Heat Wave Broils Southern Half of the Country

Heat Wave Broils Southern Half of the Country

We told you earlier this month that Phoenix had broken its record for the most days of 110 degrees or higher — and they just keep wracking them up.  The city has now had 50 days when the temperature reached 110 degrees or more, shattering the old record of 33.  And now the Gulf states are also experiencing record hot temps this week.

Why This Matters:  Heat waves in the summer in the south and southwest seem like par for the course.  But they are actually getting worse and are more deadly than other severe weather.

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The 2010s Were Hottest Recorded, 2019 2nd Warmest Year, With U.S. Carbon Emissions Lower

The 2010s Were Hottest Recorded, 2019 2nd Warmest Year, With U.S. Carbon Emissions Lower

Due to closures of coal-fired power plants, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2019, according to an analysis of preliminary figures published Tuesday by the Rhodium Group, CNN reported.  However, as Axios reported, the 2010s was a decade of record-high global temperatures, with 2016 coming in as the hottest year on record just beating 2019 by 0.04 degrees Celsius, according to an analysis by Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service using U.S. government climate data.

Why This Matters:  These trends need to both be heading down — even if our greenhouse gas emissions fell slightly, we need to make deeper emissions cuts to stop the global temperatures from spiral even higher in the 20s.

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Where In the U.S. Was Weather Its Most Extreme in 2019?

Where In the U.S. Was Weather Its Most Extreme in 2019?

Cities in Alaska and the Southeastern U.S. saw some of the greatest extremes in weather in 2019 — with Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, coming in at 9.3 degrees warmer than average and Bozeman, Montana was 5.3 degrees colder than average, while Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas was the wettest with 25.02 inches more rain than average and of U.S. cities, Tallahassee, Florida, had a 20-inch rainfall deficit. 

Why This Matters:  There were some big extremes in 2019 — with an impressive list and geographic spread of U.S. cities seeing record-breaking weather.  Record warmth for Alaska is one of the biggest stories of the year.

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