Friday, February 18, 2011

Record Temperatures Reach Mid-Atlantic;
120-Year Washington, Baltimore Minimums Broken

Feb. 18 Update: Added more reports for Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina.

Midnight Update: The midnight temperatures are: National 59°, Dulles 55°, and BWI 55°, so the record high minimums hold.

Quantico and College Park are still at 60° and 61°, respectively. On the Maryland Eastern Shore, Ocean City is a summer-like 65°, and Salisbury is 63°.

The National Climatic Data Center preliminary report shows nearly 200 new record highs on Feb. 18 alone. Following a similar number the previous day, the month-to-date count is now almost tied with record lows.

6 PM Update: Nearly all major National Weather Service reporting locations in Pennsylvania tied or broke high temperature records (see list below). Reports to be added as available.

Original post:
Temperatures soared into the 70s for the second consecutive time today in the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) region. The highs of 77° at Washington National and 75° at Dulles were both new records, and the 74° at Baltimore/BWI missed the record by only 1°. The Washington high is 30° above normal.

In addition, the morning lows were all new record high minimums. Assuming they hold through midnight, which appears to be likely, the minimums will break 120-year-old records.

Note that these record high February temperatures, which follow a record hot summer, broke records which followed the previously warmest summer of 1980.

The new records (old records and dates in parentheses) are:
                     High           Low
Washington National 77 (76, 1981) 52 (50, 1891)
Washington Dulles 75 (73, 1981) 53 (50, 1976)
Baltimore/BWI 51 (50, 1891)
More records set or tied in other states:
Zanesville OH    66 (64, 2006)
Youngstown OH 59 (tie, 1994)
Greenville SC 78 (73, 1916)
Raleigh NC 78 (75, 1948)
Greensboro NC 75 (71, 2008)
Charlotte NC 78 (tie, 1891)
Richmond VA 77 (tie, 1976)
Wallops Is. VA 73 (64, 1986)
Danville VA 77 (tie, 1976)
Lynchburg VA 75 (tie, 1927)
Blacksburg VA 65 (tie, 1976)
Roanoke VA 72 (tie, 1971)
Pittsburgh PA 66 (65, 1981)
Williamsport PA 66 (63, 1981)
Harrisburg PA 69 (tie, 1890)
Allentown PA 67 (66, 2008)
Philadelphia PA 69 (tie, 1891, 1890)
Reading PA 71 (70, 1981)
Atlantic City NJ 72 (69, 1981)
Trenton NJ 72 (tie, 1890)
Newark NJ 71 (69, 1981)
Kennedy Airpt NY 67 (57, 1981)
LaGuardia NY 67 (66, 1981)
Binghamton NY 58 (57, 1981)
Image (click to enlarge): U.S. surface temperature map at 3 pm EST, February 18, 2011, shows 70° readings as far north as the Mason-Dixon line (from Unisys)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nano Ice Age Update II: Record Temperatures From Kansas to New Jersey

8 PM CST Update: Additional records, including Lincoln, Illinois breaking a century-old record by 4°:
Des Moines IA  68 (tie, 1981)
Lincoln IL 63 (59, 1911)
Peoria IL 64 (tie, 1890)
Springfield IL 68 (67, 1911 and 1890)
Muskegon MI 51 (50, 2008 and 1911)
Zanesville OH 66 (64, 2006)
Beckley WV 66 (63, 1975)
Huntington WV 70 (tie, 1975)
Bluefield WV 66 (65, 1961)
Harrisburg PA 67 (65, 1891)
Binghamton NY 55 (tie, 1981)
Original post:
As warm air spread eastward from the southern Plains, more daily high temperature records were set or tied today across a wide area and by wide margins. In several cases, those margins were as much as 5 degrees in periods of record extending back over a century. For example, Burlington, Iowa, whose observations began in 1897, saw its old record from 1994 smashed by 5° with a reading of 66°.

Rolla, Missouri broke its 1971 record by 4° with a reading of 73°. Records there date back to 1888.

Columbia, Missouri smashed its 1994 record by 6° with a high of 74°. The period of record in Columbia began in 1890.

The St. Louis high of 76° missed a century-old record by only 1°.

