Virginia had its most warm year in 2012, and heat records far outpaced those for cold.
The 2020s will be a year that we continue to explore and explain climate change.
It is not as simple as readings for snow and rainfall. However, it is more difficult to determine which Virginia spot had the most extreme heat in a given year or day. Usually, peak temperatures can be found at multiple locations east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Scientists know that land use makes cities warmer than rural areas. This increases both short-term heat waves as well as long-term global warming trends. Since 2017, research has identified the most vulnerable neighborhoods to heat in Washington, Norfolk, or Richmond.
Other factors also allow rural areas to reach impressive heights. Even on the hottest days in summer, when almost everyone is baking, you can get an extra degree of heat from places at lower elevations, with drier soil, or exposed to winds that blow down a slope. A hot pattern can be tempered by storms, sea breezes, and damp soil.
Hottest locations reported by year
Source: A database of volunteer observations that were submitted to the National Weather Service, plus official records. This summary did not include reports with unrealistically high scores.
2010:106 degrees at various locations throughout July
2011:106 at Manassas July 23.
2012:108 at Walkerton King and Queen County, July 8.
2013:Most likely, 98 at Walkerton July 19.
2014:101 at Richmond, Sept. 2.
2015:On June 23, there were likely to be 102 in Newport News or Chesapeake.
2016:104 at Purcellville in Loudoun County on July 24,
2017:102 at Bremo Bluff (Fluvanna County) and John H. Kerr Dam, on dates in the latter part of July
2018:100 at three sites in the early part of July
2019:102 at three locations on both July 22 and October 4.