Vicksburg’s heat wave sets records, but 2023 is not the city’s hottest summer

Published 1:20 pm Sunday, August 6, 2023

The heat wave that has gripped Vicksburg during the first week of August has crossed into historic territory.

The high temperatures of 103 degrees on Friday and 104 on Saturday were both records for those dates, and among the hottest in the city since National Weather Service record-keeping began in 1948.

Saturday’s high tied for the third-hottest temperature on record. It also reached 104 degrees three times in 1954, and once each in 2000 and 2010.

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The heat waves in 2023, 2000 and 1954 occupy seven spots on the list of top 10 hottest days in Vicksburg.

Friday’s low of 80 degrees was also a record for Aug. 4 — and for August — and tied for the fourth-highest low temperature. The minimum temperature of 80 was reached six times, all since 2010. The warmest low ever was 83 degrees on June 30, 1969.

The highest temperatures officially recorded in Vicksburg came in 2000. It reached 106 degrees on Aug. 31 of that year, 105 on Sept. 1, and 104 on Sept. 2. Those were the high marks during a record stretch of 10 consecutive days in which the temperature topped 100 degrees.

The 2023 heat wave is at four consecutive days of 100-plus temperatures.

Vicksburg’s hottest summer on record is 1954. There were 85 days that year with highs above 95 degrees, including two separate streaks of 27 and 32 days in a row. One brutal run in mid-August included seven straight days over 100.

The summer of 2011 is second on the list of 95-plus days, with 69. There have been 26 such days so far in 2023. There were 43 days above 95 degrees in 2022, and 49 in 2019.

The two separate streaks of 32 and 27 consecutive days above 95 in 1954 rank first and second in that category, and it is the only year with two such streaks.

The summer of 2000 ranks a distant third, with 22 straight days, although its total of 21 days over 100 degrees is a record. There have been 10 100-degree days in Vicksburg so far in 2023.

The current streak in Vicksburg is 12 straight days over 95 degrees, and it appears the city will not come close to setting that record. The forecast high is 100 on both Sunday and Monday, before dipping to 92 with a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms on Tuesday. Highs will quickly return to the upper 90s by the end of the week, however.

Heat index values are forecast to reach between 110 and 115 degrees both Sunday and Monday, which has triggered an excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service until 9 p.m. Monday.

The record high for Sunday is 100 degrees, set in 1954, and Monday’s record is 99 set in 2011.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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