
  • -16 at Stanley on 4/2/2008
  • -16 at Island Park on 4/1/1970
  • -15 at Stanley on 4/1/2008
  • -14 at Stanley on 4/16/1922

May

-Idaho’s record high for the month is 108 at Glenns Ferry on 5/29/2003. While this reading may have been slightly overexposed, Glenns Ferry lies in an ideal location in the Snake River canyon and nearby stations recorded 102-105. This was the middle of a major late-spring heatwave across the northwestern US with record highs in many areas. Bruneau and Swan Falls reached 104 on 5/28, Grand View 102 the same day. Hagerman saw 105 also on 5/28/2003.
-The earliest 100 occurred at Orofino on 5/6/1966 (if the April record is discounted)
-The earliest 102 occurred at Grand View on 5/16/1927
-The earliest 104 occurred at Grand View on 5/19/1954

-Honorable mention:
  • 107 at Garnet on 5/31/1910, previous state record
  • 106 at Glenns Ferry on 5/31/1910
  • 105 at Glenns Ferry on 5/30/2003
  • 105 at Orofino on 5/24/1934
  • 105 at Orofino on 5/26/1936
  • 105 at Guffey on 5/31/1910

-Idaho’s record low for the month is -1 at Copper Basin on 5/4/1985, this is the latest sub-zero reading on record. The prior record was 1 at Landmark in May 1944, listed as official in some sources.

-The latest 5 degree reading was at Ketchum RS on 5/23/1944 during a remarkable late-season cold wave that produced 6 at Seneca, Oregon.

-Honorable mention:
  • 2 at Warren on 5/6/2003
  • 2 at Warren on 5/1/1967
  • 3 at Stibnite on 5/1/1954
  • 4 at Copper Basin on 5/1/2009
  • 4 at Copper Basin on 5/8/2002
  • 4 at Dixie on 5/1/1972
  • 4 at Leadore on 5/6/1968
  • 4 at Galena on 5/1/1967
  • 5 at Copper Basin on 5/10/2008

June

-Idaho’s record high for the month is 116 at Pittsburg Landing on 6/28/2015 during a major heatwave over the inland NW. The next day Boise hit 110. The previous official record was 113 at Chattin’s Flat in June 1926.

-The earliest 110 occurred at Glenns Ferry on 6/11/1918. Nearby Bliss recorded 109 on 6/12/1918.

-Honorable mention:
  • 113 at Grand View on 6/26/1926
  • 113 at Grand View on 6/25/1925
  • 110 at Boise on 6/28/2015
  • 110 at Swan Falls on 6/20/1940
  • 110 at Orofino on 6/29/1939
  • 110 at Weiser on 6/12/1918
  • 109 at Boise and Grand View on 6/19/1940
  • 109 at Grand View on 6/29/1926
  • 109 at Grand View on 6/20/1925

-Idaho’s record low for the month is 8 at Copper Basin on 6/1/1990. The previous record was 12 at Stanley on 6/15/1923.

-Honorable mention:
  • 11 at Copper Basin on 6/1/2000
  • 11 at Copper Basin on 6/17/1994
  • 12 at Copper Basin on 6/9/1985
  • 14 at Copper Basin on 6/7/2012
  • 14 at Copper Basin on 6/30/1988
  • 14 at Copper Basin on 6/23/1985


July

-The official state record high for Idaho stands at 118 at Orofino on 7/28/1934. The elevation at this station is 1,027’ within a canyon so such a reading is conceivable. The reading may be overexposed, however corroborating readings can be found at Lapwai and Kooskia nearby, both with 116 on 7/27/1934 and Lewiston hitting 114 on the same day. That this area can get very hot is attested to by a record of 117 at Lewiston (pre-airport) on 7/27/1939, likely the state record if Orofino is discounted. 117 was also recorded more recently at Slate Creek on 7/13/2002. A very dubious 117 was recorded at Cambridge on 7/28/1934, however this appears impossible as the station sits at 2,650’.

