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Maddie Jamison jumps in the poolJuly is the hottest month of the year for Central Virginia, and that’s rarely been more true than this July.

In the first 21 days of the month, Fluvanna County weather stations recorded daytime highs in the 90s on 19 days, and you have to go all the way back to July 9 to find a day that was merely in the upper 80s.

The average temperature for this time of year is around 86 degrees.

Combined with high humidity threatening to push the heat index as high as 109 degrees, it’s no surprise that Cheryl Elliott, Fluvanna County emergency management coordinator, issued a press release on Friday warning residents to beware of the potentially dangerous temperatures and recommending that people in need of cooling head to the Fluvanna County Library or, for Lake Monticello residents, the Fairway Clubhouse.

Thunderstorms late Saturday night brought little relief from the heat and humidity, but did bring significant damage to the region. Strong winds toppled trees in Greene County and brought down the tents at the Orange County Fair.

Here in Fluvanna, there were reports of multiple trees down along Union Mills Road (Route 616) and other areas of the county. Several area residents posted photos on social media on Sunday showing trees that had fallen onto their parked cars or into local roadways.

Charlottesville Newsplex reported Sunday that one home near the junction of Troy Road (Route 631) and North Boston Road (Route 600) was struck by a half-dozen trees downed by high winds. No injuries were reported.

What Saturday’s storms did not bring was heavy rain. The average rainfall for July is 4.86 inches; so far this month, we’ve seen just over one inch. This follows an equally parched June, where we received only 1.15 inches – a full three inches below normal.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has not declared a drought in Fluvanna, but Louisa, Madison, Greene, and Orange Counties were named in a drought watch advisory in late June. 

While meteorologists predicted a weak cold front would pull down cooler air from Canada and bring temperatures down to near-normal by early in the week, the recent heat wave is unlikely the last we’ll see of the 90s. The National Weather Service’s 90-day forecast anticipates above-normal temperatures will continue through the rest of the summer and may extend into October.