July has been the hottest month in 137 years of El Paso weather records, with an average temperature almost 3 degrees warmer than any previous month.

Thirty of 31 days of July – as well as the last 15 days of June – saw temperatures soar past 100 degrees in El Paso. A 44-day consecutive streak of triple-digit temperatures came to an end on Sunday, when the temperature only reached 97 degrees. But the high returned to 100 on Monday, and the National Weather Service forecast says El Paso could be at the start of another streak of triple-digit heat that could last for several weeks.

Climate change has driven up summer temperatures in El Paso for decades, but the extended heatwave of the past six weeks is unprecedented.

“The duration and extent of this heat wave (in the Southwest) has been mind-boggling,” Brian Kahn, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the NASA publication Earth Observatory

He said the extended heatwave has been caused by a ridge of high pressure known as a heat dome that has persisted over the southern United States. Scientists say heat domes are created when changes in Pacific Ocean temperatures the previous winter generate strong atmospheric systems that create vast areas of sweltering heat that then get trapped under the high-pressure “dome.”

“There is a close relationship between how hot the surface is and the depth of the heat dome, and this particular system has extended high into the atmosphere for weeks on end,” Kahn said.

The streak of 44 consecutive days above 100 is almost double the previous record for consecutive triple-digit heat in El Paso, 23 straight days in June and July of 1994.

In a tweet Sunday, National Weather Service forecasters said triple digit temperatures will quickly resume and could last several weeks, perhaps again surpassing the 1994 streak of 23 days.

The tweet also said El Paso may surpass another 1994 record – 62 days above 100 degrees during the year.

The forecast calls for a likelihood of rain at the beginning of the week, which could help keep temperatures just under 100 earlier in the week. But temperatures are expected to hit 105 again by Friday and may reach 108 over the weekend.

Rain has been a rarity during the heat dome, with El Paso only recording a third of an inch of rain since the beginning of June. Normal rainfall for El Paso in June and July is about 2.5 inches.

The record streak of 100-plus temperatures began on June 16. During the streak, El Paso’s high temperature averaged more than 105 degrees, almost 10 degrees above normal. The peak temperature was 111 degrees on July 19.

During the streak, El Paso’s high temperature has hit 105 or more 27 times. That is more than the total number of 105-plus days between 1887 and 1957 combined.

El Paso is far from alone in seeing climate change consequences in July. It is likely to be the warmest month ever recorded on Earth, according to Copernicus Climate Change Service.

“The extreme weather which has affected many millions of people in July is unfortunately the harsh reality of climate change and a foretaste of the future,” Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said in a statement.

6:40 p.m. Monday, July 31: This story has been updated with final July figures.

Robert Moore is the founder and CEO of El Paso Matters. He has been a journalist in the Texas Borderlands since 1986.