Another record was broken when the temperature reached 105 degrees in Gillette on Monday afternoon.
That followed another record-breaking day, when it hit 107 degrees Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. The temperature pushed to set yet another record. Sunday’s mark was the hottest day on record for the month of June since records have been kept and tied for the third hottest day overall.
Monday’s high made it the second-hottest day on record for June and tied it for the fifth hottest overall, according to the National Weather Service in Rapid City, S.D.
The heat wave was enough to send swimmers to pools and even caused Recreation Center employees to pull the curtains on a large set of windows to block the sun.
More than 3,370 swimmers have lined up for a spot at the City Pool, which has had hit capacity in the morning and afternoon sessions in each of the past five days.
The pool has a capacity of 200 in the mornings and 300 in the afternoons and 150 each evening. Lines develop after capacity is reached and swimmers have to wait until someone leaves to get in to the pool.
The most crowded day at the pool near City Park behind Twin Spruce Junior High was on Friday, when temperatures hit 96 degrees. A total of 911 people were at the pool.
The day before, 731 swam there.
On Sunday, just 582 swimmers used the City Pool. On Monday, the number rose to 609.
The two pools at the Recreation Center also have gotten increased use with the heat wave.
A total of 280 hit the leisure pool’s water slides and children’s areas on Sunday and 220 on Friday. The capacity at the Recreation Center pools is 320.
Closing the curtain
The record heat on Sunday was one factor in the Recreation Center pulling the shades in the large windows above the registration center. The curtains can be closed through a power button, not allowing passers-by to see the top of the 42-foot climbing tower inside.
The shades were closed Sunday because of the heat building up in the center, said director David McCormick.
“It gets pretty warm up there,” he said of the area above the climbing tower where participants can use a walking track.
It’s also been closed at different times of the year because the angle of the sun makes it difficult to see at the registration desk, he said.
All that heat combined with a little humidity to create some severe weather in the county, although it missed Gillette.
Spotters saw three funnel clouds south of Wright, said Campbell County Emergency Management Coordinator David King. “We had one north of us and one south of us but nothing threatening Gillette proper.”
Any time moisture and heat combine, you will have thunderstorms in the afternoon, King explained.
“You’ve got to remember the whole thing is like a tea kettle,” he said.
The line of storms that marched through northeastern Wyoming stretched from Montana to Nebraska.
King predicted cooler weather in the coming days. A high of 98 degrees is predicted for Tuesday by the National Weather Service, and should reduce the risk of severe weather in the area.
Still, the heat and wind that has accompanied it has not helped the risk of wildfires.
Firefighters battled four wildfires Monday — none of which grew out of control despite the favorable conditions for fires.
Two fires started by passing trains were contained to less than 5 acres. Another one started by lightning was extinguished at about 2 acres.
Firefighters still are working to battle a fire started by lightning in timber and grass near Rocky Point Road on Monday. That fire was last reported to be about 50 acres, according to a fire department report.
A small amount of rain, 0.01 inches recorded in Gillette, likely will not be enough to help subdue the risk of more fires.
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