And now the moment you've all been waiting for. OK, maybe not all of you, but at least some of you.
It's the annual Humongously Wonderful Valley 101 Guess the First 100-Degree Day contest. It doesn't get much more exciting than this, does it?
The contest is simplicity itself, which is just as well because I think some of you people get confused easily. Just guess predict the date and time (including hour and minute) the temperature hits 100 degrees for the first time this year on the National Weather Service's official thermometer at Sky Harbor International Airport. You get three guesses. You can e-mail them to the address at the end of this column below or mail them on a postcard to Wildly Improbable, Valley 101, Arizona Republic, 200 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Be sure to Include your name and daytime phone number.
The deadline for entries is the close of business April 15. Of course, that's the close of my business so you'd better not wait until the last minute.
The first and only prize is four Diamondbacks tickets. I don't have them in hand at the moment, so I don't know which game.
A few hints: Last year's first 100-degree day came on May 18. I disremember what time.
The average date of the first 100 at Sky Harbor is May 13. The earliest occurrence was on March 26, 1988, and the latest was June 18, 1913. Once we get started there will plenty of 100-degree days to go around. The average annual number of days with a temperature of 100 or higher from 1971 to 2000 is 106.
We had the fewest number of 100-plus days in 1913— just 48. The most were in 1989 with 143.
Reach Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-8612.