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Is global warming causing the U.S. heat wave?

More than 1,000 high temperatures records broken in July, 3,919 for the year, with all-time heat records in Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma

More hot weather ahead for much of the U.S.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Cities and towns across the U.S. continue to set high temperature marks at a record pace during a summer heatwave that just won’t end. The National Climatic Data Center reported that 1,139 high temperature records were broken in July 2011, after an even hotter June, when 2,706 locations reached daily or all-time highs, compared to 251 record lows.

You might expect more record highs during the summer, but a longer-term look shows that record highs have outnumbered record lows for 17 months in a row, with the exception of December 2010. The Capital Climate blog has a detailed breakdown of these temperature statistics at this link,  including a breakdown of all-time record highs.

Although some global warming deniers have used last winter’s snowy and cold weather in parts of the country to try and deflect attention from the global trend of steadily climbing temperatures, record highs outpaced record lows all through the year except for December, when 688 spots recorded record lows, with 564 locations reporting record highs. January 2011 was about even, with 476 record highs and 460 record lows, but in nearly every other month during the past year, record highs far outpaced record lows.

While places like Florida reported record low temperatures for parts of the winter, many more places continued to report record highs.

August is starting out on the same pace, with 209 spots reporting record maximum high temps on Aug. 2, while only 2 locations recorded record lows.

For the past year, there have been 27,169 record maximum highs and 31,025 record minimum highs, compared to 15,981 record low maximum readings and 10,669 record low minimum temperatures.

The latest three-month outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center calls for much of the same, with above-average temperatures forecast for a wide swath of the country, extending from Arizona and New Mexico across Texas and most of the southern plains into the Southeast, including Florida, the Midwest and up through the Northeast.

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2 Responses

  1. Bob,

    We expect fewer record lows because of Urban Heat Island effects. But you knew that.

    • I acknowledge that the heat island effect has some influence on temp readings but I don’t think it accounts for the entire trend of more record highs.

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