We're No. 1 ... South Louisiana forecast to be hottest place in country Tuesday after record Monday _lowres

National Weather Service graphic

The intensifying heat in Baton Rouge climbed to 103 degrees Monday — the hottest day yet this year and the record high for the day’s date, according to the National Weather Service.

Only 15 other times on record have temperatures in the Capital City reached 103 degrees or higher, said Alek Krautmann, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Slidell.

“It’s pretty rare to be this high,” Krautmann said.

New Orleans hit 98 degrees Monday at the airport, also a record high for the day’s date, Krautmann said. Near Audubon Park, however, the temperature broke 100 degrees.

Krautmann said Lake Pontchartrain usually moderates temperatures near the New Orleans airport, making it slightly cooler. And because Baton Rouge is farther inland, it tends to be a bit hotter.

Lafayette also hit triple digits the past two days, said Tim Humphrey, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Lake Charles. The city reached 102 degrees Monday and 100 degrees Sunday.

Monday’s temperature in Lafayette also was the highest yet this year and the record high for the day’s date, Humphrey said.

The last time Baton Rouge endured temperatures of 103 degrees or higher was the summer of 2011. The city reached 103 degrees on June 2 of that year.

The record highest temperature Baton Rouge has ever experienced was 110 degrees on Aug. 19, 1909. The second highest was the next day, Aug. 20, 1909, when the heat reached 108 degrees.

The record hottest day in Lafayette was July 13, 1901, when the temperature hit 107 degrees.

In its nationwide heat index forecast for Tuesday, the NWS says south Louisiana will be the hottest place in the country as heat indexes could hover around 107 degrees.

The good news? There's about a 50 percent chance of rain Tuesday for the area. Then dry air will move into the area and "cool" high temperatures down into the lower 90s later in the week.