This isn’t your average heat wave. Its duration, set against more than a century of record keeping, makes it one for the climate change chronicles. Here’s what some meteorologists are saying:
From the National Weather Service in Chicago: Chicago and Rockford have now both broken high temperature records 5 days in a row. There is even the potential they could tie or break record highs for up to an unbelievable 8 days in a row depending on how warm temperatures get Monday through Wednesday. It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day.
From Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog: The ongoing March heat wave in the Midwest is one of the most extreme heat events in US history. With so many records being shattered, it is difficult to cover in detail just how widespread, long-lasting, and extreme the event is.
According to the CapitalClimate blog (HT Climate Central) warm weather records this month are outpacing cold records by a whopping 19-to-1.
Take Chicago. You can see in the graph above how radical this year’s heat wave is compared with the five other top warmest Marches on record. The hashed black line shows the average month-to-date temps in degrees Celsius for March (convert here). The dotted blue line shows the month-to-date average temps for 2012 based on current predicted temperatures.
NotesImage credit: National Weather Service
The source article Mutant Heat Wave Shattering Records was published March 19, 2012 by Mother Jones .