Monday, August 23, 2010

Tumbling Dice: U.S. August Heat Records Outpacing Cold By 7:1

"Do [you] feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" How 'bout these odds:

With a little over a week left in August, U.S. daily maximum temperature records are outpacing minimum records by the torrid pace of 7:1. NOAA's National Climatic Data Center reports that through Sunday, August 22, a total of 845 daily high temperature records have been set in the 50 states, more than in all of July. Meanwhile, the number of low temperature records is only 121, less than half of the July total.

The ratio of heat records to cold records is almost exactly 7:1 for the month so far. Following a January and February in which cold records exceeded heat records, this is now the 6th consecutive month in which heat records have predominated. In 5 of those, the heat records have been at least double the cold records; the ratio for the year to date has now risen to 2.25.

Image (click to enlarge): Total number of daily high and low temperature records set in the U.S. for spring 2010 (March-April-May) and June, July, and August to date 2010, data from NOAA National Climatic Data Center, background image © Kevin Ambrose. Includes historical daily observations archived in NCDC's Cooperative Summary of the Day data set and preliminary reports from Cooperative Observers and First Order National Weather Service stations. All stations have a Period of Record of at least 30 years.

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