Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Record Snows Fueled by Record Heat;
January Heat Outpaces Cold

As noted in the previous post, some areas of the Northeast U.S. have racked up impressive snowfall totals so far this winter, particularly in near-coastal portions of southern New England. Hartford, for example, set an all-time monthly snowfall record in January. Is this the harbinger of a cooling trend, as some alarmist ice-agers would claim? In fact, preliminary data for January from the National Climatic Data Center indicate that, for the U.S. as a whole, record high temperatures actually exceeded record low temperatures.

This is now the 10th month out of the last 13 since last January that heat records have exceeded cold ones. The ratio of high temperature records to low temperature records over that period is 2.18 to 1, and the cumulative excess of heat records is almost 7000.

Images (click to enlarge):
- Monthly total number of daily high temperature, low temperature, and high minimum temperature records set in the U.S. for July 2010 through January 2011, data from NOAA National Climatic Data Center, background image © Kevin Ambrose (www.weatherbook.com). 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.
- Cumulative excess of heat records vs. cold records by month for January 2010 through January 2011, data source as above

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