South Florida has been running above normal temperatures with today expected to top out near 83 degrees in West Palm Beach – six degrees above normal for late February.
But the hottest city in the U.S. on Thursday was a whopping 103 degrees, which was 24 degrees warmer than the 79 recorded Thursday in West Palm Beach.
The 103 degree temp at Falcom Dam, Texas, which is west of McAllen at the state’s southern tip, was from a co-op station. The Brownsville office of the National Weather Service said it didn’t get word of that reading until this morning.
Forecasters also learned this morning of a 102 reading at Rio Grande City.
Officially, the National Weather Service is still listing McAllen’s 101 reading, which was form an automated station at the airport, as the record high. While it may not be the true highest reading for Thursday, it did break its own 1996 record of 98 degrees.
The Rio Grande Valley was in the warm sector of a low pressure system over southeast Colorado, pulling up heat out of the south, and had high pressure at the surface and aloft. The sinking air and clear skies helped drive the triple digit temperatures.