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This Week in Weather History: July 15, 1954

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Virginia is someplace you might not expect!

We've seen the temperatures top 100° here in Hampton Roads many times in the past.  And in July 2010, we hit 105°, twice!

But the state temperature record goes to Balcony Falls, Virginia, near Natural Bridge, where the mercury hit 110° on July 15th in 1954.

Why in the mountains, where you'd think it would be cooler?  Well, it's because of something called "downsloping heat."  The sunshine warms the elevated ground and the surrounding air.  As that air descends the mountains, it compresses.  

With all other things being equal, if you increase the pressure, the air warms. And that's why the Balcony Falls, Virginia holds the record.

Unfortunately, this area would make the news again 15 years later, when Hurricane Camille caused widespread flash flooding through the Virginia mountains.

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