Not hot enough to fry eggs | AspenTimes.com

Not hot enough to fry eggs

Gusto head chef Anthony Compagni tries to fry an egg on steamy Main Street on Friday afternoon.Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

Remember the old saying “It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement?”Well, we tried it yesterday. It wasn’t.After several days of sweltering temperatures, Aspen got a reprieve yesterday when the mercury dropped back to an average level. The temperature topped out at 86 degrees after hitting 91 the previous two days and 89 on July 12.

“They are unseasonably warm for you,” said Mark Heuer, a meteorologist for Day Weather Inc., the service The Aspen Times uses for its weather page. “This is about as hot as it gets for Aspen.”The 91-degree temperature Thursday tied a 27-year-old record and came close to matching the highest temperature ever recorded in Aspen since 1948, according to the federal Western Regional Climate Center. The all-time recorded high was 93 degrees on June 23, 1954.Given the hot weather, we recruited Anthony Compagni, the head chef at Gusto, to see if we could fry an egg. He was doubtful from the beginning because he used to live in Arizona, where it’s really hot.It takes a temperature of about 140 degrees to make an egg coagulate, Compagni said. He estimated that the parking space on Main Street where we first ran our experiment only reached about 100 degrees.

Compagni suggested we try the black asphalt lot across the street to try to fry our egg. Over there he estimated the temperature at 120. Still, our egg languished there like an abandoned puppy in the middle of a country lane.The experiment gave some passers-by a chuckle except for one gentleman who looked at us in disgust and said we only needed to use our heads to figure out it wouldn’t work. Spoilsport.If only we had tried it Wednesday or Thursday.Aspen’s temperature has exceeded 80 degrees for 11 straight days. Average highs are typically in the upper 70s and lower 80s. Mid-80s to low-90s have been common since July 5. Only the last few days could be considered unseasonable, Heuer said.

It’s been dry as well as hot lately. Only 0.02 inches of rain had fallen in July as of 5 p.m. Friday. For the year the town has recorded only 7.50 inches of precipitation. Ten inches is average.The monsoonal moisture, which frequently brings afternoon showers, may pick up shortly, according to Heuer. Temperatures are also expected to drop by about five degrees at the end of the weekend and the beginning of next week. High 80s and low 90s will return before the week is out, he said.But they probably won’t be hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com