Record Temperatures Melt Away, Giving Meteorologists ‘Uneasy Feeling’

Statesman.com
Record temperatures melt away, giving meteorologists ‘uneasy feeling’
By Seth Borenstein

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Updated: 11:25 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012
Published: 9:34 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012

It has been so warm in the United States this year, especially in March, that national records were not just broken; they were deep-fried.

Temperatures in the lower 48 states were 8.6 degrees above normal for March and 6 degrees higher than average for the first three months of the year, according to calculations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That far exceeds the previous records.

The magnitude of difference this year nationally has alarmed some meteorologists who have warned about global warming. One climate scientist said it is the weather equivalent of a baseball player on steroids, obliterating old records.

“Everybody has this uneasy feeling. This is weird. This is not good,” said Jerry Meehl, a climate scientist who specializes in extreme weather at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “It’s a guilty pleasure. You’re out enjoying this nice March weather, but you know it’s not a good thing.”

It’s not just March.

“It’s been ongoing for several months,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

Austin was part of the trend. Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose said that January through March at Camp Mabry, which has records going back to 1854, was the seventh-warmest on record, with an average of 59.6 degrees. The normal for those three months is 56.1 degrees, Rose said, and the warmest on record was an average of 61.5 degrees in 1906.

January’s average temperature was 55.1 degrees, significantly warmer than the normal 51.5. February’s was 57.4, up from the normal 55. March’s was 66.1, up from 61.7.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say this is climate change,” Rose said. “We just happened to have a mild winter.” (Read Full Article)

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