If it has seemed unusually warm lately — bordering on hot some days — consider this: The average high temperature over the last eight days is 33.1 degrees higher than the normal average high, according to National Weather Service statistics.
Records dating back to the 1890s have fallen during the warm spell that started in the Elkhart-South Bend area last week.
Wednesday was the eighth consecutive day that South Bend’s high temperature record was eclipsed, with a high of 85 breaking the old record of 79 set in 1938.
One more day in the streak is possible today, as the National Weather Service forecasts a local high of 82. The record for March 22 is 81, set in 1938.
High temperatures over the last eight days, starting March 14, have been 81, 81, 79, 78, 77, 79, 83 and 85, according to the National Weather Service.
The previous record highs for those days were 76 in 1990 and 1995, 76 in 1935, 77 in 1945, 75 in 1894, 76 in 1903, 77 in 1921, 76 in 1921 and 79 in 1938.
Through March 20, the average temperature this month was 52 degrees, nearly 17 degrees above normal. The highest average temperature for the whole month was 47.4 degrees in 1946.
It should be a bit cooler, starting Friday, but still above normal. Friday’s high should be around 70, with showers likely, according to the NWS.
Saturday’s high should be around 65, with a 50 percent chance of showers, and Sunday is expected to be partly sunny with a high of 65 again.
For the sake of perspective, the NWS points out that the normal local high temperature for today is 49.