With June's departure, brutal heat gives way to something more pleasant

Jun. 30—We baked early, and we scorched late.

Now the record-breaking heat that made the last month Northeast Pennsylvania's second warmest June since the 1960s is over and will give way to a more pleasant July.

At least to start.

Cooler air that moved into the region Wednesday and early today brought an end to four days of often brutal heat that helped rewrite the record books for June as it toppled some marks and challenged others.

Here's a look at how the month shaped up:

—The final average temperature for June at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport was expected to be about 70.7 degrees.

That was 3.7 degrees above normal and the highest since June 2005, when the average temperature was 72.6 degrees.

To find another June that was hotter locally, you have to go back to 1967, when the average temperature for the month was 71.1 degrees.

—When the temperature at the airport jumped past 90 degrees Wednesday afternoon, it marked the fourth consecutive day the mercury hit or exceeded that threshold. Add three days earlier in the month with 90-degree highs — June 5, 6 and 7 — and there were a total of seven days when the temperature rose to 90 or above.

That tied the record for the most in June, joining 1959 and 2005, said Mike Kistner, a meteorologist with National Weather Service office in Binghamton, New York.

"It's pretty unusual to have seven," Kistner said.

To illustrate just how unusual it is, AccuWeather meteorologist Paul Walker offered another perspective.

Since 2000, there have been six years when the high temperatures at the airport never made it out of the 80s in June, he said.

—Two daily record highs were established during this week's heat wave.

The first record fell Monday when the temperature at the airport rose to 95 degrees. The broke a mark of 92 degrees for June 28 set in 1966.

On Tuesday, a high of 97 at the airport broke the record of 95 for June 29 that was set in 1959. The 97-degree reading also tied for the fourth all-time warmest June temperature, the National Weather Service said.

The warmest June temperature ever recorded locally was 99 degrees on June 3, 1919, the weather service said.

Today and Friday will be humid, with a continuing chance of showers and thunderstorms, but it will be markedly cooler, with highs both days in the mid-70s, Walker said.

"People will really notice the break in the extreme heat," he said.

Moving into the Independence Day weekend, there could still be a shower or thunderstorm around each day, Walker said. The high on Saturday should be in the lows 70s before temperatures warm up to near 80 for the Fourth of July on Sunday.

"As for the Fourth, it should be pretty close to normal," he said.

Contact the writer: dsingleton@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9132