Lexington's temperature hit 99 degrees by mid-afternoon Wednesday, making it officially the city's hottest Fourth of July on record, said Chris Bailey, chief meteorologist for WKYT-TV. The old record of 98 was set in 1911, he said.
"It's crazy. It just won't end," Bailey said after he participated in the annual downtown parade.
Unfortunately, his comments weren't just hyperbole: "It's going to be close to 100 the next couple of days, with small threats of showers."
A cool-down isn't expected until early next week, when temperatures should be closer to the normal upper 80s seen at this time of year, he said.
The heat plus the lack of rain has left the city in a moderate drought that forced a ban on setting off personal fireworks in Lexington and many surrounding cities, even after Tuesday evening's rain.
"Officially, at Blue Grass Airport, we're about 7 inches below normal for the year, but the east side of Lexington picked up about an inch of rain — so some parts of the Bluegrass are doing better than others," Bailey said.