-The earliest 115 on record was at Weiser on 7/2/1924

-Honorable mention:
  • 117 at Pittsburg Landing on 7/13/2002
  • 116 at Orofino on 7/20/1931
  • 115 at Glenns Ferry on 7/24/2003
  • 115 at Brownlee Dam on 7/13/2002
  • 115 at Grand View on 7/28/1934
  • 115 at Orofino on 7/24/1933
  • 115 at Glenns Ferry on 7/16/1925
  • 115 at Weiser on 7/2/1924
-Idaho’s record low for the month is 10 at Copper Basin on 7/6/1986. The previous official record was 15 at Stanley on 7/1/1918.
-Honorable mention:
  • 14 at Copper Basin on 7/19/1986
  • 15 at Copper Basin on 7/23/1986
  • 15 at Copper Basin on 7/5/1986
  • 16 at Copper Basin on 7/7/1988
  • 17 at Copper Basin on 7/5/1999
  • 17 at Copper Basin on 7/11/1997
  • 17 at Copper Basin on 7/18/1993
  • 17 at Stanley on 7/30/1924

August

-Idaho’s record high for the month is 116 at Orofino on 8/4/1961. Lewiston hit 115 the same day.

-The latest 115 occurred at Swan Falls on 8/6/1990

-Honorable mention:
  • 114 at Swan Falls on 8/8/1990
  • 113 at Pittsburg Landing on 8/13/2015
  • 112 at Pittsburg Landing on 8/14/2002
  • 112 at Brownlee Dam on 8/9/1990
  • 112 at Glenns Ferry on 8/7/1905 and 8/8/1905
  • 110 at Boise on 8/4/1961
-Idaho’s record low for the month is 8 at Copper Basin on 8/24/1992.

-The late Aug 1910 cold wave was remarkable for the number of record lows it produced across southern Idaho, including the sole August example of teens across valley locations in the Snake River Plain:
  • 18 at Sugar City on 8/25/1910
  • 19 at Springfield on 8/25/1910
  • 20 at Blackfoot Dam and Irwin on 8/25/1910
  • 22 at Idaho Falls and Salmon on 8/25/1910
  • 23 at Blackfoot and Albion on 8/25/1910

-Honorable mention:
  • 8 at Copper Basin on 8/26/1992
  • 9 at Copper Basin on 8/25/1992
  • 10 at Elk Creek on 8/18/1916
  • 11 at Chesterfield on 8/25/1910
  • 12 at Copper Basin on 8/31/2006
  • 12 at Stanley on 8/21/1924
  • 13 at Driggs on 8/25/1910
  • 14 at Warren on 8/23/2010
  • 15 at Copper Basin on 8/19/1995
15 at Copper Basin on 8/17/1987

September

-Idaho’s record high for the month is 111 at Pittsburg Landing on 9/1/1998 which is also the latest 110+ on record in the state.

-The latest 108 occurred at Lewiston on 9/6/1944
-The latest 105+ occurred at Slate Creek and Pittsburg Landing on 9/24/2011, the high at both locations was 106. It was also the latest Lewiston has hit 100.
-The latest 100 occurred at Slate Creek on 9/30/2011

-Honorable mention:
  • 109 at Pittsburg Landing on 9/3/1998
  • 109 at Pittsburg Landing on 9/4/1998
  • 108 at Pittsburg Landing on 9/2/1998
  • 108 at Slate Creek on 9/3/1998
  • 107 at Orofino on 9/1/1967
  • 107 at Orofino on 9/3/1938

-Idaho’s record low for the month is -1 at Obsidian on 9/25/1926, which is the earliest sub-zero reading on record in the state.

-The earliest 5 above occurred at Warren on 9/17/1965. Dixie was 9 that morning.

-Honorable mention:
  • 1 at Copper Basin on 9/28/1999
  • 1 at Stanley and Felt on 9/25/1926
  • 2 at Stanley on 9/27/1926
  • 2 at Stanley on 9/26/1926
  • 2 at Obsidian on 9/25/1926
  • 2 at Stanley and Grays Lake on 9/24/1926
  • 5 at Copper Basin on 9/21/1995

October

-Idaho’s record high for the month is 98 at Swan Falls on 10/1/1992, a reading corroborated by numerous mid-90’s the same day including 96 at Payette, 95 at Bruneau, 95 at Lucky Peak Dam, 94 at Boise, 95 at Kuna etc. Bruneau also reached 98 on 10/3/2010.

