Temps signal 'Dog days'

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— Finding ways to beat the heat seemed to be on everyone's mind this past weekend.

Temperatures across Colorado tangoed with historic highs. In Steamboat Springs temperatures hovered close to the record of 96 degrees set in 2002. The late-afternoon recorded high was 93. The temperature in Denver reached 101 degrees Saturday, which broke a record of 100 degrees set in 1902.

Long lines formed at downtown Steamboat businesses Sunday that offered cold treats. Latecomers to tubing outfitters were told there were no more tubes available for a lazy float down the Yampa River.

"By noon we were sold out," said Blue Sky West Tubing employee Colin Taylor.

Providing your own tube was the only option, as Taylor said all the outfitters had met their daily allotment.

Ronna Boston, her husband and two sons were a few of the lucky ones who got to the outfitter early enough. Tubing the Yampa was refreshing, but the Kansas City family that was spending part of their vacation in Steamboat is accustomed to the heat.

"We're used to it, but when you come up here you think it should be a little bit cooler," Boston said.

The Club United Youth girls soccer team from Loveland was cooling off and celebrating with ice cream under a tree in front of Fuzzywig's Candy Factory on Lincoln Avenue. The girls were showing off the medals they received for winning the championship game for girls under 13.

"It was hot, but it was a lot of fun," said Jana Houghteling about today's game. "We decided on ice cream during half time."

Fuzzywig's Candy Factory owner Matt Cardille expected to sell around 300 cones Sunday.

"There was a line around the store just for ice cream," he said. "It's been really, really busy."

Grand Junction National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Ramey said the high temperatures and dry condition can be attributed to a large pocket of high pressure.

"It's the dog days of summer," said Ramey referring to the name given to describe the historically hottest period between the beginning of July and middle of August.

The high-pressure system is blocking out the monsoon season moisture that typically comes from the Mexico area.

"It's not unusual," Ramey said. "This is our warmest period of the year, but we are above average."

The recorded temperature Saturday in Steamboat was 94 degrees, one degree shy of the record set in 1934.

The high-pressure system is expected to start moving to the east today, which should bring cooler temperatures and a chance of rain. High temperatures though are expected to stay in the low 90s for the first part. Highs should be in the mid to upper 80s toward the end of the week before another high-pressure system builds this weekend bringing another round of 90 degree temperatures.

-- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210 or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

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