Other record reports from the National Weather Service (old record and date in parentheses):
Topeka KS      76 (74, 1913)
Wichita KS 78 (75, 1970)
Moline IL 63 (62, 1981)
Kansas City MO 74 (72, 1970)
Joplin MO 74 (73, 1971)
Trenton NJ 67 (tie, 1976) [records began 1865]
Newark NJ 66 (tie, 1976)
Reading PA 64 (tie, 1976) [records began 1869]
More reports to be added as they become available.

Washington's 2nd February Day of 70°+, 3rd on Tap

Today's high of 72° in Washington was the second this month of 70° or higher, and there's a third one on tap for tomorrow. While unusual, this event is not unique. The last time there were 2 days with 70°+ in February was in 2000. There were 4 such events in 1997.

The record for February since observations began at or near the current location of National Airport in 1930 was 7 in 1976, which benefited from being a leap year. There were 2 spans of 3 consecutive days each: Feb. 16-18 (73°, 79°, and 76°) and Feb. 27-29 (71°, 74°, and 77°). The high was also 71° on Feb. 25 that year.

The chart shows all of the previous years since 1930 with 2 or more 70°+ days in February.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nano Ice Age Update: Records Roasted

11 PM CST Update: Imperial, Nebraska absolutely crushed its old record by 7° with a high of 76°, which was 32° above average. The previous record of 69° was set in 1970 and tied in 1981. Records at Imperial began nearly 120 years ago, in 1893.

North Platte, Nebraska blasted through its old record by 5° with a high of 71°. The previous record was set 130 years ago, in 1880, and tied in 1916 and 1981. North Platte records date back to 1874.

Another long-period record was broken by a wide margin at Valentine, Nebraska, where the high of 71° exceeded the old record of 65° from 1951 by 6°. Records at Valentine began in 1885.

Temperatures in the mid 60s reached into South Dakota, where downtown Rapid City hit 66°, tying the record set in 1916. The airport reading of 67° exceeded the old record of 63° set in 1950 and tied in 1981. Records have been kept at Rapid City since 1888.

8 PM CST Update: Another record report from the National Weather Service:
6 PM CST Update: The preliminary record at Garden City is 81° at 4:48. This is 31° above normal for the date.

Original post:
A surge of early spring heat is tumbling high temperature records across the southern Plains from Texas to Nebraska.

The 86° at Midland, Texas at 3:22 pm local time blasted away the old record for February 16 of 81° from 2006. Midland climate records began in 1930.

At 2:30 local time, Dodge City, Kansas reported a temperature of 76°, which exceeded by 2° the previous record originally set almost a century ago in 1916 and tied 50 years ago in 1961. By 4 pm, the temperature had reached 80°, beating the old record by 6°. Dodge City climate records began in 1874.

Garden City, Kansas also broke its 1961 record by 2° with its reading of 78°. The temperature there continued to rise to 80° by 3 pm. It's held at that level for the next 2 hours. Garden City climate records began in 1948.

Some other records reported by the National Weather Service (old record and date in parentheses):
Sidney NE      68 (66, 1950)
Scottsbluff NE 67 (tie, 1916)
Chadron NE 68 (64, 1982)
Russell KS 73 (71, 1961)
Goodland KS 75 (72, 1991)
Rolla MO 72 (tie, 2006)
Updates to be posted as they become available.

Image (click to enlarge): U.S. temperature map as of 4 pm CST, February 16, 2011, shows 60° readings as far north as Wyoming and South Dakota, from Unisys

Monday, February 14, 2011

Shortest Ice Age on Record?
Whole Lotta Meltin' Goin' On

Here's an update on how that ice age is coming along:
Nano Ice Age Update: Records Roasted

With all the hoopla recently about record snowfalls, all-time record low temperatures, and so forth, here's a chart you're not likely to see on the ice-age monger sites. At midnight EST on February 14, the middle of February, the U.S. temperature map above (from Unisys, click to enlarge) shows that these are the only substantial areas in the contiguous 48 states with temperatures below 30°:
  • Central Rockies
  • Eastern Montana and extreme northeastern Wyoming
  • Extreme northern border of Minnesota
  • Northern Vermont and New Hampshire
  • Non-coastal Maine
The Weather Channel reported on-air this evening that the area of the U.S. with snow on the ground decreased by over 10 percentage points in the last 24 hours.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.