-The latest 95+ allegedly occurred at both Grand View and Chattin’s Flat on 10/15/1927 with 97 degrees. The Chattin’s Flat reading was accepted as official record high for October until the Swan Falls reading in 1992. This was a remarkable heat event given the calendar date but was mainly limited to the immediate Snake River canyon in SW Idaho. Meridian reached 89, Kuna 88 and Boise 87 all on 10/16 which suggests some overexposure at the hottest stations that were probably closer to 90-93 in reality. In fact Grand View recorded 93 at 10/16/1927 which seems plausible. This is probably the latest occurrence of 90’s in Idaho.

-The latest 90’s (or 2nd latest if the 1927 event is deemed legitimate) occurred at Swan Falls on 10/11/2015, the high was 94. This reading is corroborated by a 93 at Glenns Ferry on 10/11. Hagerman reached 92 and Boise 90 on 10/10/2015.

-The latest 85+ occurred at Grand View on 10/25/1977

-Honorable mention:
  • 97 at Hagerman on 10/1/1992
  • 96 at Glenns Ferry on 10/3/2010
  • 95 at Brownlee Dam on 10/1/1992
  • 95 at Grand View on 10/1/1943
  • 94 at Swan Falls on 10/11/2015
  • 94 at Boise Lucky Peak Dam on 10/3/2010
  • 94 at Hagerman on 10/2/2010
  • 94 at Ola on 10/1/2010

-Idaho’s record low for the month is -28 at Copper Basin on 10/30/1991, which is also the earliest occurrence of -20’s. This was a major early-season arctic blast across the northern Plains with a glancing blow across mainly SE Idaho.

-The earliest -10’s occurred at Dixie with -13 and Warren with -12, both on 10/29/1971.

-Honorable mention:
  • -20 at Copper Basin on 10/31/2002
  • -16 at Big Springs on 10/30/1917
  • -14 at Copper Basin on 10/31/2003
  • -14 at Leadore on 10/31/2002
  • -13 at Dixie on 10/30/1971
  • -12 at Dixie and Warren on 10/31/2002
  • -12 at Obsidian on 10/31/1919

November

-Idaho’s record high for the month is 84 at Grand View on 11/7/2006. Bruneau reached 83 the same day. This is the latest credible instance of 80’s in Idaho. The 85 degree reading at American Falls in 1899 is bogus (the high/low is listed as 85/25) and no other stations in the state hit 80 that month.

-The latest credible 75+ degree reading was at Swan Falls on 11/27/1949 and at Glenns Ferry on 11/27/1933, both reached 76.

-Honorable mention:
  • 81 at Glenns Ferry on 11/8/1931, probably overexposed
  • 79 at Swan Falls on 11/1/2000 and 11/2/2000
  • 78 at Glenns Ferry on 11/13/1999
  • 78 at Bruneau at 11/6/1999
  • 78 at Buhl on 11/1/1947

-Idaho’s record low for the month is -38 at Warren on 11/26/1896 which occurred during one of the most severe late-Nov arctic blasts on record (the other being 1985).

-The lowest reading during the exceptional arctic blast of Nov 1955 was -35 at Dixie on 11/15/1955. This is also the earliest occurrence of -30’s in the state.

-Honorable mention:
  • -36 at Elk City on 11/27/1919
  • -35 at Swan Valley on 11/28/1896
  • -34 at Island Park on 11/16/1955
  • -34 at Rexburg on 11/29/1896
  • -33 at Dixie on 11/23/1985
  • -33 at Soldier on 11/29/1896
  • -33 at Minidoka on 11/28/1896
  • -32 at Galena on 11/30/1983
  • -32 at Dixie and Grays Lake on 11/16/1955

December

-Idaho’s official record high for the month is 75 at Grand View and Chattin’s Ranch, both on 12/2/1917, however an examination of regional stations on this date suggests highs were closer to 70 so I’ve disregarded the values. Likewise the 75 at Glenns Ferry on 12/11/1933 doesn’t stand up to scrutiny as Grand View was only 66 that day. The record for the state appears to be 74 at Bruneau on 12/10/1939 and Emmett on 12/11/1939. These readings are corroborated by 73 at Grand View and 70 at Boise, both on 12/10.

