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Record breaking heat in southeast Wyoming

National Weather Service graphic of temperature records.
National Weather Service Cheyenne

Much of southeast Wyoming set record breaking temperatures earlier this week, and the area is likely to continue to see hot weather throughout the week.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), three Wyoming cities saw their hottest temperatures ever recorded for July 18. Torrington was 107 degrees Fahrenheit, Laramie was 91 and Cheyenne was 99. The highest temperature ever recorded in Cheyenne was 100 degrees, which was set back in 1954.

Brandon Wills, the incident meteorologist for the NWS in Cheyenne, said the Laramie Mountains are what contribute to high temperatures in that part of the state.

“The spine of it is pretty close to the southeastern area of Wyoming,” he said. “And if you have any gusty winds, when those winds come off the mountain range it can really dry the air. We have very low relative humidity that causes fire weather concerns.”

Currently, there are four fires in the southeast area. Wills added that the low relative humidity makes it easy for fires to break out.

“We have a prolonged drought across the area,” he said. “So it's important to keep in mind that a lot of the fires that are started in our area are human caused.”

Wills said the next two weeks should be average to above average temperatures across the state. The NWS issued a ‘Red Flag Warning’ for parts of east central Wyoming for Wednesday, July 20, which means there is a potential for fires to start and to spread rapidly.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Wyoming was 116 degrees in Bitter Creek in Sweetwater County on July 12, 1900.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.
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