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Denver hits 101 degrees Tuesday, city's earliest 100-degree reading since 2013

It marks the 96th time in recorded history that Denver has reached triple-digits.

DENVER — Well, at least it's a dry heat.

Denver hit 101 degrees on Tuesday afternoon, marking the city's first 100-degree reading since last September. It also made it Denver's earliest 100-degree day since 2013, and the third-earliest 100-degree day in Denver's recorded history.

Official climatological records in Denver are kept at Denver International Airport, and official records date back to 1872.

Tuesday's 100-degree reading in Denver also meant that it was the city's 96th overall 100-degree day in 139 years of official record-keeping, and the first since September 5, 2020.

It's all part of an exceptional early season heat wave that could bring 100-degree temperatures back to Denver again on Wednesday, and it also led to the first-ever Excessive Heat Warning ever issued for any part of the state of Colorado.

RELATED: Colorado expecting record heat – state issues rare excessive heat warning

In western Colorado, Grand Junction could threaten its all-time hottest temperature on record on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The city's current hottest temperature on record is 106 degrees (set in 2005), and the forecast puts the high around that mark both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Credit: KUSA

A large and slow-moving ridge of high pressure is responsible for this unusual heat wave, with all-time hottest temperatures in jeopardy in places like Billings, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah this week.

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Back in Denver, it'll stay scorching hot through at least Thursday, with daily records likely to fall on Wednesday and Thursday as well.

There is some relief in sight, though, with slightly cooler weather likely to return on Friday and a more substantial cooldown forecast for early next week, with highs perhaps down into the 70s by next Monday.

But until then, stay cool and avoid prolonged periods of time outdoors.