In a way, "hot" is a relative term when it comes to weather - what's hot to someone from our area might feel like spring to a lifelong resident of Phoenix or Houston. Around here, 90oF is a reasonable threshold for a hot day.

Wilmington averages about 20 days per year of 90-or-above heat, but there's great variability from year to year. Here's a graph of the number of 90o days for each year since 1950. Look at 1967, when there was just 1 90o day. Then go to 1983. It tops the list with 40! Last year, the mercury reached 90oF or above 35 times, including a stretch of 12 straight days from late July into early August.

The last two decades, the 1980s and 1990s, had the most hot days, while the 1960s and 1970s had the least. Whether that's just nature's ups and downs, global warming, or some other factor, is still an open question.

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