RENO, Nev. (AP) - Reno is on its way to posting another one of its warmest summers in modern times and local experts say it's hard to believe that regional climate change doesn't have something to do with it.
Eight of Reno's nine warmest summers on record have occurred since 2000, said Rhett Milne, a meteorologist for National Weather Service in Reno.
The mercury has topped 90 degrees 32 consecutive days here. The record is 35 straight days from July 11 to Aug. 14, 2005.
"It would be almost statically impossible to have this many consecutive years of warmth for it to not be climate change," Milne told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Is this string of warm days attributable to climate change? It very well could be, but it would be almost impossible to directly attribute it to it."
Kelly Redmond, regional climatologist at the Desert Research Institute Western Regional Climate Center, said Reno's average number of days above 89 degrees has soared from 52 days a year to 69 days after 2000.
"The summer temperatures in the western states jumped up quite a lot around the turn of the century," Redmond said. "It's not just Reno and it's been most noticeable in July."
Fallon, about 50 miles east of Sparks, has shown the same increase, averaging 55 days a year at 90 degrees or above before 2000 but 71 days a year since, Redmond said.
"This jump upward in Reno is almost the same we've seen in Fallon," Redmond said. "I have a hard time blaming this on urban heat island. It just doesn't have the right characteristics. This is a regional scale phenomenon."
Reno is forecast to have temperatures above 90 for the next three days, but Milne said a low pressure system expected to approach northern California on Saturday could cool the area, preventing a 36th day of consecutive 90-degree temperatures.
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