Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Another record-breaking summer for hot weather

Last year, I wrote about how hot the summer of 2012 was in Lee Vining. So far, 2013 is even hotter. Both June and July average temperatures were the warmest on record this year. But it has been much rainier as well.

On hot summer days, nothing beats a swim in Mono Lake! Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

From April 1 to August 1, Mono Lake dropped only 2/3 of the 1 foot that it dropped last year (both dry years), primarily because of about two inches more rain this year. Those cooler rainy days also kept July 2013’s average maximum temperature about the same as July 2012, despite having warmer minimums and maximums.

July 2013 had a record number of nights (eight) in the 60s (degrees F). It set a new record for the average minimum temperature (58) and tied the highest minimum temperature on record for the month (51). July also had eight days in the 90s (average is only 3.7 days). The only July with more was in 2007, when there were ten sweltering days in the 90s. At the Mono Inn, there were eight or more July days in the 90s only five times from 1951–1987.

Perhaps most remarkable, three days this July had a maximum temperature of 95. Only twice before (since the weather station moved to Lee Vining from the Mono Inn in 1988) have temperatures reached as high or higher, to the record high of 96 degrees: once in 2002, and once in 2007. Only four times between 1951 and 1987 did temperatures reach those heights at the Mono Inn, with 97 degrees the record.

Looking back to June, there were a record four days in the 90s. June 2000 was the only other June with any days (two) in the 90s since the NOAA’s Lee Vining weather station began operating in 1988. Interestingly, 90-degree days in June were common when the weather station was at the Mono Inn, happening almost every other year, with a record seven days in the 90s in June 1961.

At Cain Ranch, the mercury hit 99 degrees in July, tying a record that was only hit twice between 1991 and 2010.


  1. A really beautifully composed photo. It’s not always easy to include people in a photo without it looking like a snapshot or vacation photo. This one goes beyond that with a more universal message. Love it!

  2. Greg; in going over the B-91 form you sent to the NCDC via Reno, I agree about June average temp the warmest on record but for this July, the warmest July was in 2007 along with 1994, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 all being warmer than this July. July nights in the 60s counts up to 3, not 8 and the average minimum temp was 55.3, not 58.0. The record for July is 57.0 in 2007 and 5 other July average minimums have been warmer. No doubt about July being wet, it was 182% of normal and wettest July since 2002 and tied for 7th as the wettest July in last 26 years. You are right about Cain Ranch and having to go back to 2002 for the tie. Up north Bridgeport’s average June temp was 6.1 degrees above normal and tieing with 1994 as the 3rd hottest June. Record is in 1991. July average temp was 2.6 above normal and the hottest since 2007 with the record set in 2006 and tied for the 5th hottest July average temperature. The July rainfall added up to 1.23″, the 10th wettest July in 101 years, yes, 101 years.

  3. Hi Bob,
    Thank you for those corrections. I noticed the discrepancy in July between our B-91 and WRCC’s preliminary compilation found at The preliminary numbers are probably from the electronic submission each morning prior to correcting any errors at the end of the month. I decided to go with WRCC before really thinking through which numbers were correct (the WRCC’s formatting of results is so easy to use!), however the temperatures you list (Lee Vining minimum temps from the B-91) appear to be the correct ones.