-Honorable mention:
  • 73 at Oakley on 12/8/1939
  • 72 at Milner Dam on 12/5/1939
  • 70 at Burley on 12/5/1939
  • 70 at Grand View on 12/12/1929
  • 69 at Grand View on 12/22/1964
  • 69 at Riggins on 12/10/1939

-Idaho’s record low for the month is -54 at Stanley on 12/23/1983 during a major arctic blast across much of the lower 48. Elk City and Dixie both fell below -45 in this event, details below.

-The earliest -40’s occurred at Stanley on 12/11/1985, the low was -43
-The earliest -50 occurred at Stanley on 12/12/1919

-Honorable mention:
  • -53 at Stanley on 12/24/1983
  • -51 at Island Park on 12/17/1964
  • -49 at Dixie on 12/22/1990
  • -49 at Stanley on 12/29/1978 and 12/30/1978
  • -48 at Dixie on 12/23/1990
  • -48 at Elk City on 12/23/1983
  • -48 at Dixie on 12/17/1964
  • -46 at Stanley on 12/22/1990
  • -46 at Elk City on 12/24/1983
  • -45 at Tetonia on 12/23/1983
  • -45 at Stanley on 12/31/1978
  • -45 at Warren on 12/18/1924


Additions/corrections welcome.
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#2
wx_statman

Posted 20 October 2016 - 01:55 PM

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Lots of great information here. Thanks for putting in the effort! 



#3
Scott

Posted 21 October 2016 - 07:29 AM

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Some readings at Sun Valley might deserve to be on the Honorable Mentions lists as well. 

 

-46F on 2/2/1950

5F on 5/23/1944 (if accurate this might actually be the latest 5F in Idaho, beating the one on your list)

 

The -17F in Obsidian on 4/6/1956 might deserve to be on the honorable mentions list as well.

 

Of interest, but not an Idaho record, Border, just barely east of the Idaho/Wyoming border has a reported -60F on 2/8/1929.


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#4
wx_statman

Posted 21 October 2016 - 10:46 AM

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Some readings at Sun Valley might deserve to be on the Honorable Mentions lists as well. 

 

-46F on 2/2/1950

5F on 5/23/1944 (if accurate this might actually be the latest 5F in Idaho, beating the one on your list)

 

The 17F in Obsidian on 4/6/1956 might deserve to be on the honorable mentions list as well.

 

Of interest, but not an Idaho record, Border, just barely east of the Idaho/Wyoming border has a reported -60F on 2/8/1929.

 

Seneca hit 6F on 5/23/1944, so there's corroboration for that reading. 


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#5
Scott

Posted 21 October 2016 - 01:17 PM

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Seneca hit 6F on 5/23/1944, so there's corroboration for that reading. 

 

 

It seems that many stations in that region reported some low temperatures.

 

As mentioned, Landmark (Idaho) also supposedly hit 1F in May 1944.   Looking at the nearby weather data, it was also likely on May 23, though I can't find a date for it.  Ketchum Ranger Station, very near Sun Valley also hit 5F on May 23 (unless this is the somehow the same reading reported for Sun Valley[?], but it doesn't appear to be).  It was a very impressive late May cold snap for Oregon and Idaho, especially considering that several places (Seneca, Ketchum, Sun Valley, probably more?) reached their all time May record so late in the month.

985801.JPG



#6
IbrChris

Posted 22 October 2016 - 07:50 AM

IbrChris

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It seems that many stations in that region reported some low temperatures.

As mentioned, Landmark (Idaho) also supposedly hit 1F in May 1944. Looking at the nearby weather data, it was also likely on May 23, though I can't find a date for it. Ketchum Ranger Station, very near Sun Valley also hit 5F on May 23 (unless this is the somehow the same reading reported for Sun Valley[?], but it doesn't appear to be). It was a very impressive late May cold snap for Oregon and Idaho, especially considering that several places (Seneca, Ketchum, Sun Valley, probably more?) reached their all time May record so late in the month.

985801.JPG


Good finds! I will update the original post. 5 on 5/23/1944 would be the latest such occurrence. Thanks for the additions.

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#7
IbrChris

Posted 22 October 2016 - 07:59 AM

IbrChris

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I'd just like to mention the state climatological reports over at NCDC IPS (issued monthly beginning in 1893 for most states) are indispensable for comparing various events across a variety of stations. There is no independent QC for these reports so the values are preliminary and subject to overexposure/human error in some instances. Also Utah Climate Center features data for most early stations as well as the location on their map feature (toggle inactives to view).
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