Monday, August 31, 2015

Hot times in U.S.

The world has been warming subtly for the last 30 years or so, but the warming in the United States in 2012 was anything but subtle.

Hot times in U.S.

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FILE - In a Wednesday, July 11, 2012 file photo, Steve Niedbalski shows his drought and heat stricken corn while chopping it down for feed in Nashville, Ill. U.S. wholesale prices increased in July from June, pulled up by higher costs for cars and light trucks and the biggest increase in corn prices in nearly six years. The U.S. Agriculture Department said Aug. 10 that the U.S. corn harvest will fall to its lowest level in five years this year because of the drought. The Labor Department said Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 that the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent last month. That followed a 0.1 percent gain in June.  (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)
FILE - In a Wednesday, July 11, 2012 file photo, Steve Niedbalski shows his drought and heat stricken corn while chopping it down for feed in Nashville, Ill. U.S. wholesale prices increased in July from June, pulled up by higher costs for cars and light trucks and the biggest increase in corn prices in nearly six years. The U.S. Agriculture Department said Aug. 10 that the U.S. corn harvest will fall to its lowest level in five years this year because of the drought. The Labor Department said Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 that the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent last month. That followed a 0.1 percent gain in June. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File) AP

The world has been warming subtly for the last 30 years or so, but the warming in the United States in 2012 was anything but subtle.

The final global numbers from the National Climate Data Center haven’t been released yet, however based on NASA satellite data the earth’s temperature was about one-third of a degree Fahrenheit above long-term averages.

By contrast, the satellite numbers published today show the temperature for the contiguous United States coming in at almost a full degree Fahrenheit above the 30-year normal.

The warming was in evidence throughout the Northeast, where 23 of the 35 major climate sites – including Philadelphia’s reported record average temperatures for 2012, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

The 50 degrees in Burlington, Vt., beat the old record, set in 1998, by a full 1.6 degrees.

In addition to Philadelphia, other cities that smashed 2012 records included Washington, New York City, and Boston.

While this will be a hard act for 2013 to follow, it does appear that a significant warm-up is on tap for next week, with no serious cold or snow on the horizon.

Inquirer Weather Columnist
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About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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